HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD Region V No. 12-028
Laura J. Feldman
(312) 913-8332
Follow us on Twitter @HUDMidwest
For Release
March 8, 2012

University of Illinois, Champaign receives $500,000

CHICAGO - All across the country, owners of aging apartment complexes are looking for ways to reduce their energy consumption and save money. In order to test new and innovative ways to cut energy bills and to finance energy efficiency upgrades in existing multifamily residential properties, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today awarded nearly $23 million to a dozen organizations on the cutting edge of bringing energy-saving solutions to the housing market. The Smart energy Design Assistance Center at the University of Illinois will receive $500,000 to address the needs of small to medium public housing authorities. Grant summary at end of release.

These affordable housing providers, technology firms, academic institutions and philanthropic organizations were selected to receive grant funding to test new approaches to implement and to pay for these energy-saving upgrades that may become the model for financing these 'retrofits' on a wider scale in the future (see grant summaries below). The federal grants are directly leveraging an additional $60 million in philanthropic, local and private capital.

"These grants are being awarded to a diverse collection of organizations that will help us find new ways to cut energy, save money and generate jobs!" said Acting Federal Housing Commissioner Carol Galante. "This is more than just 'going green,' it's about bringing real dollars and cents solutions to a sector of the market that is currently wasting money heating and cooling buildings, some of which were built more than a generation ago."

Theodore Toon, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for HUD's Office of Affordable Housing Preservation, added, "These energy-saving innovations will be driven by the private sector who will help lead the way in bringing down the costs in our older multifamily housing stock. HUD's new Energy Innovation Fund will become the model for others to follow in the national effort to bring a new generation of energy efficiency to older residential properties."

"The University of Illinois will work with small to medium Public Housing Authorities in Champaign, Cook, Lake and Union Counties to introduce tools to provide cost-effective energy retrofits. This important project will help smaller housing authorities and multifamily properties across the country learn how to save energy by accessing available programs," said Antonio R. Riley, HUD's Midwest Regional Administrator.

The goal of HUD's pilot program is to develop ideas and mechanisms that could potentially be replicated nationally, as well as help create industry standards in the home energy efficiency retrofit market. In addition, the pilot program will create public/private partnerships as a result of capital investments from private industries and create green jobs in construction, property management, and technical analysis (e.g. energy audits and building commissioning), including opportunities for low income residents.

HUD is awarding Energy Innovation Funds to the following organizations:

University of Illinois-Champaign, IL $500,000 Champaign, Cook, Lake, and Union counties
Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. New York, NY $2,795,071 New York City, Chicago Area, Southern California
Heat Watch, LLC, Glen Head, NY $356,300 New York City (Bronx, Brooklyn, and Manhattan), and Yonkers
Columbus Property Management & Development, Inc., Philadelphia $3,000,000 Greater Philadelphia metropolitan area
Community Environmental Center, Inc, Long Island City, NY $3,000,000 New York City (Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens)
iCast , Lakewood, CO $590,118 State of Colorado
Jonathan Rose Companies, LLC (activity in Newark, NJ) $325,732 Newark, New Jersey
New Ecology Inc., Boston $989,275 Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Network for Oregon Affordable Housing, Portland, OR $3,000,000 Greater Portland, OR metropolitan area
Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future, Washington, DC $1,500,000 National scope
Maryland Dept. of Housing and Community Development, MD $1,250,000 Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Cecil, Frederick, Hartford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George's, and St. Mary's Counties
NRG Solutions LLC, Boston, MA $5,250,000 NY, CT, MA, RI, VT, ME, and New York City
TOTAL $22,556,496  

Illinois Energy Innovation Fund Awardee

Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois, Champaign
$500,000 (Applied Research Demonstration)

The Smart Energy Design Assistance Center at the University of Illinois will conduct a program to address the needs of small to medium public housing authorities (PHAs). These PHAs have been underserved by existing energy performance contractors (EPCs) and financing options, partly due to higher risks, higher administrative costs, and low profit margins. The inability to attract investors for energy financing at reasonable market rates along with a lack of technical capacity to identify and address energy requirements have traditionally been the key barriers limiting the small to medium size multifamily market from addressing their need for energy efficiency improvements.

This Grantee will work with four PHAs in Illinois (in Champaign, Cook, Lake, and Union Counties). The Grantee will introduce tools to provide property owners and managers with the guidance and information necessary to determine cost-effective utility retrofits for a property. The PHAs will be trained in the use of the tools. Bid specifications and installation terms will be issued based on the "EPC-EZ App" a tool developed to serve this market. The proposal also includes quarterly analysis of utility bills, a satisfaction survey based on seven primary LEED criteria, training and outreach to facilitate proper utilization, and tenant acceptance of installed retrofits, and exploring varied financing methods. This approach will help smaller PHAs and multifamily properties across the country access the energy efficiency retrofit market.


HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at and You can also follow HUD on Twitter at @HUDnews or on Facebook at, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.


Content Archived: April 20, 2014