Do you have any idea how much water you use every day?
One of the many wonderful things about living in the United States, and in the Northwest in particular, is that when you turn on the kitchen or bathroom faucet, water comes out. It can be hot or cold! It’s drinkable! There are billions of people in the world who don’t have access to this amazing resource, yet most of us take it for granted – we don’t even know how much we use, or how much we depend on it, until it’s not available. And the same goes for electricity.
We at Bellwether don’t take water or energy use for granted – we’re committed to monitoring the energy performance of our apartment buildings using EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. We’ll draw on energy usage spreadsheets from this program to evaluate the success of past energy upgrades, compare energy performance to similar building types, and determine the need for future energy efficiency improvements.
No doubt, analyzing energy and water use data in an excel spreadsheet is not pretty and, for most, those spreadsheets might as well be Egyptian hieroglyphics. It’s been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. That goes for graphs too. Using graphs to tell our energy and water usage can be worth a thousand spreadsheets. Below is an example of how we are tracking our buildings’ water usage at Bellwether.
Last year, Bellwether joined the Seattle 2030 District. By becoming a member, Bellwether has made a pledge to work with other building owners and property managers to meet the District goals of a reduction in energy and water usage below the national average by 2015.
We know that our energy picture is already worth more than a thousand words and we’re confident that Bellwether will meet the 2030 goal.
How about you? Are you doing anything to reduce your energy and water consumption? Bellwether is doing this on a large scale but every little bit counts! We’d like to hear what you do in your household.