Building intelligence provider WegoWise recently announced that utility bills for inefficient buildings can cost up to eight times more than bills for efficient buildings.

During the winter months when bill disparity peaks, the least-efficient buildings use eight times more gas, five times more electricity and four times more oil than the most-efficient buildings. 

These findings were drawn from Wego­Wise’s database of more than 17,000 buildings and 1.6 million utility bills, the largest collection of multifamily housing utility data in the world.

WegoWise also found regional differences between utility expenses are heightened with the onset of winter’s colder temperatures. In Massachusetts, utility customers use six times more energy in the winter, translating to a median bill increase of $33 per bedroom, per month. In California, despite a milder climate, utility customers still use 70 percent more energy in the winter than the rest of the year.

“Winter makes a disproportionate impact on inefficient buildings,” said Barun Singh, chief technology officer at WegoWise. “Owners or managers of inefficient buildings stand to save thousands per month on their winter utility bills simply by bringing their buildings up to average efficiency. Year-round, targeted retrofits provide a clear, bankable path to increase efficiency and boost net operating income.”

WegoWise has also tracked property upgrades and resultant cost savings. The data reveals water upgrades, which help reduce water costs and electricity costs associated with water heating, 
are popular.

“Building retrofits and related intelligent controls can often lower energy consumption by up to 20 to 30 percent. Those savings can be even greater during the winter months due to heightened use in heating and lighting, some of the largest loads in buildings,” said Natalie Volpe, research analyst at the Cleantech Group, a technology company that helps clients accelerate sustainable innovation. “The difficulty is in convincing building operators and property managers to invest in these projects in order to achieve those energy reductions.”

ECs that do this work should brush up on their sales and marketing skills.