Operational expenses can eat up a large chunk of an HOA’s budget, leading to additional fees levied against homeowners. In an effort to uphold homeowner satisfaction, HOA boards must examine their budget and expenses carefully. Here are some ways to reduce HOA expenses and save money.
How to Reduce HOA Expenses
It might seem like a difficult challenge to cut HOA costs, particularly for larger communities with more sizable expenses. However, HOAs don’t have to get rid of essential expenses that can affect the association as a whole.
There are some small things HOAs can cut back on that can really add up in savings over time. With presence of mind and some consistency, associations can save money using these 10 ways:
1. Switch Off Unnecessary Equipment
Not all equipment in an HOA setting needs to run on a continuous basis. Examine your common areas and make a list of all the equipment you have. Evaluate when each equipment needs to run and only plug them in during these times. There’s no point in keeping them running all throughout the day when they’re non-essential. This can help your association save on electricity.
2. Assess Service Contracts Regularly
It is imperative to review your service contracts periodically. This way, you can see which vendor services you can cut back on. You may be subscribed to a service you no longer need or use.
In addition, you must maintain a healthy working relationship with all your vendors. Not only is it good for morale, but it can also help you land discounts and special promotions. Check-in with them every now and then to see what they can offer you.
3. Shop Around for Electricity Providers
If there are tons of electricity providers in your area, make sure you evaluate all of them. Consider all your options to see which provider offers the best deals, thereby allowing you to
save more money. Don’t be afraid to get in touch and sit down with them to understand what sort of savings each one has to offer.
4. Enforce Power Saving Tactics
No matter which provider you choose, you can’t save money on electricity if you don’t employ power-saving tactics. There are many ways you can reduce HOA expenses on electricity.
One way is to maintain a schedule detailing which energy-reliant items should be turned on at any given time. Another option is to invest in power-saving equipment. For instance, your HOA may have old light bulbs that consume a lot of electricity. Switching to energy-efficient lighting such as CFL, halogen incandescent, and LED light bulbs can significantly reduce electricity costs.
5. Consider Investing in Solar Energy
There is a lot of promise in the future of solar energy, and HOAs shouldn’t lag behind. Although installation costs aren’t cheap, investing in solar power technologies can reduce HOA expenses by a mile. There are many companies worth considering, so make sure to take each one into account. That way, you can compare their products and prices against each other.
6. Scale Down on Paper Usage
The United States is one of the countries with the largest paper consumption in the world, having utilized 70.6 million metric tons of paper and paperboard in 2018 — second only to China. Although HOAs only take a small fraction of that, it can still make a difference in costs and the environment when you reduce paper usage in your community.
Technology has allowed organizations to cut down on paper usage. Your HOA should consider switching to a digital platform, such as an email system or homeowner online portal. This will not only help you save money but also make it more convenient for members of the association.
7. Conduct Routine Plumbing Maintenance
Water can also take up a big part of your HOA expenses. If your water bill is unusually high, check for any leaks in your plumbing system. Routine maintenance can greatly reduce HOA expenses by preventing leaks and other plumbing issues. You should also check your meter to verify whether your water bill is accurate.
8. Use a Rain Gauge
Another way to cut down on your water bill is to install a rain gauge. Rain gauges are inexpensive and the rainwater you collect as a result can be used for irrigation. Just make sure to inspect your rain gauge regularly to ensure it’s functioning as intended.
9. Modify Your Sprinkler Schedule
It is important to maintain landscaping in your community to enhance curb appeal and keep property values high. But, that doesn’t mean you should keep your sprinklers on at all times. In fact, you can save more water by watering plants a few times a week at longer intervals than watering them more often at shorter intervals. See to it that your sprinkler system follows this schedule.
10. Use Heaters and Air Conditioners Wisely
Heaters and air conditioners can help keep residents comfortable in common areas during cold winters and hot summers, respectively. But, you shouldn’t leave them running all the time. Instead, keep them on timers so that they only turn on when they’re needed. You can also save energy by putting them in one consistent temperature setting.
A Better Tomorrow for Your HOA and the Environment
These methods may seem simple, but they’re also very effective. By employing them in your community, you can significantly reduce HOA expenses in the long run. That will not only bode well for your community and its residents, but it will also greatly help the environment.