Better Buildings Challenge Multifamily Newsletter: November 2021

In This Issue:

Key Announcements

ENERGY STAR Treasure Hunt

  • Looking for creative ways for your multifamily organization to engage staff on energy efficiency and find energy savings opportunities? ENERGY STAR Treasure Hunts offer a collaborative and compelling approach to build a supportive culture around energy efficiency and to help identify low- and no-cost savings opportunities. By involving representatives from different parts of the organization, Treasure Hunts often result in more identified savings opportunities and higher project implementation rates. Use the links below to learn more about ENERGY STAR Treasure Hunts for multifamily organizations:
  • Join HUD's Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) on November 16, 2021 for a Virtual Energy Performance Contract (EPC) Industry Day. This event will bring together diverse stakeholders participating in the HUD EPC and other energy and water efficiency incentive programs in public housing, to share information and recommendations that advance sustainability and spur innovation.
  • Applications are now open for the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Energy Storage for Social Equity (ES4SE) Initiative. ES4SE is designed to help disadvantaged urban, rural, and tribal communities evaluate how energy storage technologies can help them achieve greater community prosperity, well-being, and resilience. Eligible communities will have access to direct non-financial technical assistance and potential support for new energy storage project development and deployment. Applications are due by December 3, 2021.

Webinar: Roadmap to 50 Percent Carbon Emissions Reduction in Multifamily Housing

Thursday, December 16, 2021 from 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM EST

Exterior of an apartment buildingAs more multifamily housing providers begin to develop decarbonization goals, join us for an overview of decarbonization in multifamily housing and a conversation on strategies to set and achieve goals. During this webinar, take a deeper dive into the challenges and opportunities for reducing carbon in multifamily buildings, and how multifamily organizations can begin to set goals, measure carbon emissions, and plan a path forward.

During this webinar participants will:

  • Receive an overview of decarbonization in multifamily housing, including key terms, metrics, and planning resources
  • Learn about strategies to achieve carbon neutral building stock, including decarbonization technologies and building methods
  • Hear how Challenge partner Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation (TNDC) made the business case to implement an organization-wide carbon reduction goal and the steps they have taken to reduce their carbon footprint
  • Hear how enabling and promoting decarbonization in the multifamily sector helps advance HUD’s climate and environmental justice goals
Register for the Roadmap to 50% Carbon Reduction in Multifamily Housing Webinar


  • Webly Bowles is a Project Manager at New Buildings Institute (NBI). As an architect, she brings her systems thinking approach in researching and promoting net zero buildings. Webly facilitates a collaborative of national nonprofits aligning actions to collectively reduce building emissions. Her current research efforts include embodied carbon in codes and carbon neutral building messaging.
  • Greg Hale is Senior Advisor for Energy Efficiency Markets and Finance at the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), where he led the development of NYSERDA’s Roadmap to a statewide carbon neutral building stock for New York by mid-century. He previously oversaw the establishment of the $1 billion NY Green Bank.
  • Mark Puchalski is TNDC's Director of Facilities. Mark is a certified Systems Maintenance Administrator and has over 33 years of experience in sustainability, facilities operations, management, and maintenance. He is passionate about curbing the housing crisis plaguing our communities as well as the climate crisis impacting our planet.
  • Magda Szymanska is TNDC's Sustainability Program Manager. Magda joined TNDC in April of 2019 after previous experience with GIS Analysis at Apex and energy efficiency at San Francisco Department of the Environment. She currently manages TNDC’s sustainability efforts to achieve the goals set for energy, water, carbon reduction, and waste diversion.

Spotlight on Partner Successes

Solar panels

  • WinnCompanies' energy services arm, Open Market ESCO, was one of 10 organizations to receive a DOE grant to pursue advances in “grid interactive efficient buildings” (GEBs) — buildings that interact with the electrical grid using smart communications and controls to optimize energy consumption, substantially decreasing carbon emissions. The $6.5 million grant enables the company to work with Massachusetts’ housing and energy agencies on developing state-of-the-art clean technologies to dramatically improve energy efficiency in 20 existing public and private apartment communities, representing 2,000 homes. A recent DOE study estimated that by 2030, GEBs could save up to $18 billion per year in power system costs and cut 80 million tons of carbon emissions each year. That is more than the annual emissions of 50 medium-sized coal plants or 17 million cars. DOE’s first two connected communities in Alabama and Georgia have demonstrated this potential by using approximately 42-44 percent less energy than today’s average all-electric home.
  • National Housing Trust (NHT) Communities has supported multifamily affordable housing organizations and nonprofit building owners by installing 13 megawatts (MW) of low-income solar projects across the country to date. Most recently, NHT Communities partnered with Pepco to install a 1.15MW community solar project at the utility’s Benning Service Center substation located in Washington D.C. The project is among the largest use of DC’s Solar for All program and will provide $178,000 in annual utility savings to 330 income-qualified households in the District, in addition to clean energy to the city.
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This material is based upon work supported by funding under an award with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The substance and findings of the work are dedicated to the public. Neither the United States Government, nor any of its employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately-owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the U.S. Government or any agency thereof. Opinions expressed on the HUD Exchange are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of, or a position that is endorsed by, HUD or by any HUD program.