27 Jun 2019 | 08.50 am
Bord Gáis Energy Interview: Georgina Browne
Energy efficiency at Winters Property Management
27 Jun 2019 | 08.50 am
Bord Gáis Energy works to be a business partner for its customers by using its unrivalled experience in the energy industry to help customers run their business. This month, we feature Georgina Browne (pictured), Financial Controller and Director of Winters Property Management, who offers some helpful tips on energy use.
Winters Property Management is one of Ireland’s largest property services providers, with over 7,500 commercial and residential units being managed by the firm, and a further 600 properties being leased and directly managed by Winters. Established in 1997, the company currently employs 46 staff across six offices and is headquartered in Galway City.
How does Winters ensure the smooth running of the properties it manages?
The expertise and quality of our staff is at the core of our success, bringing expertise in property management, finance, credit control and customer service. Our teams experience means that we can manage properties at various stages of construction and through to completion.
We develop individual asset management strategies for our clients, with our finance and credit control teams helping to build effective financial and strategic asset management proposals, including for distressed portfolios with high arrears. This extensive experience, combined with our use of the most up-to-date property software, ensures that we offer our clients the best service available.
Why is energy efficiency important for Winters?
Increased energy efficiency means reduced energy costs, which delivers better value for money for our clients and reduces our environmental impact. In the past year, we have embarked on a programme to upgrade the heating and cooling systems in our offices to the most energy-efficient units. This programme also involved lighting sensors being installed in common areas to ensure lights are only used when necessary.
We also perform an annual ‘Winter Lighting Check’ where we survey all the properties we manage to ensure they are lit correctly and everything is running efficiently. We have also promoted and implemented many lighting upgrade programmes, including the installation of new LED lighting, which has helped to reduce energy costs and increase our energy efficiency.
How has Bord Gáis Energy helped you with your business?
Our relationship with Bord Gáis Energy began over two years ago and since then they have not disappointed on either price or service. The advice from our key account manager has been hugely valuable to us, especially for managing our energy usage. The detailed usage reports we received from Bord Gáis Energy have helped to identify potential issues and led to significant savings for us and our clients.
What energy management tips would you give to those leasing out properties?
When dealing with tenants, our biggest tip is to check the type of heating system installed at the property and ensure the thermostat is set correctly, with the timer feature set for when heat will be needed. Lighting is another key area for energy management and we would advise tenants to only light areas when they are in use. Landlords also need to ensure that boilers are maintained, which will contribute to better energy efficiency.
What does the future hold for Winters?
We are continuing to grow and win new business. Most recently, we were appointed to manage two student villages in Sligo and have continued to expand the consultancy side of our business with recent appointments in Dublin. There are challenges ahead too, with new legislation on ‘rent pressure zones’ and rent caps needing to be carefully managed to ensure our compliance.