Water and Energy Nexus

Conserve water and reduce spending on both water and energy

The drought may be over, but water cost control should still a priority for California property owners. As we approach the heat of summer, water use due to landscaping, pools, and spas increase, and so do water and sewer costs. In addition to the cost of water, the energy used to heat water—15% of utility bills on average—presents an opportunity for multifamily properties to conserve water and reduce spending on both water and energy. The following are three ways in which your property can take control of water costs.

Water-conservation programs

There are many programs throughout Northern California that help reduce water costs by providing incentives for water-saving devices or drought-tolerant landscaping, training for apartment staff, and useful water conservation information articles.

The Multifamily Upgrade Program coordinates with many water conservation programs throughout the state, and will help you find water and cost-saving solutions for your property and residents. Please call us at 866-352-7457 to get connected with these opportunities.


Often, staff set water heater, pool, and spa temperatures too high, wasting energy and creating the potential for safety hazards—namely scalding. Follow these quick tips to maximize efficiency:

In addition, make sure to have maintenance staff fix leaks around your property. Remember, wasting hot water means wasting the energy to heat the water. A leak of one drip per second can cost $35 a year.

Upgrade Equipment

When it comes to water saving, nothing is easier and provides a quicker return on investment than installing low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators.

  • Installing new, $20 low-flow showerheads will pay for themselves in approximately four months.
  • Installing new, $5 faucet aerators on older faucets will save up to 85% on water costs and pay for themselves in one month.

Coordinate with MUP

As mentioned, the Multifamily Upgrade Program coordinates with many water conservation initiatives throughout PG&E territory. We can calculate the energy use reductions based on your property’s water savings through a program retrofit, and can help you find the right incentives for your property, both water and energy efficiency opportunities.