Regency adds 54 centers to outdoor water conservation initiative

Jacksonville, Fla. Based upon achieving 30% savings since the inception of its outdoor water conservation pilot project, Regency Centers announced it is expanding its initiative to 54 additional shopping centers.

In December 2008, Regency Centers selected 36 of its existing shopping centers for a pilot program to install high-efficiency “smart” irrigation controllers aimed at reducing its outdoor water consumption. Now, as a result of the success of the pilot, Regency Centers is installing “smart” irrigation controllers at 54 additional shopping centers in Arizona (3), California (17), Colorado (4), Florida (11), Oregon (1), Texas (17), and Washington (1).

Regency plans for the additional 54 properties to be installed by the end of the year.

According to Mark Peternell, the company’s VP of sustainability, the results of the pilot initiative confirmed that ordinary irrigation controllers result in over-watering. On the other hand, the ‘smart’ irrigation controllers, which adjust the irrigation schedule based on local weather conditions and other parameters, have proven to save water and reduce operating expenses.

“Success is determined by a year-over-year decrease in water consumption while maintaining the landscaping to Regency's quality standard. The ‘smart’ systems have met our savings expectations of 30% and resulted in substantially lower water bills, especially at properties with tiered rate structures,” said Peternell.

Regency anticipates a savings of more than 96 million gallons of water per year. This will result in a proportional reduction in operating expenses and provide an on-going benefit to the company and its tenants, according to Regency

Peternell said that going forward, Regency will incrementally apply the technology into its portfolio as long as the savings continue to accrue and the overall return on investment continues to make sound financial sense.

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