When 30-year-old Sawgrass Apartments on Orlando’s Conway Road underwent a makeover to improve the efficiency of common areas and rental units, the property’s owner tapped into OUC—The Reliable One’s Multifamily Efficiency Program to save nearly $50,000 on the project’s costs.

Property owner PRG Real Estate Management upgraded Sawgrass’ exterior and interior lighting with LED light bulbs, installed Energy Star®-rated windows and clothes washers, and added ceiling insulation, air-duct improvements and low-flow showerheads in all 208 apartments. Meanwhile, HVAC systems are being replaced with higher efficiency units on an as-needed basis.

Sawgrass Apartments’ efficiency initiative was honored on Dec. 7, 2019, with the inaugural Multifamily Energy & Water Efficiency Excellence Award at the Apartment Association of Greater Orlando’s 12th annual Golden Key Awards gala. Presented by OUC and the AAGO, the award recognizes an innovative multifamily property within the greater Orlando apartment industry for its efforts to optimize building performance while creating healthy, livable, and affordable spaces.

In presenting the award to Sawgrass Apartments Senior Property Manager Heather Alzate, Andres Burgos, OUC Conservation Support Specialist, Sustainability, said: “Sawgrass Apartments’ initiative, professionalism and devotion to efforts to improve energy and water efficiency in the Orlando and surrounding areas reflected great credit upon themselves and are deserving of recognition by the Orlando Utilities Commission, the City of Orlando, and the community.”

Burgos, who worked with Alzate on Sawgrass’ efficiency improvements, said the Multifamily Efficiency Program covered the full cost of duct repairs, totaling $8,100, and provided $39,205 in rebates for all other work. Rebates appear as credits on Sawgrass’ OUC billing statements.

Here’s how MFEP works: An OUC-provided property assessment yields a full energy and water evaluation, recommends conservation upgrades and offers payback periods for each improvement. Once approved to proceed with efficiency upgrades, OUC oversees the project from start to finish, utilizing either our Preferred Contractor Network or the customer’s contractors.

“While Multifamily Efficiency offers to provide preferred OUC contractors, Sawgrass decided to handle the work themselves and file for qualifying rebates,” said Burgos. “On this project, we served as an intermediary between the contractor and customer and verified that the work was done correctly.”

PRG Real Estate Management made the efficiency improvements as part of a companywide green initiative, said Alzate.

“These conservation upgrades benefit our tenants,” she said. “Their units are much quieter now because of the new windows, and they see substantially lower electric bills due to other efficiency upgrades we made. We point out such benefits when we show units to prospective renters.”

Interested in OUC’s Multifamily Efficiency Program? Email conservationsupport@ouc.com or call 407-434-2256. Download more information on the program here.