|HUD No. 09-028
March 25, 2009
HUD LAUDED FOR PROMOTING ENERGY EFFICIENCY IN PUBLIC HOUSING
Public housing agencies across U.S. are saving energy using ENERGY STAR products, practices
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will receive special recognition for promoting the use of energy efficient appliances in public housing units and encouraging public housing authorities across the country to follow "green" building standards.
On March 31st, HUD's Office of Public and Indian Housing will be presented with an ENERGY STAR Special Recognition Award at a formal ceremony in Washington, D.C. for its commitment and dedication to furthering the ENERGY STAR program, which encourages energy conservation.
"We are extremely proud to play such an important role in cutting energy costs for public housing agencies and the low-income families they serve," said HUD Deputy Assistant Secretary Paula Blunt. "Making America more energy independent and efficient is a top priority for the Obama Administration and HUD will be at the forefront of accomplishing these goals."
Created in 1992, ENERGY STAR is the joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to help save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices. Annually, EPA and DOE honors organizations that make outstanding energy efficiency contributions.
HUD's Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) is taking part in a Department-wide effort to promote energy efficiency in public and assisted housing, as well as housing financed using formula and competitive grant programs. PIH, the HUD office that works directly with public housing authorities (PHAs) to provide affordable housing through HUD's Public Housing program and administers the HOPE VI program, has effectively instituted guidelines, policies and practices to encourage housing authorities to conserve energy and in turn, save money.
PIH survey results indicate that more than half of the nation's 3,100 housing authorities require the use of ENERGY STAR-qualified products as part of their procurement policies. HUD also issued guidance in 2006 that required all PHAs to buy ENERGY STAR appliances for replacements, unless it is not cost effective for the agency. In addition, as of 2008, 1,518 newly constructed housing units that were funded using a HUD HOPE VI Revitalization grant were built using ENERGY STAR-qualified products. Since 2003, HUD has included language in the HOPE VI Revitalization grant application that encourages the adoption of ENERGY STAR and other green building practices in new HOPE VI developments. Since 2005, HOPE VI Revitalization applicants get an incentive point if their application demonstrates they will use ENERGY STAR-labeled products; promote ENERGY STAR design of replacement units; and include ENERGY STAR in homeownership counseling, in the revitalization plan.
PIH's 46 field offices also played a critical role in the Department's energy outreach efforts. Each conducted two workshops for housing authorities locally to promote ENERGY STAR products. HUD's Headquarters Office of Public Housing provided brochures and briefing materials to facilitate discussions and training. Other energy conservation outreach efforts included PHA community meetings, state housing conferences, housing industry workshops and direct technical assistance to public housing agencies in support of energy performance contracting.
Through its energy outreach campaign, PIH also increased housing authorities' awareness of a HUD program that is designed to encourage agencies to make energy 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, like ENERGY STAR. In 2008, this effort has resulted in PHAs nationwide having a combined annual savings of $103.1 million, and $570.8 million projected energy investments including ENERGY STAR products. This garnered PIH a 2008 Presidential Award for Leadership in Federal Energy Management.
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 @HUDnews, on facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.