5 “smart” ways your PHA can save money

Posted on July 19, 2017


By 2020, more than 50-billion things or devices will be connected to the internet! Property owners face many questions like.. Are your properties connected? Can your units meet the demands and desires of connectivity? How can “the internet of things” save you money?

It takes an investment upfront, of course, but there are several connected devices that can make your properties more coat and operationally efficient.

  1. Leak Detection Tools: Capita Software in the United Kingdom says, “Water damage can be more costly to repair than fire damage, because it can go unnoticed for a relatively long time. Therefore, having your asset protected by a humidity or water sensor could result in a lower premium – times that by several thousand properties and the savings could significant.” Also consider that one leaky toilet could waste about 6000 gallons a month! That one toilet could drive a utility bill up thousands per year. A smart leak detector can catch the leak early, prevent damage and save money for the PHA.
  2. Smart Thermostats: High energy costs are avoidable. The Peregrine Group looked at various smart thermostats in 2013. “Smart” means the thermostats “are accessible via the Internet, and they offer advanced features for turning down and turning up room temperatures based on learned, programmed, or sensed occupancy conditions.” In the end, they estimated “energy savings from reduced temperature levels are about 4.5% per 1 Degree F per day.. an intelligent thermostat makes it easier to turn the heating off when it is not needed, then your heating bill will drop 4.5%. The lower the heating bill, the higher the energy savings” for the PHA.
  3. Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors: These detectors are not only capable of alerting your PHA staff to a possible issue. Some models may be able to alert you to a tenant smoking in their units. And according to Richard Taylor, they might also be able to:
    • Reduce the frequency of nuisance alarms
    • “Make it possible to automate certain tasks such as ‘battery and function tests’ while ‘freeing the user from this burden.'” This could definitely increase productivity.
  4. Smart Locks: Smart locks can increase productivity as well. explains how smart locks can make your property managers more efficient: “When a tenant moves out, property owners or managers no longer have to worry about getting the key back or having to re-key the lock. Property owners and managers can simply log in and deactivate a previous tenant’s smartphone access to the unit.”
  5. Cameras: Security cameras are something many residents may want. New York City installed cameras at 31 buildings in January 2016. Efforts to install them shifted into high gear after “the horrific stabbing of two children in the elevator of a Brooklyn housing project.” At that time, the city had 1,000 cameras in 219 of 328 developments. The technology came with an $18 million price tag. The city and state teamed up to make it happen.

Any of these new technologies will make your property stand out and make property management more efficient. The one downside is that technology is constantly changing! PHAs must be mindful of the “hackability” of these connected devices. For more on that, check out this interactive look at “Your Hackable House” from CNNMoney.


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Ebony Hall
Marketing Coordinator
Ebony has 20 years of experience in communications. She enjoys engaging our audience on social media and with video. Before joining Navigate in 2016, Ebony was a morning show anchor and tv host. She's currently completing her Masters degree in Strategic Public Relations at George Washington University. She finished undergrad at UGA.
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