It’s not hard to find examples where an emphasis on short-term performance culminated in short-sighted complacency. It’s the intersection where the herd follows the beaten path and champions score atop the vacated field with brazen ingenuity.
Within just the last decade, Alan Greenspan’s warnings of a looming energy crisis came with a recommendation before Congress to back a future of gas imports. Warren Buffet leveraged one of the largest utility company buy-outs in history to double down on his bet on rising prices within a country running out of energy.
That was then. This is now. We are poised to become one of the world’s leading producers of oil and gas, thanks to the ingenuity of outliers.
Many of those who discovered hydraulic fracturing and horizonal drilling were on the fringes of the oil industry without much background in engineering. What they did have is the clarity and desire to problem-solve with an eye toward fiscal solvency and energy independence.
Within the multifamily industry we have also witnessed a pioneering spirit toward energy efficiency and conservation. We look to control rising costs and remain profitable in an industry where more and more is required on less and less margin.
Benchmarking has become pervasive as legislators across the country set their sites on mapping energy use in apartments with a mind toward conservation. NWP has been in front of this growing momentum for over a decade now.
At the National Multi Housing Council’s Op Tech conference in Dallas last month, I had the pleasure of joining my friend, Michael Zatz, chief at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on a panel discussion about utility management technology. Zatz has a strong hand in EPA’s ENERGY STAR brand, and my company, NWP, is its only official Portfolio Manager-certified company from the multifamily industry.
At NWP, we’ve been measuring, monitoring and building high-yield methods of conservation across multifamily portfolios, dramatically cutting utility bills by virtue of simple processes that don’t involve a single solar panel or windmill (though when those pencil, we’re there.)
Even amidst the noise and confusion of our economy and fiscal imbalance, spreadsheets still speak the truth. Performance is found in first knowing the facts, and acting upon them with clarity and knowledge.
It will continue to be our saving grace and what makes this industry great.