Better Buildings Challenge Multifamily Newsletter: January 2020

In This Issue:

Key Announcements

Wells Fargo Breakthrough Challenge

  • Read Better Buildings financial partner Citizen Energy’s newest case study to learn about the efficiency-as-a-service solution to financing energy efficiency projects in multifamily properties with different ownership structures. Efficiency-as-a-service is a pay-for-performance, off-balance sheet financing solution that allows customers to implement energy efficiency projects with no upfront capital expenditure.
  • Save the Date! 2019 portfolio-wide energy performance data should be submitted to the Better Buildings Challenge by March 2, 2020, including water data if applicable. The Department of Energy (DOE) and HUD use partner data to track and recognize your progress and accomplishments as well as to track the performance of the sector as a whole.

NYCHA Creates Model for Green Workforce Development

Better Buildings Challenge multifamily partner New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) offers a model for public housing authorities nationwide to develop green workforce programs, addressing an ever-growing need in the marketplace.

Green City Force and Americorps logos

NYCHA is using its suite of Energy Performance Contracts (EPCs) as a platform to connect residents to high-quality economic opportunity services, particularly in the field of energy efficiency.

Graduates of Green City Force, a New York City-based AmeriCorps program that prepares NYCHA youth for “green-collar” careers through training and work experience, are being hired to install energy and water efficiency upgrades as part of NYCHA’s EPC program. Program participants install water fixture upgrades and replace all interior light bulbs with LED bulbs, and NYCHA is also in the process of upgrading heating, lighting, and building ventilation systems and implementing water conservation measures. To date, NYCHA has secured $270 million for efficiency upgrades to over 70 developments in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens.

Green City Force allows NYCHA to reduce its energy consumption while providing young adult NYCHA residents with training, leadership opportunities, and valuable work experience. The organization recruits qualified NYCHA residents, ages 18-24, for the full-time stipend-paid program that provides training leading to certifications, college-prep, leadership development, and hands-on work experience. Since 2011, over 350 NYCHA young adults have completed Green City Force training.

NYCHA is also expanding opportunities for its residents to participate in the green economy; read more on the Beat Blog. You can see more of NYCHA’s work and that of other multifamily partners on the Better Buildings Solution Center.

Spotlight on Partner Success

This fall Keene Housing completed a 188 kW Solar PV project at Forest View Apartments, a 39-unit affordable housing property in Keene, New Hampshire. This is Keene’s second solar project, following a 91 kW project at its Harper Acres property last year. The new PV solar systems are part of a comprehensive energy efficiency transition that also includes air source heat pumps for heating and cooling. Local impact investor partners own the solar arrays through Power Purchase Agreements with Keene Housing.After five years, Keene Housing will have the option to purchase the system at a significant discount. The Forest View arrays are expected to save Keene Housing more than $2 million over the life of the system if it exercises its future purchase option.

Forest View Apartments in Keene, New Hampshire

Forest View Apartments in Keene, New Hampshire  

National Church Residences’ Battery Park Senior Apartments in Asheville, North Carolina underwent a major renovation in 2018 to improve the building’s energy efficiency and residents’ quality of life. The upgrades included replacing the property’s cooling tower with a high-efficiency unit, plumbing upgrades, roof replacements, and new, high-efficiency windows. Watch this video to learn about the health, comfort and resilience benefits residents experienced from the upgrades.

Battery Park Senior Apartments in Asheville, North Carolina

Battery Park Senior Apartments in Asheville, North Carolina  

Mercy Housing undertook a major rehabilitation of their Crossroad Gardens Apartments in Sacramento, California. The 2018 rehab included the replacement of the HVAC and domestic hot water systems as well as installation of solar PV panels that offset residents' bills. Watch this video to learn how the upgrades have helped save residents money while helping them reduce their environmental impact.

Crossroad Garden Apartments in Sacramento, California

Crossroad Garden Apartments in Sacramento, California  

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