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A Guide to Energy Audits

Energy audits are a powerful tool for uncovering operational and equipment improvements that will save energy, reduce energy costs, and lead to higher performance. Energy audits can be done as a stand-alone effort but may be conducted as part of a larger analysis across a group of facilities, or across an owner’s entire portfolio. This guide provides an overview of the energy audit process, including an overview of the different energy audit options available and information on how to select an energy auditor.
Energy Audit

Report on Investor Consents for Energy and Water Efficiency Improvements

The benefits of energy and water conservation in the affordable multifamily industry have been documented thoroughly over the past several years.  From the reduction in utility costs to the federal government; to the preservation of affordable housing by decreasing operating costs and thus keeping rents affordable and properties viable; and to the improvements to resident health and comfort, it is easy to see how important the reduction in energy and water usage is to our properties housing low income households.    Yet only a minor fraction of affordable multifamily housing developments have benefited from energy and water efficiency improvements.  This leads to the question that if energy and water conservation is so important to affordable housing, why has so little been accomplished? The answer is not a simple one.  Successful efficiency efforts face many challenges and hurdles.   These include the difficulty of finding financial resources to fund the retrofits; convincing property owners and managers of the benefits of energy upgrades; locating qualified auditors and installers of equipment; and obtaining approvals from property lenders and investors to undertake energy retrofits.   This paper focuses on one of these hurdles: the achievement of investor consents for the performance of energy and water retrofits on affordable multifamily developments funded through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Program. 
Consents Retrofit

New York City Local Law 84 Benchmarking Report

New York City has released its third annual Local Law 84 Benchmarking Report. The new report analyzes a trove of building energy use data from 2012, collected from more than 23,000 buildings representing more than 2.1 billion square feet of space. It shows an increasing number of building owners are consistently reporting their energy and water use to the city and that the data collected is allowing the city to identify construction types and systems characteristics to better direct policies and programs toward the greatest energy efficiency opportunities.

ENERGY STAR Score for Multifamily Housing in the United States

The ENERGY STAR Score for Multifamily Housing applies to buildings that contain 20 or more residential living units. The objective of the ENERGY STAR score is to provide a fair assessment of the energy performance of a property relative to its peers, taking into account the climate, weather, and business activities at the property. To identify the aspects of building activity that are significant drivers of energy use and then normalize for those factors, a statistical analysis of the peer building population is performed. The result of this analysis is an equation that will predict the energy use of a property, based on its experienced business activities. The energy use prediction for a building is compared to its actual energy use to yield a 1 to 100 percentile ranking of performance, relative to the national population.


Rising utility rates create financial risk for owners and reduce affordability for tenants of multifamily properties. To combat this challenge and multifamily properties' impact on the natural environment, the Fannie Mae Multifamily Mortgage Business (Fannie Mae) launched the Green Initiative. The mission of the Fannie Mae Multifamily Green Initiative is to enhance the quality, affordability, and environmental sustainability of multifamily housing in the United States. The Green Initiative provides leadership in the multifamily industry by offering Green Financing loans for smart property improvements and delivering innovative tools that measure and capture the value of energy and water efficiency. As of the first quarter of 2014, Fannie Mae has financed $130 million in Green Preservation Plus loans or in loans that are backed by properties with a Green Building certification. These loans are securitized as Green Mortgage Backed Securities (Green MBS), a securitization standard set by Fannie Mae. Green Preservation Plus provides up to an 85% loan to value (LTV) ratio for owners of Affordable housing to transform their property through energy efficiency, water efficiency, and general property improvements. Fannie Mae’s newest Green Financing product, the Multifamily Property Improvement to Reduce Energy (M-PIRE) loan, underwrites a portion of the property’s projected energy and water cost savings, providing additional loan proceeds for cost-saving upgrades to the common area and to tenant units. To accurately assess a property’s potential for energy and water savings, Fannie Mae developed and published the High Performance Building Module for public use. This module expands a traditional Property Conditions Assessment report by including an energy and water audit. The audit reveals cost saving opportunities and assists to mitigate property condition risks. In 2011, Fannie Mae identified that multifamily owners needed a simple way to understand their property’s energy performance but that a single, nationally recognized metric did not exist. Fannie Mae Multifamily Mortgage Business partnered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to deliver the 1 – 100 ENERGY STAR® score for multifamily properties. As a result of this partnership, Fannie Mae is proud to announce that the ENERGY STAR score is available for use by the multifamily industry as of September 16, 2014. The 1 – 100 ENERGY STAR score is a product of the Fannie Mae Multifamily Energy and Water Market Research Survey (Survey). In 2012, Fannie Mae surveyed over 1,000 multifamily properties across the U.S. for statistically relevant and comprehensive energy and water information. The EPA used the resulting Survey data to create the ENERGY STAR Score for multifamily. Fannie Mae also invested in the Survey to provide owners with greater understanding of a multifamily property’s energy and water performance, trends and metrics. This paper shares the valuable information and metrics collected through the Survey.
EnergyStar Report/Research Brief Water

Georgia Power's Home Energy Improvement Program: Multifamily and Public Housing Authority Properties

Georgia Power's Home Energy Improvement Program: Multifamily and Public Housing Authority Properties
  • THE MULTIFAMILY WHOLE-HOUSE APPROACH--Maximum Potential Rebate: Up to $1,100 Per Unit
  • THE MULTIFAMILY INDIVIDUAL IMPROVEMENTS APPROACH--Maximum Potential Rebate: Up to $350 Per Unit Annually
  • Energy Audit PTEEGA Utility Incentives & Programs

    Increasing Energy Efficiency in Small Multifamily Properties in the Northeast

    Residential multifamily properties represent not only a significant share of the housing stock in the region, but a significant opportunity to capture energy efficiency savings through cost-effective retrofit measures. The ability to attain these savings has never been more vital, as state policymakers throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States are setting ever stronger energy efficiency goals. In the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region, the small multifamily housing sector – defined as housing in buildings with between five and 20 units – accounts for approximately 2.1 million occupied housing units out of a total of 26 million total housing units. However, much of the potential energy efficiency in these units remains unrealized. The nature of the multifamily housing stock – and, in particular, the small multifamily sector – creates a unique set of challenges that have until now largely stymied the retrofit market. Yet some successful models for reaching the small multifamily sector have begun to emerge. This paper is meant to inform energy efficiency stakeholders and policymakers about best practices gleaned from examining existing programs and policies addressing energy efficiency in the small multifamily housing market; to identify continuing gaps in the ability to penetrate that market to an even greater extent; and to present recommendations for programs and policies that may hold the promise of additional energy savings.
    Policy Proposal

    City of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management Multifamily Toilet Rebate Program Application

    Department of Watershed Management Multifamily Toilet Rebate Program Application. Rebates are limited to multifamily property owners and/or management companies whose properties are City of Atlanta water customers.
    PTEEGA Utility Incentives & Programs

    City of Multifamily Toilet Rebate Program Overview

    The City of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management extends its high-efficiency toilet rebate to multifamily customers. Apartment and condominium communities that are City of Atlanta water customers may qualify.
    PTEEGA Utility Incentives & Programs

    City of Atlanta Multifamily Toilet Rebate Recycling Guidelines

    Multifamily toilet rebate program participants are required to recycle toilets that are being replaced and to show proof of recycling in the form of a “load ticket” from one of three porcelain recyclers in the Atlanta area.
    PTEEGA Utility Incentives & Programs

    Focus on Energy Multifamily Energy Savings Program (Wisconsin)

    Focus on Energy is the Wisconsin utilities' statewide program for energy efficiency and renewable energy. It is a partnership of all Wisconsin investor owned utilities plus many municipal and cooperative utilities. It assists Wisconsin residents and businesses in implementing energy saving projects by:

    • Offering unbiased information and technical assistance to participating utilities’ electric and/or natural gas customers
    • Providing financial incentives (Custom and Prescriptive) for energy saving projects that would not occur otherwise
    PTEEMN Utility Incentives & Programs

    Alliant Energy 2014 Multifamily Programs (Iowa)

    Types of benefits for owners include:

    • Existing total property energy assessment
    • Rebates
    Energy Audit PTEEMN Utility Incentives & Programs

    CenterPoint Energy Efficiency Incentives for the Multifamily Sector in Minnesota

    Types of benefits for owners include:

    • Prescriptive rebates for boilers, tune-ups, water heaters, steam traps
    • Custom rebates for low-flow, windows, building envelope
    • Audits, Energy Design Assitance and Others
    • Bonus rebates are available for Affordable Housing
    Energy Audit PTEEMN Utility Incentives & Programs

    Xcel Energy Multi-Family Building Minnesota Conservation Programs

    Types of Programs include:

    • Prescriptive / Fixed Rebates (Commonly used Equipment)
    • Custom
    • Holistic Programs
    • Studies
    • Rate Savings
    Energy Audit PTEEMN Utility Incentives & Programs

    Minnesota Energy Resources Multifamily Energy Savings Program

    Minnesota Energy Resource launched new sector specific Multifamily Program in August 2013, implemented by CEE. It is a comprehensive program addressing energy and water savings opportunities and is free to qualifying building owners.
    PTEEMN Utility Incentives & Programs

    Green Tax Incentive Compendium: Federal and State Tax Incentives for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (July 2014)

    This volume presents certain federal and state tax incentives promoting the renewable energy and energy efficiency industries. Each section outlines the basic features and regulatory requirements for a tax program which provides financial incentives for clean technology development through renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. A "Western U.S." version is also available. Contact Jerome Garciano at for details.
    Incentives Program Summary Renewable Energy Utility Incentives & Programs

    Retrofit Case Study: Loft 27, Lowell, Mass.

    Boston-based WinnCompanies has cut its electric bill for common areas by 25% at Loft 27, a 173-unit apartment building, as the result of efficiency retrofit and solar projects completed in 2012. The apartment development was created from the adaptive re-use of an historic former mill.
    Energy Audit Lighting Retrofit Solar Utility Incentives & Programs

    Retrofit Case Study: R Street Apartments, Washington, D.C.

    RStreet Apartments, a collection of 130 apartment units in five historic low-rise buildings, is an example of a situation where an initial green retrofit project doesn’t have to be the end-all and be-all. Rather, new upgrades a few years later can reap additional utility cost savings. Less than four years after a LIHTC renovation was completed, the developer NHT/Enterprise decided to look deeper into property savings and determined that a new, smaller water retrofit project made economic sense.
    Utility Incentives & Programs Water

    Energy Advocacy: Groups Seek to Expand Funding for Efficiency Improvements in Affordable Housing Properties

    Retrofitting affordable multifamily rental housing properties to make them more energy efficient is critically important for building owners and managers. Energy consumption is the largest or second-largest category of operating expenses in these kinds of properties. However, investing in energy efficiency improvements requires capital, which can be difficult to secure in the current era of constrained public budgets. To address this, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), National Housing Trust (NHT), the Energy Foundation, Elevate Energy, and New Ecology, Inc. have joined forces to achieve a common goal: boosting utility and state funding available for energy efficiency improvements in multifamily housing properties, particularly affordable housing. We focus specifically on a growing source of funding that has been largely untapped by this market: utility-supported state energy efficiency programs.
    Utility Incentives & Programs

    Cutting Utility Costs: The Residences at Wood Street, Pittsburgh, Pa.

    The investment of a mere $1.25 million in energy and water retrofit improvements at a 91-year-old, 16-story mixed-use building in downtown Pittsburgh, Pa. is already generating substantial savings from reduced utility costs, while providing more comfortable living conditions for the residents.
    Energy Audit PTEEPA Retrofit Water

    Displaying 41 – 60 of 199 files