As a new generation of residents looks for housing options in Ottawa, property managers are under growing pressure to offer the newest and trendiest amenities. Communal game rooms, on-site dog spa and front door concierge services to name a few.
But one local landlord has found another key element that younger tenants are increasingly looking for in a rental property: Energy efficiency.
CLV Group, a real estate firm overseeing residential properties across Ontario and Quebec, is the property manager for LIV Apartments, located at 207 Bell St. N., on the edge of Centretown.
Roughly two years ago, the 13-storey apartment complex underwent a massive facelift. All 442 units were stripped down to the studs, and rebuilt with luxury and energy efficiency in mind.
“Today’s tenants are looking for not just the lowest possible utility cost for their apartment. They also want to know that the building they’re renting in has the lowest possible environmental impact,” says Danny Smith, Energy Manager with CLV Group.
During renovations, the property management firm added multiple new features that minimized the property’s carbon footprint. Many of them were supported by Hydro Ottawa’s Save on Energy Retrofit Program, which offers subsidies of up to 50 per cent toward project costs for businesses making the switch to greener equipment.
The Retrofit program is ideal for property managers looking to both save on energy bills and offer a more environmentally friendly home for their tenants. Buildings of any size are eligible, so long as the proposed upgrades meet Hydro Ottawa’s criteria.
The building was outfitted with a domestic cold water booster pump package, several electric vehicle charging stations for tenants, as well as highly efficient LED lights.
It also has a newly installed micro co-generation plant, which now accounts for approximately one third of its energy. The generator uses natural gas to generate electricity, then recuperates the heat it expels to heat water on-site. It is one of only a handful of buildings to be using this technology in Ottawa.
Within individual units, the property management firm took steps to minimize energy waste, including the installation of solar film on the windows as well as Energy Star certified appliances. Each tenant also has access to their own in-unit smart thermostat, enabling them to control their apartment’s heating and air conditioning. They’re able to set a timer on their AC or heat, helping to reduce their usage during the hours when no one is home.
“Happy tenants who are invested along with us really help make the programs work,” says Smith.
Learn more about the Save on Energy Retrofit Program at hydroottawa.com/retrofit