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March 8, 2012
HUD AWARDS $23 MILLION TO TEST NEW ENERGY-SAVING APPROACHES IN OLDER MULTI-FAMILY HOUSING DEVELOPMENTS
Network for Oregon Affordable Housing of Portland one of 12 Organizations Selected to Help Drive Innovative Energy-saving Approaches
PORTLAND - The Network for Oregon Affordable Housing (NOAH), a non-profit based in Portland, was today competitively awarded a $3 million Energy Innovation Fund grant by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). NOAH is one of 12 organizations nationwide to receive a total of $23 million under a pilot program to test new approaches to implement and to pay for these energy-saving upgrades. The announcement was made by Acting Federal Housing Commissioner Carol Galante and Theodore Toon, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for HUD's Office of Affordable Housing Preservation.
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 multi-family residential properties. 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. 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 Commissioner 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."
Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary Toon 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 multi-family 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."
"NOAH has a long tradition of helping Oregon's housing and community development sectors to devise and implement cutting-edge solutions to the issues and challenges they face," said HUD Northwest Regional Administrator Mary McBride. "So, it is no surprise that they are among a dozen organizations nationwide selected by HUD for this pilot. As in so many other endeavors, NOAH will show us innovative ways to provide energy-efficient and cost-effective services."
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.
NOAH will use its $3 million Energy Innovation Fund grant to capitalize the MPower Fund. The MPower Fund will catalyze use of an on-bill financing retrofit pilot across the Portland metropolitan region and select rural communities in the State of Oregon. On-bill financing allows the costs of energy conservation measures to be paid up front by a utility company, and to be repaid through incremental charges on the users' utility bills. The MPower Fund will work collaboratively with Portland General Electric to leverage on-bill financing to directly address the challenges of limited asset collateral, and split incentives (a misalignment of costs and benefits among owners and tenants), which are barriers to energy retrofits of affordable multifamily housing. By matching proven program delivery with on-bill financing, the MPower Fund will unlock stranded energy efficiency potential while delivering a leverage ratio of 3.75 to 1 and demonstrating the viability of energy efficiency backed retrofits in affordable housing finance. Using this strategy NOAH expects to reduce energy consumption with a savings of 24,300 MBTUs annually, save building owners and/or tenants more than $1.7 million over 10 years, reduce CO2 emissions by an average of 1,300 metric tons annually, and deliver $8.1M in investment into the affordable housing stock.
In addition to NOAH, grants were awarded today to the University of Illinois at Champaign, Enterprise Community Partners, Inc of New York City, Heat Watch, LLC of Glen Head, New York, Columbus Property Management & Development, Inc. of Philadelphia, Community Environmental Center, Inc of Long Island City, New York, iCast of Lakewood, Colorado, Jonathan Rose Companies, LLC of Newark, New Ecology Inc. of Boston, Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future of Washington, D.C., the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development and NRG Solutions LLC, of Boston.
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 www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on Twitter at @HUDnews or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.