HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 07-028
Donna White
(202) 708-0685
For Release
March 12, 2007

Measure to save housing agency $14 million for water, electricity

ST. THOMAS, VI - The Virgin Islands Housing Authority (VIHA) finalized a comprehensive Energy Service Agreement (ESA) today that is projected to save the housing agency up to $14 million on water and electricity over the next 12 years. The agreement, between VIHA and Ameresco, Inc., paves the way for the installation of energy conservation devices and infrastructure improvements at nine of VIHA's public housing communities to reduce water and electricity consumption and waste.

"The energy performance improvements this agreement implements will help the housing authority's financial footing and aid in the recovery effort," said VIHA's Board Chair Carmen Valenti at a board meeting on the island today.

The HUD-appointed Executive Administrator of VIHA, Michael R. Hollis stated, "This is a continuing step by VIHA and HUD to secure the agency's long-term recovery and to improve the living conditions of residents."

Over the next twelve months, Ameresco, Inc., an energy services company based in Framingham, Mass, will install efficiency measures at 1,074 public housing units at Estate Tutu Apartments, Estate Bovoni Apartments, Knolls at Contant, D. Hamilton Jackson Terrace, Alphonso Gerard Complex, Marley Homes, Marley Addition, Mount Pleasant and Joseph E. James Terrace.

Improvements include low flow toilets, faucet aerators, efficient showerheads, water sub meters, leak detection devices, leak repair, replacement of underground water piping at two properties, and energy efficient lighting. The upgrades will cost $6.7 million, which will be financed by a loan that will be paid from the savings of the reduced water and energy consumption.

VIHA is taking advantage of a HUD program designed to encourage public housing agencies to make efficiency improvements through reduced energy consumption. By utilizing this program, VIHA has the potential to save an additional $2.5 million over the life of the 12-year agreement. These savings can be used to make other improvements to its housing communities.

HUD's Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) program is an innovative financing technique that uses cost savings from reduced energy consumption to repay the cost of installing energy conservation measures. Normally offered by Energy Service Companies (ESCOs), this technique allows building users to achieve energy savings without upfront capital expenses. The ESCO bears the costs of the energy improvements and is paid back out of the energy savings.

VIHA hired the ESCO Ameresco, Inc. in 2004, to perform an energy audit for VIHA communities. The results of the audit showed how VIHA could benefit from upgrades. Under the agreement, Ameresco, Inc. will be responsible for the installation of the energy conservation measures, and also guarantees that the cost savings from the installations will meet or exceed the annual costs to pay for the improvements over the next 12 years.

Ameresco, Inc. will also be responsible for annual resident education and maintenance staff training concerning the new equipment, with a focus on practices that can help the residents and VIHA reduce their utility bills. Additionally, Ameresco, Inc. will be working closely with VIHA maintenance staff, conducting periodic equipment inspections, and monitoring the monthly utility savings.

Ameresco, Inc. is a large energy services company that specializes in public housing energy efficiency projects and has successfully managed several public housing energy efficiency projects throughout the U.S.

HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development, and enforces the nation's fair housing laws. HUD's Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) is responsible for managing and administering a range of programs, including the two largest federal rental assistance programs - public housing and the Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8). Combined the programs serve more than 3.2 million low-income families in the U.S. PIH also monitors the operations of the nation's approximately 3,400 public housing authorities that manage the country's more than 1.2 million public housing units and administer other HUD programs. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and


Content Archived: May 10, 2010