Dan Teague - Water, Electric, Gas and Oil

September 29, 2011 - Green Buildings

Dan Teague, WegoWise

Our company, WegoWise (Water, Electric, Gas and Oil), is an on-line tool for monitoring and analyzing the utility use of multifamily and single family housing. Each month, WegoWise tracks thousands of utility bills for our customers around the country and occasionally we like to dig into the numbers and share what we're learning. Saving money on water use is a common concern among our clients so today we want to share what we're learning about water use in buildings so you can see how your buildings compare.
To assess water performance in a building in a simple, quantifiable way, our preferred metric is number of gallons a building uses per bedroom per day. Ideally, we would like to look at water use per person but we have found that number of people is a tough number to keep track of for building managers so number of bedrooms is a good proxy and stays fixed over time.
Here is a quick and dirty breakdown of what we've found in our water data: high performing buildings use 60 gallons per bedroom per day, average buildings consume from 60-120, and poor performers use 120 and above.
If you find any of your buildings fall in the "poorly performing" category you should start looking into getting a water audit and making upgrades right away. Of all the ways to save money in a building, water upgrades have some of the lowest first costs and a simple payback as short as a few months. Water conservation is the "no-brainer" of green upgrades in any poorly performing building.
Our data shows that replacing leaking toilets with better performing, water conserving toilets, and installing low-flow shower heads and faucets can in some cases reduce water bills by 50-60%.
Dan Teague is the director of business development for WegoWise, Boston.

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