Looking at Utility data and trying to figure what it means is like trying to eat an elephant.  It’s massive.  Where do you start?  The answer it to take it one bite at a time.  Focus on a region, city or state and pull your data down.  I like excel.  It is easy for me to use. (First bite taken).  Then, pick a building characteristic that is meaningful to you; maybe you want to focus on properties with pools, or units per acre.  I like units per acre because I have found the higher density product tends to be buildings with less landscape, and low density tends to have more landscaped areas and carports.  (Bite two).  Sort your properties as you know them.  (Bite three).  Pick something you want to look at. Water, Trash, Energy, etc.  (Bite four) Compare on a cost per unit basis.  I have used this method of benchmarking to start my assessment of which properties are running efficiently and which need a deeper dive.  This is also helpful to me because sometimes the smaller properties can be the biggest users on a cost per unit basis.  One property in particular, thanks to this simple exercise, we were able to reduce our water consumption by 60%.  Again, one bite at a time.

 

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