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Electrifying Multifamily Spaces: A Dive into Smart Energy and EV Charging

Panelists from the Smart Energy Summit at Distributech International.

In the rapidly evolving landscape of energy management and electric vehicle (EV) charging, multifamily properties hold particular promise. These properties house tens of millions of residents across the country and present a unique set of opportunities for smart energy partnerships and infrastructure development.

At the Smart Energy Summit at Distributech International in Orlando, Florida, our Director of Commercial Partnerships, Mike Mulqueen, joined the “Multifamily Residences: Energy Management at Scale” panel. The discussion featured fellow industry experts, including Jennifer Kent from Parks Associates, Jonathan Coffey from SmartRent, Jeff Hendler from Logical Buildings, and Dr. Kenneth Wacks from Home Building & Energy Systems.

Here are some of the highlights from the panel.

The Importance of Multifamily Properties in Energy Conversations

At the heart of the evolving smart energy landscape is the recognition of multifamily properties as key players in the broader energy conversation. These properties, home to tens of millions of residents, represent not just significant energy consumption hubs but also vast opportunities for innovative energy solutions. The panelists emphasized the urgent need to incorporate multifamily spaces into smart energy management discussions, highlighting their unique position in the housing market.

Multifamily properties, with their dense resident populations and shared infrastructure, offer distinct challenges and opportunities for energy management. They are at the crossroads of individual resident needs and collective property goals, making them prime candidates for smart energy solutions that can scale from single units to entire communities.

The Growing Demand for Smart Energy Solutions

A key focus of the discussion was growing interest from property owners and managers in smart energy solutions. This interest is driven by the potential for new revenue streams, the necessity to plan for the increasing adoption of EVs, and the positive impact of smart energy solutions on net operating income. The conversation underscored the strategic importance of integrating smart energy management practices into multi-dwelling units to stay ahead in a competitive market.

The panel also touched upon the crucial need for standards and regulatory considerations in deploying smart energy solutions and EV charging infrastructure. Establishing clear guidelines and fostering partnerships between property owners, solution providers, and utilities are essential for navigating the complexities of infrastructure upgrades and integration of renewable energy sources.

The Resident’s Perspective: Smart Homes and EV Charging

A significant highlight from the discussion was the demand among multifamily dwelling residents for smart home technologies and EV charging facilities. Despite a currently small percentage of MDU residents owning EVs, the push towards electrification is picking up speed. Making EV charging available is not merely about convenience or environmental stewardship; it’s about meeting the evolving expectations of residents who see EV ownership in their near future.

This, according to Mike, is part of what makes the world of EV charging so exciting. “Frankly,” he said, “it’s a fun industry to work in because there is such overwhelming demand and it’s so consumer-led.”

Looking Ahead: Standards, Regulations, and Future Opportunities

The dialogue also touched upon the essential role of standards and regulatory considerations in deploying smart energy solutions and EV charging infrastructure. The importance of partnerships between property owners, solution providers, and utilities was a recurrent theme, highlighting the collaborative effort required to navigate the complexities of infrastructure upgrades and renewable energy integration.

And there was some recognition of the inevitability of EV charging becoming a fixture of multifamily properties. Mike noted the competitive disadvantage for properties without charging infrastructure, emphasizing that “Everyone kind of knows where this is going… the writing is on the wall.”


The panel discussion underscored a clear consensus: smart energy management and EV charging on multifamily properties are not just far-off nice-to-haves, but technologies which are likely to be immediately useful and which will soon become imperative.

Over the next several years, it will be exciting to watch multifamily properties take on a greater role in our collective push toward electrification and greater sustainability. More conversations like this one will be key to making it happen.

Learn more about smart energy and EV charging technologies for multifamily buildings.

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