Sustainable Homes

Sustainable Homes

Leveraging Utility Programs for Energy and Water Retrofits

A critical and growing source of funding for affordable multifamily retrofits comes from rebate and incentive programs from electricity, natural gas, and water utilities and in some cases state-funded efficiency programs.  As utilities continue to increase funding for energy efficiency, initiatives like Energy Efficiency for All seek to expand and improve energy efficiency programs for the affordable multifamily sector. 

For Bringing Sustainability Home, SAHF develops and disseminates resources to help owners take advantage of utility and state energy and water efficiency programs.  As owners implement programs, SAHF works closely with them to document their experiences in order to inform further policy changes.

New and Improved Utility Programs

Through the advocacy efforts of Energy Efficiency for All (EEFA), certain utilities are expanding or improving the efficiency options available to multifamily affordable housing providers.  This set of program descriptions provide practical information on how you as a multifamily owner, manager, or resident can participate in utility- or state-funded efficiency programs that support capital improvements and improve building performance at your property.

SAHF also collaborates with EEFA to provide utilities with guidance on utility program design improvements. This guidance is designed to promote greater participation from affordable housing providers and ensures the equitable deployment of energy-saving solutions to residents of (subsidized) affordable housing.

Additional Resources from SAHF

EmPOWER-ing Maryland Case Study - By adopting best practices in program design, Maryland’s Multifamily Energy Efficiency and Housing Affordability - EmPOWER Program made an impact on Homes for America and its residents.  Learn about the program design features underlying this popular and effective program.

Download the Case Study

Leveraging Utility Programs Case Study - Learn how Mercy Housing leveraged utility programs and a pay-from-savings financing model to achieve deep levels of retrofits and greater utility savings for its multifamily affordable housing properties in California.

Download the Case Study

Additional Resources from Industry Partners

Energy Efficiency for All's Program Design Guide: Energy Efficiency Programs in Multifamily Affordable Housing offers a set of best practices for energy efficiency programs supporting multifamily affordable housing.  

A 2017 report by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, More Savings for More Residents: Progress in Multifamily Housing Energy Efficiency, provides an assessment of multifamily energy efficiency programs in 51 metropolitan areas.