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BOARD OPERATIONS

HOW CO-OP/CONDO BOARDS OPERATE

Teachable Moments: Practical Ways to Save on Energy Costs

in Board Operations on December 26, 2013

New York City

Dec. 26, 2013

 

Vito Mangini
Director of Management, Tudor Realty Services

Our client, a postwar co-op in Greenwich Village, was using Con Ed steam for heat and hot water. We suggested that they install a boiler with a dual-fuel burner to eliminate their dependence on steam. This involved taking parking spaces from the garage to create a boiler room and an oil-tank storage room. We also installed a chimney for the exhaust – we were able to install one with mechanical induction because it was at the required distance from residential units. The building's energy costs have declined by 50 percent since this work was completed. To this day, board members thank us for presenting this idea to them and encouraging them to make this energy-saving change.

 

Gary M. Gutekunst
Vice President, Gramatan Management

Several years ago, when the cost of fuel began to rise precipitously, we started tracking oil deliveries, the number of gallons dropped and the cost per gallon for our properties. This information was captured in a spreadsheet where we analyzed the usage per season, usage per year, average cost per gallon and cost versus budget. This spreadsheet was presented at each board meeting as a springboard for a discussion of the property's energy costs and what actions the board needed to take into account for these costs. We also discussed fuel assessments, price-locking or capping, and entering in to a budget plan with the provider. The spreadsheet and discussions demystified the process of making energy-cost decisions for our boards and allowed them, no matter their backgrounds, to act confidently.

 

Jeffrey M. Weber
President, Weber-Farhat Realty

When we took over a previously self-managed cooperative, we found many of the vendors were taking advantage of the co-op. The fuel company was charging a dollar a gallon extra for maintenance of the boiler. What was the incentive for the oil company to maximize the efficiency of the system? So, the co-op was burning more oil and being charged more per gallon. We were able to turn a $69,000 deficit per year into a profit of $60,000 per year.

 

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