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Multifamily Energy and Water Management Toolkit

The following toolkit is intended to help improve energy and water management and reduce costs, spending and environmental impacts over the long‐term, while helping to preserve affordable properties. The toolkit is designed to be used by organizations with different levels of experience and capacity in the area of energy and water management. Tools can be downloaded and used sequentially to launch or relaunch across-the-board energy and water management efforts, or can be selected and used individually to assist with specific initiatives already underway. The toolkit is intended to complement other available resources and includes references to other related tools following the table of contents introduction. The tools are grouped into four areas: Portfolio Energy and Water Strategy, Operations and Maintenance, Utility Tracking and Energy and Water Initiatives.
Benchmarking Incentives O&M Portfolio Upgrade Property Management Utility Incentives & Programs Water

Utility Allowance Guide for Owners of Affordable Rental Housing

The California Housing Partnership and National Housing Law Project have jointly published a guide to assist owners of affordable housing in understanding the implications of recent changes to federal program utility allowance requirements, and to provide tips for assessing whether utility allowance adjustments can be used as a resource to finance or pay back the costs of energy efficiency and renewable improvement projects.
Utility Allowance

January 2016 Green Tax Incentive Compedium

The volume presents certain federal and state tax incentives promoting the renewable energy and energy efficiency industries. It includes the recent energy tax credit extensions in the 2015 PATH Act and the 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act.
Incentives Renewable Energy Solar

Chicago Energy Efficiency Road Show: Staff & Resident Engagement

This session shares strategies that owners and managers can adopt to ensure buildings perform optimally over time to maximize energy savings. The panel explores when it makes sense to retro-commission and re-commission a property. Panelists also share best practices for training staff and engaging residents to support the success of energy-saving efforts.

Chicago Energy Efficiency Road Show: Making Data-Driven Decisions

This session shows owners and asset managers how they can employ data they already have, like billing and utility allowances, comparable market data, benchmarking and energy assessments to accurately define the scope of work for a retrofit on their properties. The session also demystifies energy audits and green physical needs assessments.

Chicago Energy Efficiency Road Show: Retrofit Financing

This panel explores tools and strategies available to owners. Panelists provide insight into green financing mechanisms, including various grant and loan programs that are available in the local market. Special emphasis is placed on how to select the appropriate product, weighing the pros and cons of various executions, terms, cost of capital, and how they overlay with different scopes of work and building and subsidy types.

Chicago Energy Efficiency Road Show: Local Programs & Resources

Spencer Skinner outlines Illinois Housing Development Authority's energy efficiency priorities. Jarred Nordhus explains The Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas Natural Gas Savings Programs & Multifamily Program ComEd Smart Ideas Energy Efficiency Program. Jim Wheaton presents on the Community Investment Corporation.

Chicago Energy Efficiency Road Show: Spotlight on Water Management Presentations

Water and sewer costs are increasing around the country and, in many markets, the increase is dramatic. Water management is often the lowest hanging fruit and can provide the biggest return for owners. This session will explore various technologies and financing mechanism developers can utilize to decrease their water bills.

Frequently Asked Questions: Methodology for Completing a Multifamily Housing Utility Analysis

FAQs pertaining to the implementation of H 2015-04 (June 22, 2015), which governs methodologies for completing multifamily housing utility allowance analysis.
HUD Utility Allowance

Community Investment Corporation "On Bill" Energy Financing Fact Sheet

In cooperation with the utility companies (ComEd, NICOR, North Shore Gas, Peoples Gas), CIC-Energy Savers will soon offer loans for energy retrofits of multifamily (5 to 50 units) properties which can be repaid as an additional item on a utility bill.
Finance Illinois On-Bill Utility Payment Retrofit Utility Incentives & Programs

Energy Savers Fact Sheet

ENERGY SAVERS helps lower operating costs of apartment buildings by reducing energy usage. FINANCING Energy Savers loans are secured with a second mortgage lien. The first mortgage lender must allow the Energy Savers subordinate loan to be secured with a subordinate mortgage. The property must be: 1. An apartment building with at least five (5) residential units, and 2. Located in the cities of Chicago or Rockford; or the Illinois counties of Cook, Lake, Kane, DuPage, Will, McHenry, or Kendall, and 3. In need of energy-related repairs.
Finance Illinois Incentives Retrofit

Green Tax Incentive Compendium: Federal and State Tax Incentives for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (July 1, 2015)

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. For additional assistance with these tax incentives please contact Jerome Garciano at 617.557.5944 or
Incentives Renewable Energy Solar

Utility Allowances in Federally Subsidized Multifamily Housing

Despite this split incentive problem, HUD has considerable leverage to reduce utility costs in its portfolio, which can benefit both HUD and households receiving a rental subsidy. While certain changes to HUD’s utility scheme would require congressional action and are therefore outside of HUD’s direct power to change, HUD administrators could change regulations and guidance documents without seeking outside approval. Specifically, as further detailed in the policy recommendations section, HUD can issue rules and guidance to: incentivize owners and tenants to conserve energy, encourage project owners to retrofit buildings, more accurately project utility consumption, and create transparency on how allowances are calculated. Such changes will improve the financial viability of existing properties and free resources that can be repurposed for other HUD goals.
Policy Proposal Report/Research Brief Utility Allowance

Household Energy Bills and Subsidized Housing

Household energy consumption is crucial to national energy policy. This article analyzes how the rules covering utility costs in the four major federal housing assistance programs alter landlord and tenant incentives for energy efficiency investment and conservation. We conclude that, relative to market-rate housing, assistance programs provide less incentive to landlords and tenants for energy efficiency investment and conservation, and utilities are more likely to be included in the rent. Using data from the American Housing Survey, we examine the differences in utility billing arrangements between assisted and unassisted low-income renters and find that—even when controlling for observable building and tenant differences—the rent that assisted tenants pay is more likely to include utilities. Among all tenants who pay utility bills separately from rent, observable differences in energy expenses for assisted and unassisted tenants are driven by unit, building, and household characteristics rather than the receipt of government assistance.
Incentives Report/Research Brief Resident Engagement Split Incentive Utility Allowance

Methodology for Completing a Multifamily Housing Utility Analysis

This notice provides instruction to owners and management agents (O/As) for completing the utility analysis required at the time of the annual or special adjustment of contract rents and when a utility rate change results in a cumulative increase of 10 percent or more from the most recently approved utility allowance. A significant new development, properties undergoing new construction or substantial rehabilitation may establish initial utility allowances for new or rehabilitated units based on analysis completed at underwriting though an energy consumption model, including an HFA-approved utility allowance calculator. This option is based on guidance established by the Internal Revenue Service under Section 42 Utility Allowance Regulations Update. The notice includes expanded options for owners of HUD-assisted properties to do use an energy consumption model
HUD Utility Allowance

Building Energy Efficiency Partnerships for Affordable Multifamily Housing: 2015 and Beyond

This paper offers a snapshot of the resources devoted to promoting low-income multifamily housing energy efficiency retrofits; it describes many of the policies, public-private resources and partnerships influencing and funding the field in late 2014.
EB5 ESCO Finance Policy Proposal Report/Research Brief Retrofit Utility Allowance Utility Incentives & Programs


This Guide was created as part of the Energy Efficiency For All Project, a joint effort of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the National Housing Trust, the Energy Foundation, and Elevate Energy. Electric and gas utilities in the U.S. invest billions of dollars annually to help their customers become more energy efficient, often by making repairs and improvements to customers’ homes and buildings. These investments are smart—they improve lives by reducing energy expenses, create healthier, more comfortable houses and offices, and improve community building stock. The resulting energy efficiency produces a better utility system with less pollution, creates local jobs, and delivers other public benefits. Yet studies show vast amounts of cost-effective efficiency potential available in our nation’s affordable housing, in multifamily affordable housing (MFAH) in particular. In other words, a lot of the energy delivered to affordable housing is wasted—it simply goes out the windows or up the chimney. The good news is that our research—presented in this guide—strongly suggests that well-designed efficiency programs can indeed reach MFAH and can enable utilities to capture cost-effective efficiency potential. Program experience offers many useful and encouraging lessons about how to reach affordable housing in ways that will benefit the utility, the building owner, the residents, and the community at large. This guide is intended to explain specific best practices to efficiency program professionals: program designers and administrators, utility staff, regulators, and other stakeholders. We provide 12 specific and proven strategies for utilities to help owners invest to improve MFAH in their communities.
Policy Proposal Report/Research Brief Utility Incentives & Programs

Potential for Energy Savings in Affordable Multifamily Housing

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), National Housing Trust (NHT), Energy Foundation, Elevate Energy, and New Ecology are conducting a multistate and multiyear Energy Efficiency for All affordable multifamily housing efficiency project with the goal of cost effectively reducing energy consumption as a means of maintaining housing affordability, creating healthier and more comfortable living environments for moderate- and low-income families, and reducing pollution. The project aim is to encourage electric and gas utilities to spearhead programs designed to capture all cost-effective energy efficiency within the affordable multifamily housing sector, significantly benefiting low income families and building owners as well as utilities. NRDC and the project partners commissioned this study to estimate the potential energy savings from the implementation of efficiency measures in affordable multifamily housing in nine states — Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. For this study, affordable multifamily housing is defined as households in buildings with five or more units occupied by people with household incomes at or below 80% of the area median income. The study compared outputs from the different potential scenarios and sensitivity analyses assessed in the study. This study analyzed two levels of potential: 1. Economic potential — savings that can be realized if all cost-effective efficiency measures are implemented 2. Maximum achievable potential — savings that can be realized if all cost-effective efficiency measures are implemented given existing market barriers The study found that the total benefits to society, as defined by the Total Resource Cost test, from pursing energy efficiency substantially exceed the costs.
Policy Proposal Report/Research Brief Retrofit

Summerhill PTEE Research Report

NH&RA engaged Summerhill, an international energy efficiency research and marketing firm, to conduct follow-up surveys with attendees from the first four Preservation Through Energy Efficiency Road Shows. Through written surveys and follow-up interviews, Summerhill analyzed the efficacy of the Road Shows, identified the steps participants have taken following the events and provided insight into the motivations, challenges and barriers to investing in energy efficiency. This research was possible thanks to generous support from the National Housing Trust and National Resources Defense Council.
PTEE Summerhill

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