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(Crystal Proenza is associate editor of Real EstateFlorida.)

BOCA RATON, FL-American Water & Energy Savers, a company based here that has specialized in water conservation for over 20 years, has partnered with Power Buyer Green, operated by GEMSA Loan Services, LP, and Grant Capital Management to offer conservation solutions for retrofitting existing multifamily buildings of 100 units or more. The changes implemented by the program are to reduce the consumption of water between 35% and 45%. The program will offer “off the balance sheet financing,” which would allow property owners to implement conservation methods and pay AWES back with water and sewer savings generated by the completed projects.

“With water and sewer costs escalating at unprecedented rates, owners of multifamily properties need to find ways to manage their utility costs more effectively,” says Michael Sloup, president and CEO of AWES. “Today, the majority of toilet rebate programs available are geared towards single-family housing, making it difficult for property owners without cash resources. Funds being made available by our program provide a solution for these owners to retrofit their properties.”

The program is aimed at owners of buildings in existence before 1992, the year that the federal Energy Act mandated toilets to use only 1.6 gallons of water per flush. Sloup explains to GlobeSt.com that many properties were in existence before the act was passed, with toilet tanks using as much as five gallons per flush.

Besides replacing toilets with newer, smaller tanks, the retrofit program also aims to replace other high-flow fixtures such as faucets and shower heads. The company says savings can be seen in excess of 20 million gallons per year, a significant conservation expectation given current drought conditions all over the Southeast. As with many sustainable practices being adopted all over the globe, these retrofits are also expected to add value to existing properties.

AWES has been retrofitting buildings for water conservation for close to 15 years, says Sloup, and also works to implement sub-metering water conservation programs in retail centers. The company has worked with Power Buyer Green, which provides commercial real estate energy assessments and solutions, as a water management group for over 12 years. This is the company’s first venture with Grant Capital Management, which will help to structure the most efficient financing for the program.

“In a world that is driven by energy, we hope to encourage more and more property owners to move toward more environmentally sustainable practices,” says Bob Hayes, Power Buyer Green managing director.

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