BBC Multifamily Partner Newsletter Q1 2017
Key Announcements

Healthy homes make better buildings. Agree? Let us know that you're interested in being part of new initiatives currently under development that will focus on furthering health outcomes through energy- and water-efficiency work. Space will be limited, so email us today.

Register for the 2017 Better Buildings Summit, scheduled for May 15-17 in Washington, DC. The Summit is an unparalleled opportunity for you to network with leaders in energy and water efficiency in the multifamily buildings sector and beyond.
View the agenda.

  • Get recognized by HUD at Monday afternoon's Multifamily Meet-Up session for specific achievements this year and hear how your industry colleagues met their goals.
  • Develop an organizational sustainability and resilience plan with representatives from Enterprise Community Partners and Mercy Housing (Laptop recommended, but not required).
  • Tour a new, green multifamily building with advancements in energy, water and waste.
  • Network informally with your peers at a Multifamily Partner happy hour event immediately following Monday's session at The Board Room DC (1737 Connecticut Avenue NW – just down the street from the Summit).
  • And new this year, Better Buildings will provide a Conference App, so you can track all the action from your phone or tablet. Connect today with Summit attendees and speakers on the App!

Register for HUD's Multifamily Utility Benchmarking Webinar Series, intended for any multifamily housing provider seeking guidance on benchmarking the energy and water performance of your properties over time. The six-part series guides participants through HUD's new Multifamily Utility Benchmarking Website and Toolkit (see details on the Toolkit below).

  • Closed, recording available - Introduction to MF Utility Benchmarking and HUD's New Toolkit
  • Closed, recording available - Creating a Plan and Managing Data for MF Utility Benchmarking
  • Closed, recording coming soon - Collecting the Data for Utility Benchmarking of MF Properties
  • May 4th - Using Software and Entering Data for MF Utility Benchmarking
  • May 11th - Sharing MF Utility Benchmarking Results and Building on Success
  • June 1st - MF Utility Benchmarking Requirements and Funding Opportunities

Coming Soon! Case studies on green job training in public housing communities.

JCHE: First Multifamily Partner to Reach Challenge Goal

Congratulations to Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly (JCHE) of Massachusetts for being the first Multifamily partner to reach its Challenge goal! JCHE exceeded its goal of 20% energy savings—reaching 24% savings—across its portfolio of eight buildings and 926,000 square feet in only six years.

In 2012 JCHE added Shillman House to its portfolio, a new high performance building with an EUI that is half that of its existing building stock. In 2013, JCHE completed a green retrofit of Ulin House, a 141,000 square foot building that includes 239 studios and one-bedroom units. Also in 2013 JCHE began to operate a 75kW co-gen unit in its Leventhal property.

This year JCHE began an energy and water retrofit of Golda Meir House, a 170,000 square foot property of 199 apartments. Additional energy savings can be expected from this work and serves as a reminder of JCHE’s ongoing commitment to energy efficiency.

For more information, check out JCHE's Partner Page on the BBC Solution Center.

HUD Launches New Multifamily Utility Benchmarking Toolkit

HUD's new Multifamily Utility Benchmarking Toolkit provides specific guidance and useful tools to help you benchmark the energy and water performance of your multifamily properties.

The Toolkit is organized into three sections:

  • Benchmarking 101 describes the benefits of tracking utility data and explains how to begin the process.
  • Utility Benchmarking Step-by-Step outlines a six-step approach to utility benchmarking.
  • Policies and Programs summarizes requirements for various HUD programs, opportunities for financial assistance, and HUD programs that can support property owners in pursuing green retrofits.

The new Toolkit includes links to key resources and requirements, tools and reports, case studies, and FAQs. Register for the Multifamily Utility Benchmarking Webinar Series, intended for any multifamily housing provider seeking guidance on benchmarking.

Year of Data: Final Push to the June 30th Deadline

Several months into the BBC Multifamily Year of Data (YoDa), HUD would like to thank all MF Partners who are making good on their BBC pledges and working hard to adopt the practice of utility benchmarking.

Data is a key component of the Better Buildings Challenge – it's how our big goals turn into actionable strategies and how our daily labors turn into measurable success. This past quarter, many of you have committed time and energy in producing energy and water consumption data, using 3rd party software and working with consultants as needed, and posting information in ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager®.

Almost 40% of the "seasoned" MF Partners have met the current YoDa goals set forth by HUD in August 2016. We're excited to have all partners participate in sharing their portfolio utility data, with prioritization of those "seasoned" partners who will have been with the BBC for at least 12 months as of March 1, 2017 (see lightbulb graphic below on categories of MF Partners and their respective YoDa goals). In short, the goals include:

  • Create a Portfolio Manager® shared account;
  • Enter building characteristics information into Portfolio Manager®;
  • Retrieve and input aggregated whole building utility data; or if unavailable, retrieve and input a combination of whole owner-paid utility data and a sample of tenant-paid utility data;
  • Publish a Partial Data Display; and then
  • Publish a Full Data Display

With the YoDa ending on June 30th, 2017, there is still much work to be done. Please know that we’re here to help! No idea where to start? Need a little help getting the attention of your utility provider? Let your Account Manager know.

The BBC Multifamily Team is committed to helping you achieve your BBC commitment.

Partner Highlights

New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), the nation's largest public housing authority and residential landlord, has published its first energy data display and Showcase Project on the Solution Center. NYCHA has currently achieved 4% of its ambitious energy savings goal. NYCHA joined the BBC in 2016 with a commitment to retrofit all master-planned developments by 2025, covering 175 million square feet. These developments account for 87% of NYCHA’s apartments and consume 40% more energy per square foot than the average multifamily building in New York City.

This month, NYCHA showcased 344 East 28th Street, a 26-story residential building in Manhattan's Kips Bay neighborhood. NYCHA completed a $2.2 million lighting, heating, and hot-water modernization of the building, which resulted in a 55% reduction in the energy needed for heating domestic hot water throughout the building.

Gateway Management Services, LLC

Gateway Management achieved 26% energy savings at Elk Valley Manor, a three-story apartment complex built in 1982, through a retrofit of the property including improvements to air conditioning, window and roof insulation, and water heating. On the shore of Lake Erie, the property experiences significant wind and snow for an extended period each year.

The energy improvements significantly reduced operating expenses for the owner, while providing the residents with improved levels of comfort. Most importantly, the project was completed as a rehabilitation with the residents in place.

Homes for America

Homes for America achieved 27% energy savings at Leonard Apartments by implementing several energy- and water-efficient retrofits. Leonard Apartments, built in 1988 in Salisbury, Maryland, consists of a 2,700-square-foot community building and 10 one and two-story buildings with 66 units.

At the time of acquisition by Homes for America in 2012, 25 units were vacant, primarily due to existing moisture problems, which caused mold issues in several units. Improvements included new 1.5 and 2-ton HVAC systems, New ENERGY STAR® windows, an ENERGY STAR® asphalt shingle roof, air sealing and weatherization and high efficient water heaters.

What Approaches to Utility Data Collection Can I Use?

Why Do I Collect Tenant-Paid Utility Data?

In order to benchmark the energy and water performance of your organization's properties for the first time, your organization will need to do some preparation, including cataloging its portfolio of properties, determining how best to collect and input utility data, and making decisions about whether to meet minimum standards or seek deeper insight into the portfolio.

In properties in which tenants pay their own utilities, this often constitutes a large percentage of the property's utility consumption as a whole. Without having at least aggregated data on tenant-paid utilities, one would not have an accurate picture of a property’s energy consumption. Therefore, in order to benchmark whole-property energy and water performance, it is best to track all utility data for a property, including all owner-paid utility data and any tenant-paid utility data associated with the property.

Unlike most local laws and requirements for ENERGY STAR® Certification, HUD's utility benchmarking initiatives allow for the use of a sample of tenant-paid utility data to generate an estimate of whole-property utility data.

What Are The Approaches I Can Undertake?

Different properties will have different configurations of owner-paid and tenant-paid utility meters, and different methods for obtaining and tracking the utility data may be appropriate, including the four following methods for gathering whole-property utility data

  • Method A: Properties with Only Owner-Paid Utility Bills
    The property owner pays for 100% of the property's utility bills and uses these bills as the source for whole-property utility data.
  • Method B: Aggregated, Whole-Property Utility Data
    Regardless of the split of owner-paid and tenant-paid utility bills, the property owner requests aggregated, whole-property utility data from the utility provider(s).
  • Method C: Collection of 100% of Tenant-Paid Utility Data
    The property owner collects 100% of the individual tenant-paid utility data from the utility provider(s) or tenants.
  • Method D: Collection of a Sample of Tenant-Paid Utility Data*
    The property owner collects a sample of individual tenant-paid utility data from the utility provider(s) or tenants, which is then used to produce an estimate of whole-property utility data. (Note: Method D is not an accepted approach by most local laws or for use when applying for ENERGY STAR® Certification.)

Consider each of these approaches to determine the one that is best for each utility type in each of your organization's properties. Once an approach is determined, your organization can develop a plan for how each property's utility data will be tracked and entered into Portfolio Manager®.

Should I Aggregate Multiple Meters?

Aggregating multiple meters by type and payer, either internally or as offered by the utility provider, is an acceptable data entry method for multifamily properties. For example, if there are 60 tenant-paid electric meters and one owner-paid electric meter at a property, they can be entered as two "meters" in Portfolio Manager®: one for the owner-paid electric meter and one for the aggregate of all tenant-paid electric meters. HUD strongly recommends maintaining a separation of the utility data by payer (owner-paid vs. tenant-paid) so that the utility data can be easily referenced by the housing provider when establishing utility allowances to cover tenant-paid utility costs, when requesting utility subsidies to cover owner-paid utility costs, and when planning future retrofits.

Additional Resources

The recently released Multifamily Utility Benchmarking Toolkit outlines a six step process to utility benchmarking. Check out Step 2: Collect Utility Data to explore each method in more detail.

Additionally, the Multifamily Utility Benchmarking Plan Template can help your organization document the planned approach for all properties.

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