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Ultimate Green: Residents Save Money at New Solar-Powered Apartment Property in Southern California

Residents get their electricity mostly for free at Arbor Green Apartments, a new 40-unit low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) development in Los Angeles County. The reason? A sprawling rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) system at the site that supplies nearly all of the power for the entire property, including the apartments and common areas.
Renewable Energy Solar

Making Green Building Work: The Importance of Resident Engagement

After a green affordable multifamily rental housing project is completed, either through new construction or renovation, will the expected energy and water cost savings actually be achieved? To a large degree, the answer depends on the day-to-day actions of the residents and whether they are motivated to conserve, either by financial rewards (e.g., smaller utility bills) or other incentives. Affordable housing developers and owners are employing different approaches these days in “resident engagement” – making their renter households aware of the green features in their apartments and buildings and trying to persuade them to adopt behaviors that cut their energy and water usage, reduce waste, and thereby maximize the performance of the properties. Admittedly, this is a tougher task at properties where the residents don’t pay for their utilities.
Resident Engagement Staff Engagement

PTEE Road Show Kickoff is an Eye-Opener for Attendees

More than 120 enthusiastic energy- and cost-concerned representatives from a variety of affordable housing companies and organizations filled a conference room in a building adjacent to Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station on April 3 for a frank and incisive, daylong look at the true financial benefits that can be reaped from best practices in energy and water efficiency. NH&RA’s inaugural Preservation Through Energy Efficiency Road Show dug deeply into case studies from presenters who have already benefited from creative approaches to utility cost control, sources of available funding for retrofits and the huge possibilities for a more efficient future even in what Michael Bodaken of the D.C.-based National Housing Trust referred to as a “resource-flat environment.”
HUD PTEEPA Retrofit Utility Incentives & Programs

Harvesting Rain: System Design for Strategic Rainwater Capture

Conserving water through rainwater harvesting saves natural resources, providing water for use in buildings and for site irrigation.

HUD Notice has potential to encourage broad PHA renewable energy rollout

Housing authorities that are seeking alternate energy sources or new funding streams will be particularly interested in HUD’s latest PIH notice. It ushers in a number of programmatic changes in an effort to increase the use of on-site renewable energy technology at federally subsidized housing projects.
Energy Performance Contract HUD Public Housing Renewable Energy

Show Me the [Efficiency] Money

Five real estate executives weigh in on what it will take to unlock $1.4 trillion in net energy savings through commercial building efficiency.
Benchmarking Lighting Resident Engagement Retro-Commission Retrofit

Reducing Water & Energy Use in Affordable Housing

National Housing Trust/Enterprise Preservation Corporation shares smart practices for investing in sustainability.
Retrofit Water

Retrofit Depot

Your Premier Resource for Deep Energy Retrofits! You may be able to find a lot of information and guides on energy retrofits, however none are focused on catalyzing deep energy retrofits across the U.S. commercial building stock. To this end, Retrofit Resources offers news, community, and tools for deep energy retrofits that are unbiased by commercial interests.. The site shows you how to build the case for a deep energy retrofit and walks you through how to enact a deep energy retrofit from idea to completion. Whether you're an owner considering the value of deep energy retrofits, a service provider interested in building a skill set, or a sustainability evangelist for your organization, we've got you covered. Dig in.

How to Calculate and Present Deep Retrofit Value

Energy efficiency projects in the United States and around the world are attractive investments, but receive far less attention and capital than they deserve. This is in part due to a narrow definition of their value that typically focuses on saved energy costs. Investors often ignore additional value—a robust land of untapped opportunity that sits just beneath the surface of the saved-energy-cost tip of the value iceberg—to their own financial detriment. Including all value created by highly efficient buildings when investing will enable more low-energy buildings and retrofits—particularly deep retrofits. Deep retrofit value is the net present value of all of the benefits of a deep energy and sustainability investment. The Deep Retrofit Value Guide documents the compelling logic of how deep energy efficiency and sustainability retrofits create value and introduces RMI’s Deep Retrofit Value models, providing the foundational methodology necessary to calculate and present value to retrofit decision makers.

Want Engaged Employees? Unlock the Full Potential of Human Capital Through Sustainable Buildings

Businesses love to talk about employee engagement. In fact, an increasing number of businesses see employee engagement as an essential strategy for achieving their goals. Current attempts to engage employees take many forms, including volunteer programs, competitions, cash incentives, games, and giveaways, as well as award and recognition programs.
Staff Engagement

Would You Rather Own or Lease Your Rooftop Solar?

On a recent trip to Australia, I noticed that very few residential solar systems are leased. The vast majority are customer owned. Talking to industry experts, some claimed more than 90 percent of residential solar systems in Australia are customer owned. This is in stark contrast to the U.S., where last year 66 percent of residential solar is leased from third-party owners like SolarCity. Why such different approaches to ownership of residential rooftop solar?
Renewable Energy Solar

Top 10 Easy Ways to Save Energy in Common Areas

Preparing for another winter is not something we want to think about while basking in the last days of summer but it pays to plan! The Farmer’s Almanac forecast was spot on last winter and it looks like a cold winter is in store for many of us in 2014. Preparing for colder temperatures is essential to avoid budget busting utility bills for your common areas such as hallways, gyms, lobbies and business centers.
Insulation Lighting O&M Phantom Power Retrofit Water

Scope of Work and Reporting Standards

The National Council of Affordable Housing Market Analysts’ (NCAHMA) has adopted a series of documents,  including three cornerstone documents: the Model Content Standards for Market Studies for Rental Housing , the Market Study Index, and the Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Practice. These fundamental and comprehensive documents are supplemented by several White Papers and Research Documents focusing on specific components and/or concepts of market studies. While this library of documents offers an overview of market study principles and provides a framework for market study content, the application of these principles is the professional responsibility of individual market analysts and can vary based on the specific  assignment and intended use.  To help reconcile these variances, NCAHMA recommends the inclusion of a Scope of Work in each market research and analysis assignment.  

Multifamily Energy Savings Program (MESP) Eligibility Guide (Wisconsin)

The Multifamily Energy Savings Program Eligibility Tool assists program staff in determining the most appropriate course for the customer’s building. The tool should be filled out to the best of the user’s abilities. Not all fields are required but each field assists program staff to determine the correct course for the customer’s building. Many fields provide an “Other” option, when this is selected please provide further explanation in the “comments” area of that section.
PTEEMN Utility Incentives & Programs Wisconsin

Multifamily Energy Savings Program (MESP) Eligibility Tool (Wisconsin)

This tool identifies if your property is eligible for the Wisconsin Focus on Energy Multifamily Energy Savings Program (MESP) program. In order to be eligible you must have a multifamily building that is 4 or more units. Buildings with less than 4 units may qualify for other programs.
PTEEMN Utility Incentives & Programs Wisconsin

Wisconsin Focus on Energy Multifamily Energy Savings Program

The goal of the Focus on Energy Multifamily Energy Savings Program is to educate and provide implementation assistance for energy efficiency projects to owners, management companies, and developers of multifamily buildings in Wisconsin. Apartments and condos over four units are classified as multifamily. To view all of the Focus on Energy multifamily offering details, visit or call 800.762.7077.
PTEEMN Utility Incentives & Programs Wisconsin

Energy and Water Savings In Multifamily Affordable Housing

When the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 (ARRA) allocated $5 billion in stimulus dollars for Weatherization Assistance Programs (WAP), Pennsylvania was one of four states — Colorado, New Jersey, Kansas and Pennsylvania―that had a well-established staff and infrastructure in a state-wide agency to deliver and administer funds to multifamily housing (Glatter 2009). The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA), through its Preservation through Smart Rehab program, received $22.5 million of the ARRA monies. The program itself predates ARRA and is designed to preserve multifamily affordable rental units in the state. Beginning in February 2010, PHFA allocated ARRA funds to upgrade 8,288 units in 109 properties. The first property was completed in December 2010; the last was completed August 2012. This report is the initial analysis of the results of that program based on one year of pre-retrofit and one year of post-retrofit utility bills. Of the 109 funded properties, all implemented energy upgrades and 91 had sufficient pre-retrofit and post retrofit energy data to be included in the study. Seventy-seven properties implemented water upgrades and all of them had sufficient pre-retrofit and post-retrofit water data to be included.
Energy Audit Lighting PTEEPA Retrofit Water Weatherization/WAP

The EZ Retrofit Tool (Versison 2.0)

Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future is pleased to present the EZ Retrofit Tool. The EZ Retrofit Tool is a Microsoft Excel-based file (minimum requirements include Microsoft Excel 2010) and is available for download here. All user guidance and reference materials are embedded within the Tool and can be accessed by clicking on the ‘How Do I Do It?’ button after opening the Excel file. Under a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Energy Innovation Fund, SAHF and contractors ICF International and Bright Power, Inc. developed the EZ Retrofit Tool to provide a low-cost way for property owners to identify which measures are likely to be cost-effective at their sites. Based on feedback from more than 40 properties, SAHF and its partners pleased released Version 2.0 of the Tool with expanded functionality and an improved interface. If your EZ Retrofit Tool results indicate a significant scope of work and you are interested in learning about opportunities for financing under the EZ Retrofit program please contact

Energy and Water Savings in Multifamily Retrofits Report

Energy and water consumption represent some of the largest operating costs in multifamily properties, estimated at $22 billion per year in the US. The newly released Energy and Water Savings in Multifamily Retrofits report provides a detailed analysis of 236 multifamily properties that underwent energy and water retrofit projects from 2009 to 2012. The report includes results for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Green Retrofit Program and the Energy Savers Program in Illinois and finds that there were significant energy savings and cost reductions for participating properties. This is the first study to examine a large and diverse national data set containing pre- and post-retrofit utility data for both owner- and tenant-paid energy and water accounts. In addition to the findings themselves, the challenges faced in performing this research provide useful insights for others seeking to understand and execute energy and water retrofits in multifamily properties. The report found that the Green Retrofit Program (GRP), implemented by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, reduced building energy consumption by 18%, and reduced water consumption by 26%. Energy Savers, a project of Elevate Energy and the Community Investment Corporation that targets heating systems in multifamily properties in the Chicago area, reduced gas consumption an average of 26%.
Green Retrofit Program (GRP) HUD Retrofit Water

Energy and Water Savings in Multifamily Retrofits

Results from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Green Retrofit Program and the Energy Savers Program in Illinois
Green Retrofit Program (GRP) HUD Illinois Retrofit Water

Displaying 61 – 80 of 199 files