Two VEIC multifamily housing initiatives have been named national models of best practices by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). The District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) and Efficiency Vermont, both of which are operated by VEIC, were cited in a recent ACEEE report on successful energy efficiency approaches in the multifamily housing sector. The release of the report, Apartment Hunters: Programs Searching for Energy Savings in Multifamily Buildings, coincided with a White House-sponsored discussion focused on reducing energy use in multifamily buildings.
A total of twelve multifamily programs were highlighted in the report. In the category of “leading programs”, Efficiency Vermont was cited for its strong relationships with nonprofit affordable housing providers. As the report notes: “As a result of these relationships and outreach to architects and designers, virtually all the multifamily housing that has been built or renovated in Vermont by the nonprofit community over the last ten years has participated in Efficiency Vermont programs.”
The report also noted Efficiency Vermont’s outreach to the 70% of the state’s multifamily housing stock that is maintained by private property owners, through strategies such as strong partnerships with the Vermont Apartment Owner’s Association and the low-income Weatherization Assistance Program.
The DCSEU was cited by the report in the “new and notable programs” category. Launched in March of 2012, its Low-Income Multifamily Comprehensive program features early intervention at the design and planning stages; account management to support developers and their team throughout the process; and financial incentives that are structured to encourage deeper levels of energy efficiency.
Bass Circle Apartments, Washington, D.C.
The ACEEE report was released to coincide with a White House sponsored discussion that brought together utilities and leading owners of multifamily housing that are pledging to reduce energy consumption across their building portfolios by 20% within 10 years. The gathering marked the expansion of the U.S. Department of Energy's Better Buildings Initiative, which will now include multifamily buildings for the first time, as called for in President Obama's Climate Action Plan.
Combined, Efficiency Vermont and DCSEU initiatives helped more than 6,000 multifamily households to save
over $1.2 million in annual energy costs through projects completed last year.