Tag Archives: Retrofit

NE-CHPS Paves the Way Forward for Schools

When you think back to your days spent in school what do you remember?

Was it a favorite teacher? The countless trips to the vending machine between classes? A visceral rush of excitement after your crush unexpectedly sat next to you in biology?  I recently asked a colleague to recount her high school experience and received a surprising answer in return.

“My school was like a prison!”

Not because it was strict but because the architect who designed it also happened to design prisons.

Schools and prisons, go figure…

The school was dark with little natural light, had the ventilation of a prehistoric cave, the ceiling tiles were covered with stains and often had  overlooked, unusual growths – the list went on. If a student compares school to prison, that comparison should reflect the student’s displeasure for getting out of a cozy bed rather than the design of the school itself.

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Industry Experts Share Knowledge at Multifamily Housing Workshop

With efficiency programs across the region maturing, states and program administrators are striving to touch more customers and tackle challenging sectors such as the multifamily housing market.

Energy RatingAs part of our ongoing initiative on multifamily housing, NEEP recently hosted a workshop on Challenges and Opportunities in the Multifamily Market in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Regions. The day-long gathering — held in conjunction with the Northeast Energy Efficiency Summit in Springfield, Mass. — informed efforts to increase comprehensive multifamily retrofits by providing actionable information that help drive deeper energy savings.

The workshop featured three sessions: Public Policies that Value and Support Multifamily Retrofits, Finance, and Communications — giving the diverse stakeholders an overview of activities in the region and insights into policies and programs that are moving the multifamily market forward.

The 80 attendees included representatives from Northeast and Mid-Atlantic local and state government housing, finance, and energy agencies, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), energy efficiency program administrators, financing experts, non-profit clean energy advocates, academia, consultants and other stakeholders.

Among the fantastic speakers and other experts in the room, we were pleased to have Leslie Cook, a Program Manager with the U.S. EPA; Dave Carey, Principal with Harcourt, Brown and Carey; and Andy Padian, Vice President of the Community Preservation Corporation.

Here are a few high-level gleanings from the workshop:

Building energy rating and disclosure are essential for real progress. Multifamily policy is inconsistent or non-existent throughout much of the region and to overcome that issue, the adoption of building energy rating and disclosure — at the local and state level — is imperative.

Regulation, lack of awareness and the type of financial products are issues, not the lack of capital. While adequate funding is available, demand remains low due to significant regulation in the affordable housing market and lack of incentives for building owners to pursue energy efficiency measures.

Targeted communication to owners and tenants is a must. Developing relationships, building trust, and tailoring the message for each specific audience are important. Messages about the value and opportunities of energy efficiency should be clear and simple, and delivered multiple times.

It was terrific to see the exchange of ideas from the various actors and people from up and down the east coast. NEEP looks forward to building on these insights as part of a new white paper to be released next month, Increasing Energy Efficiency in Small Multifamily Properties in the Northeast: Data, Analysis, and Recommendations for Policy Action. This paper will review the current state of small multifamily housing within the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, and seeks to building momentum towards achieving deep energy savings in the multifamily housing sector.

 

NEEP’s Regional Leadership Group Advances Multi-Family Progress

Energy was high at NEEP’s Multi-Family Regional Leadership Group meeting, held February 27 in the “Civil Action” Court Room at EPA Region One’s Federal McCormack Building and via webinar. Stakeholders from Maine to Pennsylvania to Washington State came together to learn and share knowledge about multi-family energy efficiency opportunities and barriers. Speakers included Efficiency Maine Trust’s Rick Meinking, HR&A Advisor’s Candace Damon, and NYSERDA’s Mike Colgrove. It didn’t end there though.

Break-out sessions on Building Energy Rating, Market Barriers, and Funding and Financing encouraged discussion and brainstorming, which were shared with the rest of the 58 attendees. Dave Carey of Harcourt Brown & Carey Energy & Finance, for example, developed a great visualization that showed us what financing was available and to whom. MIT’s Alex Marks explained the benefits of building energy rating and disclosure, sharing the Peter Drucker quote, “things that are measured, are improved.”

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Strong Partnerships Progress Multi-Family Project

Maine-MulitfamilyThe world of multi-family efficiency is reaching a turning point in its evolution. The multi-family sector promises substantial potential energy savings that have not yet been adequately addressed due, in part, to a number of market barriers impeding progress.

NEEP partnered with Efficiency Maine Trust (EMT) last summer to collaborate on a comprehensive multi-family efficiency project. NEEP works in an advisory capacity to Efficiency Maine in order to increase the visibility and momentum of multi-family retrofits in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions through research, analysis, and project advisory efforts.

NEEP’s multi-family-team recently attended the Regional Multi-family Quarterly Progress Update in Maine this past week. The progress of the multi-family energy efficiency project to date, along with its associated implications regarding the program’s momentum and outreach efforts are exciting to say the least.

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