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Wisconsin Multifamily Benchmark

March/April 2007
This article originally appeared in the March/April 2007 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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March 01, 2007
Madison Gas and Electric's goal was simply to give its customers a sense of the range of electricity and gas costs across a variety of larger multifamily properties.
A building owner or operator asks: How does the energy bill for my 1970s era, 20-unit apartment building compare to the energy bills of other apartment buildings in the city?  A developer asks: Should we install individual furnaces, a condensing boiler, or a closed water loop heat pump system in our new multifamily property? The staff of Madison Gas and Electric (MGE)—the primary energy supplier for the growing metropolitan area of Madison, Wisconsin—gets these kinds of questions often. MGE decided in 2005 to undertake a study of multifamily buildings in its service territory, and to build usable benchmarks for multifamily building energy costs so that we could answer these questions accurately. But comparing heating and cooling options for multifamily buildings is complicated. Different heating and cooling strategies involve different fuels. And the fuel may be paid for by tenants, or by landlords, or even through commercial tenant utility accounts. So MGE’s goal was simply to give its customers a sense of the range of electricity and natural gas costs across a variety of larger multifamily properties. To conduct the study, MGE enlisted the assistance of the Energy Center of Wisconsin.  Dalhoff and Associates ...

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