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.
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.”
The 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.