CASE STUDY

How Related California protects against turnover and saved $61,000 on HVAC repair

The Challenge
A US owner and operator of community, power, and grocery-anchored centers was recovering only 26% of water costs due to their utility provider’s lack of visibility over tenant usage, opaque billing methods, and reliance on sporadic manual readings.
The Outcome
Using Enertiv, they increased their water cost recovery from 26% to 100% across nine buildings in less than five months, resulting in over $218,000 in incremental revenue and a $3,000,000 increase in property value.

Challenge

At more than 18,000 units, Related California is the state’s largest mixed-income developer. The portfolio is vertically integrated and boasts a stellar reputation as a multifamily owner-operator.

Since joining Related California in 2012, Scott Richter has built and managed the company’s asset management practice and currently has oversight of a diverse portfolio with more than 10,000 market rate and affordable multifamily units.

While Scott’s role is filled with complexity, his goals are simple: to maximize net operating income and reduce risk.

He has been approached by countless vendors and technology companies, many promising to reduce water or electricity consumption.

That’s why Enertiv’s positioning was so compelling to Scott. From his perspective, energy savings can be a nice byproduct to the critical work of improving the operational workflows of on-site management teams, averting catastrophic events, and avoiding unnecessary capital expenditures.

Scott brought Enertiv into three assets with a particular challenge in mind. That was to get the on-site teams to adopt the technology; because if there is no engagement, it’s no use to anybody

“We would end up spending a lot of money replacing things in the building unnecessarily.”
Scott Richter
Senior Vice President, Acquisitions/Asset Management

Solution

Enertiv’s solution to user adoption is to deliver value to on-site operators before introducing complexity or expecting them to up level their workflows.

That includes performing on-site surveys to digitize the full equipment inventory, making documentation instantly available by scanning QR codes, and bringing scheduled inspection checklists off clipboards and into a mobile app.

Only after improving the status quo for operators, does Enertiv “turn on” the real-time monitoring, fault detection, and energy efficiency insights that give them unprecedented transparency into what’s happening in the building and helps them do their job better.

While the technology is designed to be easy-to-use and the deployment process is easy-to-use, Enertiv understands that nothing beats a human touch.

“Enertiv saves me a tone of time. I can manage the building from wherever I am and know exactly where to focus my attention. The client success team has been invaluable not only in helping me understand the system, but rolling it out to my team.”
Alex Zepeda
Resident Manager

Enertiv’s Client Success team is made of mechanical engineers and building systems experts. They not only set up the platform for each property, they onboard and train every operator so they are fully bought in and capable of getting the most out of the system.

This level of operator engagement was exactly what Scott and the asset management team needed to hear to be confident in rolling out Enertiv.

Results

In the initial Phase I properties, the on-site teams in the initial sites have consistently had a 95% compliance score (compared to an industry benchmark of 65%) with their scheduled maintenance tasks on the Enertiv app, completing over 4,500 tasks in the first year.

In addition, they have resolved 97.5% of the faults detected by Enertiv’s real-time monitoring, with a mean time to resolution of under 1 day, putting Related significantly ahead of the industry on getting ahead of issues and averting catastrophic events.

As a bonus, Enertiv identified a sequence error that had the boiler and the cooling tower running at the same time. Corrective action reduced energy consumption and unnecessary runtime hours on the equipment.

Deploying the platform across the portfolio will give asset management greater transparency into their operations, confidence that unnecessary costs are being avoided, risks are being mitigated, and tenants are not experiencing issues they may have otherwise

“I think visualizing data in a meaningful way in a piece of software is incredibly difficult and I think your engineers have done an amazing job of providing visualizations that are easy to consume.”
Scott Richter
Senior Vice President, Acquisitions/Asset Management