Best Opportunities for Energy Efficiency in Multifamily Housing
08
Dec

Best Opportunities for Energy Efficiency in Multifamily Housing

About $20 million goes into energy expenses for various types of buildings in the United States. Such as apartments and condos. There are over 18 million of these multifamily housing in the United States. You will find tenants in more than half of them.

Apartment tenants find it difficult to get utilities. Unlike single-family home tenants to do for various reasons. 

This includes the lack of wireless smart meters for each apartment. Cost and benefit interruptions aren’t left out. The interruptions occur due to zero incentives for tenants. Leaving them no chance to invest in improving their rented space.

Landlords don’t often see the need to increase their property’s energy efficiency. Which would help reduce their tenants’ utility bills. Also creating a barrier between landlord and tenant.

Another issue is that efficiency investments take years before they start yielding returns. This will deter owners who want to sell their buildings at the right time.

True, multifamily housing has several drawbacks, but this is a blessing in disguise. It also has a lot of room for improvement, particularly in multifamily dwelling efficiency. This is in line with a recent report from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and CNT Energy. 

According to the report from CNT energy and ACEEE, the country’s energy savings will increase to $3.3 billion each year. Only if the development of the best utility efficiency practices happens nationwide. They believe that more improvements will follow through this method.

The report lays out nine plans, which are all proven to be effective in the real world. Furthermore, there are some significant utility project case studies. The CNT Energy efficiency program for low-income communities is one of the projects mentioned. Arizona State University’s Public Facility’s Multifamily Energy Efficiency Program was also mentioned. 

The report’s nine strategies are outlined below.

Separate the Multifamily Market into Segments

This is a notice to identify the building stock of your apartment. Segmenting the multifamily home market increases energy efficiency and improves service. For instance, into different building types, incentive buildings, and ages.

The crucial information there can help develop novel strategies. These strategies will address the barriers to program participation. Furthermore, it will ensure that utilities are available for the best types of buildings.

Overcome the Obstacles of Spilled Incentives

Building owners and landlords, according to ACEEE, should replace their main HVAC systems Also replace key appliances once every decade or two, especially if they need repair. You can then overcome split incentive barriers with targeted utility efficiency incentives. 

These incentives can be during the replacement process or afterward as support. Two models were present in the provided report. 

Organize programs centered on providing gas and electricity

Coordination of a gas and electricity program will improve the energy efficiency of the market. These programs, like rebate application processes, are often made simple. The program should have a single installation of a combination of gas and electricity. Like what Indianapolis Power and Light Company and Citizens Gas did.

Choose the Best Delivery Method

ACEEE has two approaches;

The “comprehensive trade ally system” tactics and the direct model. It provides single point of contact for property owner and integrates program administration. Combine Broad and Simple Installation Solutions

Utilities follow two main tracks: 

  1. The broad HVAC and building shell-type upgrades.
  2. Market light bulb indications and rebates for Energy Star appliances. 

According to ACEEE, combining these two tracks will pick up efficiency. They will also drive feedback on others. Direct installation solutions are the best way to get undecided homeowners involved.

Increase the Availability of Rebates

Rebates should be accessible to renters and landlords alike. It helps prevent them jumping from one program to the next in search of the best deal.

Collaborate with Trustworthy Dwelling Financial Sources

According to the reports, there are some good partners to work with. E.g., Development organizations, local housing establishments, government agencies, and non-profit organizations.

Provide data and metrics demonstrating the energy total of the building

Most landlords and homeowners want to know what’s in it for them. The benefits of efficiency upgrades should include lower Cost. Like utility bills, lower maintenance costs, and lower tenant gross revenue. 

Most homeowners, yet, are more concerned with verifying these data and metrics. New York and San Francisco are two major cities where homeowners enjoy improved efficiency programs. Standardized forms, such as Green Button data, will play a significant role. That is in providing the data required by homeowners to persuade them to take the step.

Collaboration with Major Industry Players in the Market

Small-scale businesses and local families own majority of rental houses in the United States. Still, there are a large number of industry players to work with. Property owners, developers, and public housing agencies are among the industry’s titans. 

Housing advocates representing tenants, contractors, efficiency service companies, etc. They are also key market players. Working with them is a good way to increase energy efficiency. 

For more on multifamily and mixed-use housing, contact S3DA design firm.