ACEEE report finds energy-efficiency upgrades a win-win for apartment owners, tenants

 Engaging as Partners in Energy Efficiency: Multifamily Housing and Utilities, a new report from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), demonstrates that energy use in multifamily buildings could be cut significantly to save building owners and residents as much as $3.4 billion nationwide . Cost-effective energy-efficiency upgrades in buildings with five or more residential units could also reduce utility costs for those buildings by 15 to 30 percent.

Energy-efficiency upgrades improve the bottom line for multifamily building owners and improve comfort for occupants. Such building improvements also help to maintain the value of affordable housing and decrease financial risk for lending institutions. However, building owners face the usual barriers to implementing retrofits: difficulty finding technical assistance, financing, or qualified contractors.

According to the report, better coordination between apartment building owners and energy utilities is the key to unlocking the savings. The study produced by CNT Energy for ACEEE finds that there is a largely untapped opportunity for utilities to engage the multifamily sector with energy-efficiency programs tailored to those customers’ needs.

Anne McKibbin, CNT Energy policy director and coauthor of the report, stated that partnering with utilities is central to the process. “Building owners and other housing industry players need to work with their utilities, engaging them directly and in local and state regulatory proceedings,” she said.

ACEEE senior policy analyst Eric Mackres concurred with McKibbin about the crucial role utilities play, while acknowledging that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. He added that the report outlines a variety of strategies that can help the multifamily housing sector to engage electric and natural gas utilities. 

You can download Engaging as Partners in Energy Efficiency: Multifamily Housing and Utilities from ACEEE with free registration. Learn more about the report by joining the webinar, Engaging as Partners in Energy Efficiency, Feb. 13 at 1 p.m. CST. Call 773-269-4037 for more information.