Park City, Utah, located 32 miles east of Salt Lake City is recognized worldwide as a tourist hot-spot.
Whether it’s hosting Olympic events, serving as home base for the prestigious Sundance Film Festival or enticing winter sports enthusiasts to its numerous ski resorts, the visiting population of Park City easily surpasses the number of permanent residents. Still, there are nearly 8,000 individuals who reside in the city year round, with a number of families calling the Aspen Villas at Park City apartment community home.
With attractive amenities and proximity to the downtown area, the 88 units at Aspen Villas — a Cornerstone Residential property – boast a near 98% occupancy rate. But as a landlocked municipality, the availability of water in Park City is scarce and the cost of this natural resource has been extremely high for the property. Looking for ways to reduce costs as well as lower its other utility bills, Aspen Villas worked with Cleveland Faucet Group, Moen’s multifamily brand, to install water-saving showerheads and low-flow faucet aerators into the kitchens and bathrooms of each unit.
“Our property spends tens of thousands of dollars annually on water bills alone,” Aspen Villas at Park City Property Manager Karla Cruz said. “We knew there had to be a way to lower those costs without jeopardizing our residents’ daily experiences.”
Cruz and her team worked with CFG and installed 85 showerheads and 170 aerators in the bathrooms and kitchens throughout the property in September 2012.
Switching to the CFG products has made a palpable impact on Aspen Villas’ bottom line. Water usage was monitored from January 2012 to August 2012 and then from January 2013 to August 2013, and showed the property has experienced a 25% reduction on its water bills. Sewer usage was monitored during the same time periods and showed a 10% savings on its sewer bills.
In addition, gas usage was monitored from April through August 2012 and then again during those months in 2013. Results showed 23% less hot water was used by the new CFG showerheads.
Reducing water usage, increasing satisfaction
The Cornerstone showerhead was installed throughout Aspen Villas’ units and is designed to provide the durability multifamily properties need while ensuring a lower total cost of ownership. Also, the showerheads are WaterSense-certified and meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s guidelines as environmentally responsible and efficient products.
“Our property management team is extremely satisfied with the impact the products had from a cost-savings perspective. We were able to save more than $20,000,” Cruz explains.
To ensure the residents at Aspen Villas were satisfied with the performance of the retrofit, a survey was distributed to each unit. It inquired if residents had noticed a difference in the shower since the installation of the low-flow showerheads, as well as if there were any changes in the performance of the kitchen and bathroom faucets with the low-flow aerators.
“Honestly, we were a little nervous as to what the responses would be,” Cruz adds. “When we communicated that we would be making this change, there were residents who were not on board with the idea of a ‘low-flow’ shower. But, we were pleased to learn they’re extremely happy with the changes. In fact, many didn’t even notice a difference and even commented that they preferred the new showerhead.”
Alleviating maintenance issues
While lowering the property’s operating costs, switching showerheads and aerators has drastically decreased the number of maintenance calls for plumbing-related issues.
“The number of work orders coming in for faucet or showering problems has gone down significantly since the switch,” Cruz says.
Not only have there been fewer service calls to units, but Aspen Villas has not replaced any of the new showerheads or aerators since they were installed.
“The main reason we looked for new plumbing fixtures was for the water savings,” Cruz says. “The durability and reliability of these products is an added bonus for our property. We only have one maintenance worker on staff; by reducing the amount of time he has to devote to plumbing issues, he’s able to focus his efforts elsewhere.”