HUD No. 08-166
October 23, 2008
HUD WINS PRESTIGIOUS PRESIDENTIAL LEADERSHIP AWARD
Agency credited for promoting energy conservation in public housing
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is the recipient of a 2008 Presidential Award for Leadership in Federal Energy Management for its efforts to reduce energy consumption in 1.2 million public housing units across America.
HUD's Office of Public an Indian Housing (PIH) was selected for its aggressive outreach effort to promote and improve energy management in public housing authorities (PHAs). Since the launch of its energy conservation initiative in 2002, PHAs have a combined annual savings of $102.8 million, while investing $570.8 million in energy capital at public housing authorities nationwide.
"We are pleased that HUD has been recognized as a leader in promoting smart approaches to energy management," said General Deputy Assistant Secretary Paula Blunt. "The team's tireless efforts to conserve energy are not only increasing the asset value of housing agencies, but are improving the quality of life for their residents."
To ensure local PHAs were fully informed, HUD's team traveled across the U.S. to provide technical assistance, address conferences, and conduct annual training sessions. In addition, PIH required its 46 Field Offices to host at least two regional events promoting environmental conservation at the local level.
Many PHAs achieved maximum energy savings by utilizing a HUD program designed to encourage agencies to make efficiency improvements through reduced energy consumption. HUD's Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) program utilizes an innovative financing technique that uses cost savings from reduced energy consumption to repay the cost of installing energy-efficient utilities and appliances. Using HUD's energy incentives permit PHAs to retain their HUD Capital Fund Program resources for large capital improvements such as roof replacements.
PHAs that employ Energy Performance Contracting have an investment-grade energy audit performed on its projects. The audit shows how much the PHA would benefit from upgrades, such as compact fluorescent lighting, kitchen and bathroom appliances; heating and cooling systems; and insulation and weatherproofing.
Under the agreement, Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) or the PHA is responsible for the installation of the energy conservation measures. When an ESCO is used, the ESCO guarantees that the cost savings from the installations will meet or exceed the annual costs to pay for the improvements over the life of the EPC.
The ESCO may also be responsible for annual resident education and maintenance staff training concerning the new equipment, with a focus on practices that can help residents and the housing authority reduce their utility bills. Additionally, the ESCO will work closely with PHA's maintenance staff, conducting periodic equipment inspections, and monitoring the monthly utility savings.
EPCs have also begun to employ the use of renewable energy sources and Green Building practices as part of their design and construction techniques - seeking to increase energy efficiency, improve indoor air quality and conserve natural resources. Green building technology can help achieve affordability and performance and potentially improve the overall health of the community.
Other conservation initiatives PIH implemented include tracking energy consumption through the Subsidy and Grants Information System; implementing Energy Star provisions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, and reaching out to PHA's through a monthly newsletter, Eco Wise and the Public Housing Environmental and Conservation Clearinghouse website which is a one-stop shop to access public housing environmental and energy information.
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. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov