August 10, 2021

How Smart Home Technology Drives Sustainability in Multifamily Buildings

With a large percentage of household energy consumption being used for heating, cooling, lighting, and appliances, smart home products allow property owners and managers to reduce energy waste in common areas and vacant units, while providing the same benefits to residents in occupied units. Energy-efficient properties are better for the environment, provide cost-saving benefits, and attract environmentally-conscious residents.

Smart home devices like Google Nest, ecobee, Jasco light switch, and air conditioning device are shown controlled by the Latch App and Latch Manager in an apartment

Increased efficiency in common areas 

Managing the lighting, temperature, and appliances in common areas and amenity spaces can be time consuming, costly, and inefficient for property managers. Smart thermostats like Google Nest, smart light switches, and smart outlets enable the remote management of energy output through mobile apps and for properties to be more efficient. 

By monitoring energy consumption, property managers can ensure lighting and temperature is properly adjusted for time of day, weather conditions, and occupancy levels for all areas of the property. Without the ability to manage devices remotely, property staff must travel to the property to adjust devices as needed. By avoiding inefficiencies and in-person visits from staff, properties can reduce their carbon footprint. 

Reduce waste in vacant units 

Whether renters are buying a home, moving in with a partner, or relocating, there are multiple reasons for the 3 million vacant rental units across the United States. For multifamily owners and operators, vacant units are expensive to maintain and difficult to manage. 

With infrequent visits from service providers or property staff, vacant units can be left unmonitored for extended periods of time. By accidentally leaving on lights, heating, or air conditioning, these units can unnecessarily consume a lot of energy. In some cases, these inefficiencies can cause vacant units to consume more energy than an occupied unit. 

With a connected smart home system that is not reliant on resident’s Wi-Fi, property managers can ensure that devices are switched off as needed. This automation can result in savings between 43-58% across vacant units, reducing overhead costs and eliminating wasted energy consumption. 

Share the efficiencies with residents 

The quality of the environment is a growing concern among consumers, and 75% of Americans worry about it considerably. Offering residents a connected smart home is more than a convenience. Instead, it enables environmentally-conscious residents to reduce their carbon footprint and prevent heating and cooling systems, lighting, or appliances from running unnecessarily.

The cost-saving benefits of energy efficiency can be passed on to residents in individual units. A study conducted by Nest revealed that smart thermostats in homes can save residents between 10-12% on heating and 15% on cooling annually. With an average spend of $875/annually on heating and cooling per household, the savings add up quickly.

Increasing the sustainability of multifamily properties and reducing energy inefficiencies should not come at the expense of the resident experience or operational efficiency. With so many smart home devices available, it can become time consuming and cumbersome to use multiple apps for daily management. Instead, managing them all through a single application is key to enabling sustainability that’s convenient. 

With LatchOS, Latch’s full-building operating system, smart access, guest and delivery management, smart home and sensors, connectivity, and personalization and services can easily be managed in one place. Through the Latch App and Latch Manager, residents and property managers can reduce energy consumption, avoid waste, and reduce expenses while creating a cleaner, greener environment. 

With the rising adoption of electric and hybrid vehicles, government incentives to switch to solar-powered energy, and more efficient appliances, the American consumer is becoming increasingly environmentally conscious with their choices. Today, 64% of Americans are willing to pay a premium for sustainable products and 77% believe that developing alternative energy should be a top priority for the US energy supply. 


Return on Smart Building Investments

Smart building technology delivers a wide range of financial benefits for multifamily owners and operators. From cost efficiencies to improved customer experience, a strategic investment in the right technology solution can positively impact both the cost and revenue sides of the ledger.

There are several different ways to estimate how smart communities achieve ROI. Learn more about the four most popular approaches in our easy-to-read guides.

Read to learn more