Bellwether Housing owns and manages 29 apartment buildings that provide affordable housing for more than 3,000 Seattle residents, many of whom are low-income families and seniors. Bellwether aims to keep housing costs as low as possible for its residents, which means keeping energy bills in check.

Through Portfolio Manager benchmarking, Bellwether found that annual utility expenses at Mercer Court were among the highest of all its buildings. From 2007 to 2010, energy costs at Mercer Court had increased by about $300 per unit. The building was a prime candidate for an energy efficiency overhaul.

With assistance from the Enterprise Green Retrofit Program, Bellwether had an energy audit to pinpoint exactly where and how Mercer Court was wasting energy. Then they made some easy fixes, like adjusting the irrigation system, and cleaning dryer vents in the central laundry facility.

The result: 40 percent lower energy use in October and November 2011, compared to the same period a year earlier.


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