Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Royal Flush

I would like to respond to the presentation this morning by Andrew and Melissa. One of their ending points about conservation was the landlord incentive, and that applies to me.

In my apartment complex, the utility bills that I pay are only for electricity. Water, gas, and heat are paid for by the landlord. Now, knowing that, here are two quick stories.

At the beginning of last semester, and my lease term, I was informed by my landlord that the rent had gone up since the previous term. After asking why, the response was that electric bills had gone up. Naturally, since the landlord isn't paying the bill, what does he care about its conservation, and instead he decides to raise rent to compensate...wonderful.

Just a few months ago, all the apartments received the wonderful new luxury of having new toilets put in. These toilets, manufactured by Niagara Flapperless, Inc., are a low-flow water conserving toilet. They offer a lower gallons per flush, and have some other conservation features like prevention of leaking and tampering of water per flush. This is nice and all, but it really makes me wonder if the water bill has gone up recently. Obviously, when it hits him in the pocket, THEN it's time for some energy conservation!


John Losinger said...

I would assume that these environmentally friendly upgrades have some tax benefit for the property owners.

My apartment complex has also recently partaken in a few "green" upgrades; two of which reminded me of class.

Just yesterday, I had a note on my door from the leasing office titled "Gables Residential: Taking Care of our Environment, Reduce-Reuse-Recycle." Needless to say, I couldn't get that stupid Jack Johnson song out of my head...

Also, my apartment recently installed a new, completely unnecessary bike rack (most people just lock them to the stairwell or keep them inside. I would advise the latter, as my bike was actually stolen off of my second story balcony).

Something tells me that they had a financial incentive for installing that bike rack.

Aziz Hussaini said...

The Austin Water Utility is cuurently offering free toilets as part of a water conservation program. The program is open to apartment complexes as well, and allocates three free toilets per apartment.

The toilet provided is the "Niagara Ecolofic HETs" (high efficiency toielt), just like the one you mentioned. I am sure you landlord is getting these for free, although he is paying to have them installed.

I think this is a win for both you and the landlord. You get a new toilet to break in, your landlord saves money on his utility bill, and both of you can fell happy about using less water with every flush.

If only every story had such a happy ending.