Balfour Beatty Communities Awarded DOE Grant for Residential Energy Savings Program
9 July, 2012
Balfour Beatty Communities LLC, a subsidiary of Balfour Beatty Capital Group Inc. and a leading Public Private Partnership (PPP) developer and property management company for military family housing, announced it has been selected for a Smart Grid Data Access Award from the Department of Energy (DOE) through its property management division, Balfour Beatty Military Housing Management LLC. The award will help fund a new “Switch 4 Good” program, an initiative aimed at helping residents in military family housing better manage their energy use by providing them with high tech smart meter information and three distinct, personalised sets of conservation tools.
Historically, military families living on-base were not responsible for utility costs, resulting in higher than average energy consumption overall. In recent years, each branch of Service has started to work with their housing privatisation partners, like Balfour Beatty Communities, to enact utility programs that transfer some responsibility for utility costs to residents and encourage them to reduce energy consumption. Those utility cost savings will be reinvested back into the military housing projects for additional renovations, amenities and other improvements.
The Switch 4 Good program will capitalise on an upcoming transition on 11 Department of Navy installations in the Southeast region where military families living on-base will become responsible for a portion of their energy consumption. The program will leverage this transition as a pilot to determine which of three resident engagement strategies will maximise Navy families’ energy savings. The three groups will include: baseline management by house type, digital outreach campaigns and personal energy use coaching. The most successful program will be considered for expansion throughout Balfour Beatty Communities’ privatised military housing locations across the US.
"The Switch 4 Good program is the first and largest program of its kind that leverages real-time data and several behavior change initiatives simultaneously. It’s an exciting opportunity to investigate energy consumption changes resulting from increased access to personalised energy information,” said Tabitha Crawford, SVP Sustainability & Innovation for Balfour Beatty Capital Group. “We are looking forward to piloting this program with our Navy residents and using the results to reduce energy consumption at all of our installations. The results from our study will also be important for utilities and municipalities across North America to help meet carbon reduction strategies."
Silicon Valley based WattzOn Inc, the personal energy management platform that helps people save money and energy, will provide energy consumption expertise and software for the pilot program. WattzOn’s initial program with Balfour Beatty Communities proved particularly impactful, yielding an 18% average energy savings across 40 homes. Yardi will serve as the Switch 4 Good program smart technology provider, having recently acquired ista North America’s Multifamily Services Group (MSG), a leading supplier of energy and water metering, billing and management services. Yardi is one of the largest providers of energy management services in the US, serving more than 700,000 apartment units.
According to Balfour Beatty Communities’ President, Chris Williams, “We believe truly sustainable communities must consistently find ways to reduce risks and improve resident satisfaction. While we are so pleased to have the DOE’s matching financial contribution for this project, we feel it is important to invest our own time and resources in developing innovative ways to conserve energy. What we learn today can be used to improve other communities tomorrow.”
For more information on the DOE’s Smart Grid, visit http://energy.gov/gc/services/smartgrid-information
For further information contact:
Balfour Beatty Capital Group Inc.
Tel. +1 610 355 8136
Notes to editors:
Balfour Beatty Communities LLC, a subsidiary of Balfour Beatty Capital Group Inc., is responsible for the development, renovation, operation and management of military privatisation housing projects for the US Departments of the Army, Navy and Air Force. Setting the industry standard, the company is committed to sustainable business practices and is a leader in the military housing Public Private Partnership (PPP or P3) industry, currently providing services to members of the US military and their families residing at 48 military communities in 26 states and Washington DC. For more information, visit balfourbeattycommunities.com
Balfour Beatty Capital Group Inc. specialises in partnering with government entities and high performing public sector firms to implement their strategic plans through a Public Private Partnership (PPP/P3) model. Through the Company’s three divisions, Balfour Beatty Communities LLC Balfour Beatty Capital Inc., and Balfour Beatty Campus Solutions LLC, it is one of the leading providers of PPP projects in the United States with more than 1,100 employees nationwide. For more information, visit bbcgrp.com
Balfour Beatty Capital Group is a part of Balfour Beatty plc, the largest UK-based international infrastructure group operating in construction services, professional services, support services and infrastructure investments, with a 100-year history. Balfour Beatty Capital Group leverages its capabilities with the expertise of its US affiliated companies, Balfour Beatty Construction, Parsons Brinckerhoff Inc, Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Inc, and Balfour Beatty Rail Inc.