Growing up, you might remember adults telling you to not touch the thermostat or take long showers. Now that you pay the utility bills, you understand the basis of these comments.
Because our Members pay one all-inclusive payment each week, utility bills are the responsibility of our Hosts. It’s important to factor utility costs into your renovation and room pricing.
Our team shares 8 tips on how to reduce PadSplit utility costs:
Monitor WiFi consumption
PadSplit Members often stream music or movies on personal devices in their rooms, which can sometimes lead to costly overages. Monitor your consumption if you have three to four bedrooms, and be prepared to upgrade your data plan if needed. More than four bedrooms calls for unlimited WiFi data to eliminate any inevitable overages or network issues which warrant maintenance requests.
Install a smart thermostat
When renovating your property, it’s important to install a smart thermostat that can be controlled remotely and locked. The Honeywell T-6 pro series and Nest thermostat have worked well for our current Hosts. We recommend setting the thermostat to 76 for AC and 68 for heat.
Address problem areas during the renovation
Upgrades like a new HVAC system, new hot water heater, or replacing old windows may be a worthwhile investment and can qualify you for a rebate from your energy provider(s). Sealing leaks in places as the crawl space, door gaps, and around fireplaces can generate significant savings once Members move in.
Monitor energy consumption
Most providers including Georgia Power offer daily usage alerts that can be adjusted to let you know when power consumption is significantly above average. If power bills are significantly higher than average, request an energy audit performed by a HVAC professional.
This is an easy task that can go a long way in decreasing energy consumption and reducing maintenance requests. Replacing old light bulbs with LED bulbs is another investment that pays off within a year in most cases, depending on your energy consumption and cost.
Install water-saving devices
Water providers send bills with usage on a monthly or bimonthly basis, but it’s important to make upfront investments to reduce water consumption:
- Faucets: Adding Aerators to kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry areas reduce water consumption per minute by about 50% with the expected payback period of four to six months. We recommend 1.25 GPM aerators for kitchens and ½ GPM aerators for bathroom sinks. Many models are offered in different finishes online or in stores.
- Shower heads: For a PadSplit with eight Members, showers alone will use about 160,000 gallons of water per year. Cutting the GPM flow from 2.5 to 1.25 saves 50% and gives the shower head a four-month payback even when assuming lower than average water prices.
- Toilets: For a PadSplit with eight Members, using the toilet alone will use about 70,000 gallons of water each year. By cutting the gallons per flush from 2.5 to 1, you can reduce those costs. This toilet conversion set can be installed by Hosts in less than an hour.
Solar is a great option for markets across the country due to the federal tax credit and falling costs. Buying a solar system is a large investment, and depending on the size and installer, it has an 11-year payback period. Leasing a solar system is attractive because there is a limited upfront payment and you see immediate savings. You will almost always need to use your personal credit to lease solar.
Address maintenance requests
When a Member submits a maintenance request, investigate the issue quickly and thoroughly. Addressing seemingly small issues early on could help prevent larger (and more costly) problems from forming down the road. A responsive Host will also enhance the Member experience, leading to longer tenure, fewer room turns, and higher returns.
Developing best practices for keeping utility expenses low as a PadSplit Host will help you optimize your returns in the long run.