Improving Hot Water Delivery in Multifamily Buildings

Water/Energy: Linking Efficiency Efforts (Special Edition)
A version of this article appears in the Water/Energy: Linking Efficiency Efforts (Special Edition) issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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June 05, 2007
Central water-heating systems, which handle large amounts of energy and water, are usually more efficient than individual water heaters for multifamily buildings. This is because the total volume of hot water being stored is reduced, tank losses are lower, and heater efficiencies tend to be higher. But more often than not, central systems still use more energy and water than they need to. Because even small improvements to large systems can yield dramatic results, a central system is a low-hanging fruit for energy and water savings. Especially because the consequences of success or failure in making improvements are high for the developers and managers of multifamily buildings, as their decisions affect energy costs, tenant satisfaction, and ultimately the bottom-line capitalization rate of the building. This concentration of incentives makes multifamily buildings with central water heating a prime opportunity for energy and water savings.

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