WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced the expansion of the President’s Better Buildings Challenge to include multifamily housing. DOE and HUD recognize the energy efficiency commitment that The Community Builders, Inc. (TCB), a nonprofit leader in mixed-income multifamily housing, is making as a Better Buildings Challenge Partner.
“By committing to the energy efficiency goals of the Better Buildings Challenge, The Community Builders has taken a significant step towards reducing long term energy costs, supporting innovative technologies, and creating good jobs,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “Working together, we will increase housing affordability for owners and residents and foster healthier communities and neighborhoods.”
In his recent Climate Action Plan, President Obama called for leading multifamily housing owners to join the Better Buildings Challenge. As part of the Better Buildings Challenge, multifamily Partners commit to cutting energy use in their buildings portfolio-wide, by 20 percent within ten years.
“We are proud to partner with the DOE and HUD and answer the call to make multifamily housing more energy efficient,” said Bart Mitchell, president and CEO of The Community Builders. “We are committed to building and sustaining communities that use less energy and help our residents save money.”
TCB operates a portfolio of 10,000 apartments across 14 states and Washington, D.C., totaling 7.6 million square feet of real estate. The organization will use several energy savings pathways to achieve a 20 percent reduction in energy intensity by 2020, including improved operations and maintenance, resident engagement, appliance and equipment upgrades, multiple approaches to whole building retrofits and the use of renewable.
“Partners in the Better Buildings Challenge are leading by example, demonstrating their commitment to providing more efficient and comfortable homes for their tenants that save money and energy,” said Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman. “We applaud these partners for joining in this leadership initiative and we look forward to working with them as they make their communities more energy efficient and foster greater economic growth.”
These leaders also broadly share successful strategies that maximize energy efficiency in multifamily housing, contributing actual energy data to verify the energy savings of implemented energy upgrades. Through the Better Buildings Challenge expansion announced today, 50 multifamily partners - representing roughly 200,000 units and over 190 million square feet - have committed to cutting their energy use by 20 percent in ten years.
About a quarter of U.S. households live in multifamily housing units and spend about $40 billion on energy costs each year. Making these housing units 20 percent more energy efficient would save more than $7 billion per year and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 430 million tons. As part of the Better Buildings Challenge, DOE and the HUD are partnering with leading private and affordable buildings owners and public housing agencies to cut energy waste and help families save money.
Better Building Challenge multifamily Partners are leaders in market rate multifamily housing, public housing authorities, and affordable housing.