Kimco Realty, one of the nation’s largest owners of retail shopping centers in the U.S. with over 550 sites that serve thousands of retailers around the country, has been one of the leaders in sustainability efforts winning many awards and much praise for its efforts within the commercial real estate industry. Looking to expand the company’s award-winning environmental efforts, Kimco decided to review the water usage at their properties to improve efficiency and help reduce tenant costs.
Nate Mitten, senior manager of property standards and improvements at Kimco, explained, "Typically, shopping center properties rely on master water meters to serve multiple tenants. We wanted to find a better solution of managing water use and concluded that the installation of sub-meters offers the greatest opportunity to encourage water conservation. To accomplish this initiative, it was important for us to build a turnkey solution by partnering with a company who possessed a national footprint, understood local utility regulations, and could work directly with our retail tenants."
After careful consideration, they selected Energy Management Systems, Inc (EMS), a leading provider of comprehensive utility management solutions for commercial and multi-family properties across the U.S. to help them achieve these goals.
"Based on our previous experience working with EMS, which included sub-meter reading, billing services, energy procurement, benchmarking, and a variety of site assessments, we decided that they were the proper firm to help us accomplish our goal," said Mitten.
Kimco and EMS worked for months to develop a thorough and strategic approach and are now nearing the completion of the 2nd phase of projects. This collaborative effort involves Kimco’s national operations team and EMS’s project managers planning the project and then subsequently coordinating the implementation at the site-level with the property managers and tenants to minimize any impediment to their business operations.
Joseph Brnich, vice president of operations at EMS, described, "Our methodology for this major project with Kimco starts with a site assessment by our team of experienced survey technicians. During this survey, our staff evaluates each tenant space to determine and identify the proper meter location, correct meter size, any necessary plumbing work required and any special requirements from the tenant to make sure our installation won’t impede on their operation."
"Some of these site surveys also include full water line tracing to identify exactly which tenants are served by each master utility meter. Once complete, we provide a detailed proposal outlining our recommendations for each tenant space and thereby provide insight on exactly what is required before the first meter is ever purchased or installed," said Brnich.
Once the sub-meters have been installed, each tenant’s utility consumption is more easily measured. The wireless Automated Meter Reading (AMR) system allows for constant monitoring of the consumption and can identify anomalies that might indicate a problem such as a water leak or running toilet. EMS also graphically displays this consumption on their website and provides Kimco access to the water meter data. All the raw data is downloadable in pdf, xls, or csv formats.
To discuss your sustainability project, contact EMS at 800-965-9642 x400 or email Sales@ems3.com. For more information about EMS please visit http://ems3.com/.
Energy efficient lighting is an excellent means to build sustainability through reduces operating costs on electricity and CO2 reduction. EMS has recently established a strategic partnership with Philadelphia area Independence LED Lighting. See the announcement in on this GREENandSAVE page.