Sustainability | Embracing Sustainability in Real Estate: A Practical Guide

Embracing Sustainability in Real Estate: A Practical Guide
As global awareness of environmental issues rises, the real estate sector is increasingly focused on sustainability.

Sustainable practices not only help reduce environmental impact but also result in significant cost savings for property owners and tenants. The Central Electricity Board (CEB) has provided an insightful Energy Saving Guide that outlines practical steps for reducing energy consumption. Below, we explore key takeaways from this guide and how they can be implemented in real estate to promote sustainability.

Understanding Energy Consumption

Energy consumption in a home is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh), which indicates the amount of electricity used by appliances over time. For instance, a 1000W vacuum cleaner used for one hour consumes 1 kWh, while a 40W light bulb left on for 25 hours also uses 1 kWh. By understanding these basics, property managers can better monitor and control energy use.

Lighting Solutions

Lighting is a major energy consumer in any property. Transitioning from incandescent bulbs to LED lighting can reduce electricity usage by up to 85%. LEDs not only consume less power but also last significantly longer (up to 50,000 hours), do not contain harmful mercury, and provide instant brightness. Strategic lighting, using dimmers and motion sensors, further enhances energy efficiency. Cleaning light fixtures regularly ensures optimal brightness and efficiency.

Efficient Refrigeration

Refrigerators are essential but energy-intensive appliances. Here are some tips for reducing their energy consumption:

  • Position the refrigerator away from heat sources like ovens and direct sunlight.
  • Keep the refrigerator about 75% full for optimal efficiency.
  • Set the fridge temperature to around 5°C and the freezer between -6°C and -18°C.
  • Ensure good air circulation around the unit and regularly clean the coils at the back.

Air Conditioning and Heating

Air conditioning can significantly increase energy bills. To optimize its use:

  • Select the right-sized unit for the space.
  • Set the temperature between 24°C and 26°C.
  • Use timers to avoid unnecessary operation.
  • Ensure regular maintenance and clean filters monthly.
  • Ceiling fans are a cost-effective alternative, providing a cooling effect at a fraction of the energy cost.

Laundry Practices

In the laundry room, using a washing machine at full capacity and opting for cold water washes can save substantial energy. Approximately 80% of the energy used in washing clothes goes towards heating the water. Air drying clothes or using a dryer with a full load and clean filters can further cut energy usage.

Kitchen Appliances

In the kitchen, using microwave ovens for heating food is more energy-efficient than conventional ovens, consuming 75% less electricity. For cooking, induction cooktops are preferable over traditional electric ones, as they use about 40% less energy.

Reducing Standby Power

Many devices consume energy even when turned off, known as 'standby power'. Unplugging appliances or using power strips with switches can prevent this energy wastage. An intelligent power strip can automatically cut power to devices that are not in use.

Investing in Energy-Efficient Appliances

When purchasing new appliances, consider their energy labels. While energy-efficient models may have a higher upfront cost, they offer significant savings on electricity bills over time. For instance, a refrigerator with a higher efficiency rating can save more money over its lifespan compared to a cheaper, less efficient model.

Monitoring and Managing Energy Use

Regularly reviewing energy bills and tracking consumption patterns helps identify areas for improvement. Simple changes, such as adjusting thermostat settings or replacing old appliances, can result in noticeable savings.

Find Your Eco-Friendly Home

Explore a selection of eco-friendly properties for sale & rent. Embrace sustainability and find your perfect home with energy-efficient features.

Implementing these energy-saving tips can transform properties into more sustainable and cost-effective spaces. As real estate developers and managers, promoting and adopting these practices not only contributes to environmental conservation but also enhances the value and appeal of properties. Embrace sustainability today and lead the way towards a greener, more efficient future in real estate.