The Benefits of Energy Efficiency in Multifamily Affordable Housing

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Deutsche Bank
Corporate Social Responsibility
The Benefits of Energy Efficiency
in Multifamily Affordable Housing
supporting the health & vitality of affordable housing, building residents & the greater economy
January 2012
In conjunction with:
Prepared by:
Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation – Living Cities
Benefits of Energy Efficiency in Multifamily Affordable Housing |
Overview
New resources are required to take advantage of the
energy savings potential in our nation’s multifamily housing
stock.
Billions of dollars of energy savings potential are sitting in our
nation’s multifamily buildings. A 2009 study by McKinsey and
Company estimated that the capital required to unlock energy
efficiency opportunities in our nation’s low-income residential buildings
between 2009 and 2020 is approximately $46 billion, and would
provide a present value of $80 billion in savings. Almost a quarter of
this energy efficiency potential is in multifamily buildings, accounting
for approximately $16 billion in savings.1
Energy efficiency retrofits provide a reliable and achievable
means to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, generate economic
activity, and improve the long-term viability of affordable housing.
Amidst efforts to curb climate degradation – and capitalize on sound
opportunities for operational savings in our building stock - affordable
housing regulators have begun to tighten energy efficiency
requirements. For instance, New York City’s Department of Housing
Preservation and Development now require compliance with
Enterprise’s Green Communities criteria for new construction and gut
rehab projects it helps finance. Furthermore, New York City has
recently mandated tracking and assessing energy efficiency
opportunities in local building stock.
1. McKinsey & Company, Unlocking Energy Efficiency in the U.S. Economy, 2009.
Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation – Living Cities
The capital to unlock these improvements, however, is not
always readily available. In response to this challenge, Deutsche
Bank Americas Foundation and Living Cities engaged Steven Winter
Associates and HR&A Advisors to aggregate and analyze a dataset of
multifamily housing projects – totaling over 21,000 units – that had
undergone energy efficiency retrofits in New York City. The dataset
allows for insights into three key areas:
•
Assessing trends in pre- and post-retrofit building
performance;
•
Analyzing the reliability of savings projections; and
•
Utilizing findings to frame an approach for incorporating
energy savings projections into underwriting.
As part of this effort, HR&A Advisors conducted a study of the
wide ranging benefits of energy efficiency retrofits that accrue to
building owners, tenants, and their communities. This document
summarizes those benefits.
.
Image courtesy of The Community Preservation Corporation
Benefits of Energy Efficiency in Multifamily Affordable Housing | 1
Overview
Retrofit Benefits
Timeline
Tenant
engagement
Benefits
Economic
Social
Job
creation:
pre-retrofit
financing
Job creation:
contractors
and
construction
managers
Job creation:
energy audits
Job creation:
verification of
installation &
monitoring
Worker
Spending
Environmental
Tenant
education
Worker
Spending
Facilities staff
training
Promoting
neighborhood
stabilization
Reduced operating
expenses
Improved indoor
air quality
Improving the
physical condition
of buildings in
need
Long-term
preservation of
rental affordability
Owner savings
Improved
tenant
health and
comfort
Investment in
maintenance
and amenities
Images: Steven Winter Associates, The Community Preservation Corporation; HR&A Advisors
Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation – Living Cities
Tenant savings
from reduced
energy
expenditures
Tenant
Spending
Reduced
greenhouse
gas
emissions
Benefits of Energy Efficiency in Multifamily Affordable Housing | 2
Overview
Policymakers, investors and other stakeholders who care about preserving affordable housing, creating jobs,
combatting climate change, and supporting the health and financial well-being of low income population should care
about energy efficiency.
1.
Energy retrofits ensure the long-term viability of
existing affordable housing.

Retrofits help improve the physical conditions of existing
housing stock, which helps to address the issue of the
widening gap between supply of and demand for multifamily
affordable housing across the United States.

Retrofits generate significant operating savings that can be
reinvested into the building, supporting future operations
and/or capital work.

2.
3.
Beyond repair of individual buildings, rehabilitation of
affordable housing is a visible investment in economically
disadvantaged communities.
Energy retrofits create jobs and have broad economic
impacts.
A number of studies document the broad, industry-wide
economic impacts of energy efficiency, including the additional
spending, savings, and job creation. Two studies employing
the most rigorous methodology estimate around 10 jobs
created per million dollars of comprehensive energy efficiency
retrofits in residential buildings.
Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation – Living Cities
4.
Energy retrofits unlock a range of benefits for
building residents.

Retrofits bring direct energy savings to those most in
need, help avert future rent increases, and improve
conditions in affordable properties. These savings
generate additional economic activity by providing an
opportunity for increased spending by residents due to
reduced energy expenditures.

Retrofits also help improve the health, safety and comfort
of building residents, including improved indoor
environmental quality and better tenant mental and
physical health outcomes.
Energy retrofits reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In cities across the country, multifamily residential buildings
account for a significant portion of greenhouse gas emissions
(GHG); for example, in New York City, these buildings are
responsible for 35% of total GHG emissions. By installing more
energy efficient systems and reducing the energy consumption
of these buildings, cities can reduce greenhouse gas
emissions, improve the outdoor environment locally and
globally, and ensure a better future for generations to come.
Benefits of Energy Efficiency in Multifamily Affordable Housing | 3
Overview
10 jobs per $1 million invested
approximately
in comprehensive residential energy retrofits
nearly
$40 billion invested annually in residential
retrofits nation-wide
an average of
$300 per unit of tenant benefits,
including direct benefits from utility savings and indirect benefits
19% fuel savings and 7% of electric savings
across a 231-building sample of multifamily affordable buildings
Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation – Living Cities
Benefits of Energy Efficiency in Multifamily Affordable Housing | 4
1. Energy retrofits ensure the
long-term viability of existing
affordable housing.
Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation – Living Cities
Benefits of Energy Efficiency in Multifamily Affordable Housing | 5
1. Energy retrofits ensure the long-term viability of existing affordable housing.
The preservation of existing affordable housing is critical to
meet the needs of low- and moderate-income Americans.
The Joint Center for Housing Studies reports an increasing gap
between the demand for and supply of affordable units. As a
result of the recent economic downturn and increased unemployment,
the number of renters with very low incomes (below 50% of area
median income) increased by 9% between 2003 and 2009, from 16.3
million to 18.0 million.
Over the same time period, the number of housing units that were
affordable to very low-income households, in adequate physical
condition, and not occupied by renters of higher income levels
decreased by about 3%, from 12.0 million to 11.6 million. The result is
an affordable housing gap that grew by 33%, from 4.3 million to 6.4
million units.
2003
2009
Percentage
Change
Very low-income renter households
16.3
18.0
+ 9%
Units affordable to very low-income
households
12.0
11.6
- 3%
4.3
6.4
+ 33%
All figures in millions
Shortage of affordable units
New construction helps to maintain the supply of rental housing
by meeting new housing needs and replacing aged housing
stock, but new housing is increasingly unaffordable. As land
and construction costs for new multifamily buildings increase, median
asking rents increase. Median asking rents for new low- to
moderate-income housing across the nation in 2009 were nearly 40%
higher than affordability levels, defined as 30% of household income:
$1,070
≤ $775
2009 median
asking rent,
new construction
vs.
2009 median
affordable rent
(≤ 30% of HHI)
Much of the lowest-cost rental housing stock has been
demolished because building owners cannot afford the cost of
maintenance. From 1999 to 2009, 12% of the lowest cost rentals
were removed from the market. Those that are not demolished are
generally found in aging, deteriorating buildings.
Percentage of Rental Units Permanently Removed from Housing Stock,
from 1999 to 2009
12%
10%
8%
6%
4%
2%
0%
Under $400
$400 - 599
$600 - 799
$800 and Over
Real Rent Level
Source: Joint Center for Housing Studies, State of the Nation’s Housing, 2011.
Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation – Living Cities
Benefits of Energy Efficiency in Multifamily Affordable Housing | 6
1. Energy retrofits ensure the long-term viability of existing affordable housing.
Ongoing capital investment in and maintenance of existing
affordable multifamily buildings is critical to the long-term
vitality of existing affordable housing stock.
Energy efficiency retrofits play a central role in this capital process:
•
•
Energy efficiency retrofits help improve the physical
conditions of existing housing stock. The State of the
Nation’s Housing states that while supply of quality multifamily
affordable housing continues to dwindle, the remaining buildings
constitute a large share of at-risk structures in cities and towns
throughout the country. Energy efficiency retrofits can help
promote a safe and healthy environment for residents in those
buildings.
Not only do retrofits improve the quality of the housing
stock, but they generate significant operating savings that
can be reinvested into the building. Energy efficiency savings
can play a critical role in improving a building’s financial stability,
freeing up capital to offset potential rent increases and/or cover
additional capital work. Energy savings essentially create an
ongoing annuity that provides a return on investment to the
owner.
Affordable housing owners often face considerable financial
hurdles to repairs and retrofits, as they are limited in raising
rents or passing along costs to tenants to recapture the cost of
improvements. Furthermore, most do not have the upfront
capital available to invest in these projects. Operating savings
resulting from retrofits can be used to build up capital reserves,
service additional debt to carry new capital work, make repairs,
or improve building operations.
Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation – Living Cities
The 2011 Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation / Living Cities
study reports that New York City affordable multifamily buildings
undertaking comprehensive retrofits recorded $240 per unit in
annual fuel savings, and $50 per unit in annual common area
electric savings across the study portfolio.
Assuming total building expenses of $5,000 to $6,000 per unit
per year, and annual energy savings of $290 per unit from a
comprehensive retrofit project, savings would equate to a 5% to
6% reduction in expenses. More importantly, this extra income
could be used to support almost $3,000 in debt per unit.
Examining fuel savings across the Deutsche Bank / Living Cities
portfolio, $240 in annual savings could support approximately
$2,480 in new debt per unit, which covers the median per unit
cost of fuel retrofits of $2,200 across the portfolio.
• Beyond repair of individual buildings, rehabilitation of
affordable housing demonstrates visible investments in
economically disadvantaged communities. State and local
investment in extensive “green rehabilitation” projects - for which
energy efficiency is the cornerstone of improvements - support
broader efforts to stabilize low- and moderate-income
neighborhoods. HUD’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program
recognizes efforts to improve the sustainability of properties
targeting households of less than 50% of area median income as
eligible to receive grants supporting property redevelopment.
Benefits of Energy Efficiency in Multifamily Affordable Housing | 7
1. Energy retrofits ensure the long-term viability of existing affordable housing.
Retrofit Spotlight: Riverdale Osborne Towers
Riverdale Osborne Towers is
a 532-unit multifamily
affordable housing project
located in the Brownsville
neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY.
Between its construction in
1972 and 2006, in which time
the property changed
ownership, no significant
capital improvements had
been made to the building.
By 2006, living conditions at Riverdale Osborne had deteriorated
significantly; the housing complex suffered from high levels of crime in
additional to substandard physical quality. Tenants often reported the
presence of rodents, trash pile-ups, rotting walls, and poorly-functioning
toilets and elevators. The City issued hundreds of violations and
received negative press for poor living standards in the building.
Recognizing a need for change, in 2005 Catholic Charities Progress of
Peoples Development Corporation devised a strategy to redevelop the
site and preserve long-term affordability. The organization received
support from the East Brooklyn Congregations and The Community
Preservation Corporation Resources, as well as funding from the New
York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, and the
Housing Development Corporation, to undertake $40 million worth of
capital improvements, 10% of which was dedicated to energy efficiency
improvements. The energy efficiency retrofit was integral to an extensive
scope of work that facilitated the comprehensive rehabilitation of the
buildings, thereby preserving the long-term affordability of the units and
financially repositioning the property.
The rehabilitation of Riverdale Osborne created significant numbers
of jobs for local contractors. Construction took place over 24 months
starting in 2007, with 91% of work completed within the first year. At
the peak of construction, the project employed an average of 90
workmen per day. The owner required that 15% of these workers be
either building residents or from the local community.
Within one year of construction, at approximately 90% of project
completion, the building had already achieved 90% of its targeted
energy savings, i.e. 15,500 MMBTU or $210,200 savings of a
projected $235,7000 in savings.
The energy savings accrued as a result of the significant capital
improvements and energy efficiency retrofits helped the owners to
build up their capital reserves for future investments in the building
and strengthened the financial state of the building.
As part of the energy efficiency retrofit and broader capital
improvements, Riverdale Osborne improved its building security,
which helped to reduce crime and create a safer environment for
residents. The owners were also able to invest in amenities for
tenants, further improving the quality of life and helping to stabilize
the surrounding community.
Images: Bing; The Community Preservation Corporation
Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation – Living Cities
Benefits of Energy Efficiency in Multifamily Affordable Housing | 8
2. Energy retrofits create jobs and
have broad economic impacts.
Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation – Living Cities
Benefits of Energy Efficiency in Multifamily Affordable Housing | 9
2. Energy retrofits create jobs and have broad economic impacts.
Nationwide investment in residential energy efficiency
approaches $40 billion per year.
$179 billion was invested in building-related energy efficiency in
2004, out of approximately $300 billion invested in energy efficiency
infrastructure and technologies. Residential retrofits represented
22% of the total investment in improving the energy efficiency of
buildings, or $39.2 billion.2
Nationwide Investment in Building-Related
Energy Efficiency, 2004
Energy
Efficient
Appliances
and
Electronics
49%
Residential
Retrofits
22%
HR&A reviewed nearly twenty studies conducted by private
consultants, governmental organizations, and nonprofits to identify
different quantifications for economic impacts of efficiency retrofits
and studies’ associated methodologies. The studies estimated a
wide range job creation metrics related to energy efficiency retrofits.
A list of these studies is available in the appendix.
HR&A selected two studies to highlight, both of which served the
primary purpose of quantifying direct, indirect and induced job
creation per dollar invested in residential energy efficiency retrofits.
The studies also employed the most rigorous methodologies of the
set, examining market sectors impacted by retrofit activity, and using
economic impact assessment software to model how impacts flow
through the economy.
Types of Economic Impacts
Commercial
Retrofits
29%
$179 billion total
2.
A number of studies have assessed the economic impacts
of the energy efficiency / retrofit industry relative to job
creation, spending and savings.
Direct:
Direct effects are those related to the initial spending in the
economy. The initial purchase of goods and services is
making a direct expenditure to a second business.
Indirect:
The second business needs to purchase goods and services
to produce the product of the first business purchases.
These purchases, and successive rounds of purchases, are
known as the indirect effect.
Induced:
The spending that employees and their households make
from income earned is the induced effect.
Ehrhardt‐Martinez, Karen and John “Skip” Laitner, The Size of the U.S. Energy Efficiency Market: Generating
a More Complete Picture, American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), 2008.
Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation – Living Cities
Benefits of Energy Efficiency in Multifamily Affordable Housing | 10
2. Energy retrofits create jobs and have broad economic impacts.
Author
Booz Allen Hamilton (BAH)
Study
U.S. Green Building Council Jobs Study
Year
2009
Economic Impact of
Energy Efficiency
Per $1 million dollars invested in residential energy efficiency retrofits, retrofits helped to generate Gross
Domestic Product (GDP):
Number of Jobs
Created
•
$477,849 in direct GDP. This is greater than the direct GDP generated from new construction of
single-family and multifamily buildings, which generated $360,376 in GDP.
•
An additional $785,157 in indirect and induced GDP, versus $945,568 in residential new
construction.
Per $1 million dollars invested in residential energy efficiency retrofits:
11.6 jobs total jobs created
•
•
Methodology
1.8 direct jobs
9.8 indirect and induced jobs
BAH used IMPLAN software and identified retrofits as part of the “maintenance and repair construction of
residential structures” economic sector. IMPLAN (Impact Analysis for Planning) is an input-output model
developed at the University of Minnesota with the U.S. Forest Service’s Land Management Planning Unit.
This widely-recognized modeling tool generates estimates of direct economic output as well as indirect
employment and output based on a series of inputs. BAH simulated economic impact by assuming an
input of $1 million dollar in expenditure per green building category for new and repaired residential and
commercial construction.
Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation – Living Cities
Benefits of Energy Efficiency in Multifamily Affordable Housing | 11
2. Energy retrofits create jobs and have broad economic impacts.
Author
ECONorthwest and Bonnie Gee Yosick LLC
Study
Economic Multipliers and Metrics for Green Sector Strategies and Green Industries in Oregon
Year
2010
Economic Impact of
Energy Efficiency
With a focus on Oregon, this study found that the average economic impact per million dollars spent on
residential energy efficiency retrofits:
Output: $779,876
• Gross State Product: $432,833
o Personal Income: $270,871
o Other Income: $140,829
o Indirect Business Taxes: $21,132
• State and Local Taxes and Fees: $36,099
Household energy savings, total output: $1,308,413
Energy audits (all sectors), total output: $1,875,878
Number of Jobs
Created
Per $1 million dollars invested, the direct, indirect, and induced jobs created in Oregon was:
• In comprehensive residential retrofits, including weatherization: 9.5 jobs
• In residential efficiency improvements targeting select less labor intensive energy efficiency measures,
such as installation of efficient appliances: 6.4 jobs
Per $1 million spent on energy audits (all sectors): 14.4 jobs
Jobs created from household savings per $1 million spent on energy efficiency retrofits (over a 5 year
period following the retrofit): 11.0 jobs
Methodology
The research team used IMPLAN software to quantify impacts of different “green sectors,” as well as
identify multipliers per sector. By comparing “green sectors” to existing IMPLAN business sectors that
were representative of the broader industry (e.g., “green manufacturing” as a subsector of general
manufacturing, “green construction” as part of general construction), the team determined economic
impacts, outputs, and jobs created that generally reflected the trends in the underlying industry within
each green sector.
Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation – Living Cities
Benefits of Energy Efficiency in Multifamily Affordable Housing | 12
2. Energy retrofits create jobs and have broad economic impacts.
Assuming $40 billion dollar are invested annually in
residential retrofits nationwide, and an average of 10 jobs
are created per million dollars invested, a total of 4 million
jobs are created on an annual basis as a result of energy
efficiency improvements.
The impact of job creation is most meaningful at the local level,
particularly in low-income communities. Job creation is critical for
generating economic activity, as retrofit workers earn money and in
turn spend that money in the surrounding community. This economic
activity supports broader neighborhood stabilization efforts,
particularly as energy savings translate to additional capital for both
building owners and tenants.
In cities such as New York City, construction contracting typically
occurs locally, employing workers from the nearby region.
Furthermore, building owners and managers may require local
contracting. For example, as was mentioned on page 8, Riverdale
Osborne employed 90 contractors per day at the peak of
construction, 15% of which the building owners required were either
building or neighborhood residents. The neighborhood surrounding
the project has seen significant improvements in neighborhood safety
and increased economic stability as a result of the jobs created and
the resulting spending in the community.
Furthermore, in Williamsburg Court, described on page 18, the
owners were able to reinvest savings accrued as a result of energy
consumption reduction in job creation, adding new facilities staff to
assist with building operations and management.
Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation – Living Cities
Benefits of Energy Efficiency in Multifamily Affordable Housing | 13
3. Energy retrofits unlock a range of
benefits for building residents.
Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation – Living Cities
Benefits of Energy Efficiency in Multifamily Affordable Housing | 14
3. Energy retrofits unlock a range of benefits for building residents.
Retrofits bring direct energy savings to those most in
need, helping avert future rent increases and improve
conditions in affordable properties.
Residents of multifamily housing, particularly affordable
housing, are extremely vulnerable to energy cost increases,
and stand to benefit the most from energy retrofits. According
to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
(HUD), 88% of households in multifamily buildings are renters and
have a nationwide median household income that is
approximately half that of homeowners. Energy costs in lowefficiency multifamily housing puts a large financial strain on these
households. HUD found that while average rents in multifamily
housing increased by 7.5% from 2001 to 2009, energy costs for
these renters increased by nearly 23%.3 Implementing energy
retrofits in multifamily housing will help to counteract the high cost
of energy and the significant financial burden it places on low- and
middle-income families.
Tenants in direct-metered buildings can benefit from substantially
lower utility bills following comprehensive energy retrofits. In
direct-metered buildings (where tenants pay for the in-unit share of
utilities and building owners pay for base-building energy consumption)
residents can benefit directly from retrofits to apartments, such as
appliance replacement, lighting upgrades and, in some cases,
improvements that impact heating and cooling.
The New York State Research & Development Authority’s (NYSERDA)
affordable multifamily energy efficiency program, the Energy $martSM
Assisted Multifamily Program, served more than 100,000 units of
housing throughout New York State between 2002 and 2007.
NYSERDA projected an average of $97 in direct annual reductions to
tenant utility bills as a result of comprehensive building energy retrofits
over-seen by it.4
Furthermore, a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and
Community Health found that the total tenant savings resulting from
implementing energy efficiency measures were roughly twice the cost
of implementation.5
Tenants also benefit indirectly from master-metered or housemetered savings reinvested in the building. The reinvestment of
these funds results in improved health, comfort, and safety for tenants,
increased reserve funds, and/or higher cash flow, which reduce the
need for a rent increase. NYSERDA’s Assisted Multifamily Program
projected more than $200 in “indirect tenant benefits” per unit per
annum. Taken together with direct utility savings, total projected annual
benefits were $298 per unit.
Image courtesy of Michael Kason, owner of 1154 Ward Ave, Bronx NY
Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation – Living Cities
3.
US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Quantifying Energy Efficiency in Multifamily Rental
Housing. Evidence Matters. Summer 2011.
http://www.huduser.org/portal/periodicals/em/EM_Newsletter_Summer_2011_FNL.pdf
4.
New York Energy Research and Development Authority, 2007, The New York Energy $martSM Assisted
Multifamily Program Final Report.
5.
Chapman, R., Howden-Chapman, P. e al., Retrofitting housing with insulation: a cost-benefit analysis of a
randomized community trial, 2009. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19299400
Benefits of Energy Efficiency in Multifamily Affordable Housing | 15
3. Energy retrofits unlock a range of benefits for building residents.
Retrofits can help improve tenant health and comfort.
Beyond these financial benefits, tenants in buildings that
undergo energy retrofits also benefit from improvements to
health, comfort, and safety in their homes. In apartments with
good ventilation and climate control, residents are less likely to suffer
from cardiac and pulmonary ailments caused or exacerbated by poor
indoor air quality. A study conducted by the American Medical
Association found that poor indoor air quality results in approximately
150 million missed workdays and $15 billion in productivity losses
each year. Improved indoor air quality, as well as effective climate
control and lighting, also has a measurable impact on mental health.6
A study completed by Sheffield Hallam University, in partnership with
the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, found that after
implementing energy efficiency measures in a residential building,
tenants reporting anxiety or depression fell by half.7 In addition,
tenants are also less likely to suffer from accidents resulting from
unsafe efforts to control indoor climate. Open windows in the winter,
for instance, present a safety hazard to young children who may fall
out, and the use of ovens or other informal sources of heat create a
significantly higher risk of fires in the home.
During an energy audit, auditors from Steven Winter
Associates found inadequate ventilation systems that have
negative impacts on tenant health and comfort. These
conditions particularly exacerbate respiratory illnesses such
as asthma.
6.
Lorna Rosenberg, Alyssa Neir, US EPA. Health Benefits of Green Buildings. http://www.gallinausa.com/pdfs/health_benefitsdaylight_in_school.pdf
7.
Green, G. and Gilbertson, J. Warm Front. Better Health: Health impact evaluation. Centre for Regional, Economic and Social
Research, Sheffield Hallam University, 2008. http://www.apho.org.uk/resource/view.aspx?RID=53281
Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation – Living Cities
Benefits of Energy Efficiency in Multifamily Affordable Housing | 16
4. Energy retrofits reduce
greenhouse gas emissions.
Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation – Living Cities
Benefits of Energy Efficiency in Multifamily Affordable Housing | 17
4. Energy retrofits reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
By pursuing energy improvements in multifamily residential
buildings in urban areas around the country, we can ensure
that cities remain clean, healthy, and sustainable places for
generations to come.
Multifamily buildings are one of the biggest contributors to
greenhouse gas (GHG) production in cities throughout the
United States. In New York City, for example, multifamily residential
buildings account for approximately 35% of all GHG emissions. As a
matter of perspective, that is equal to the GHG emissions from all
New York City office, retail, and industrial buildings combined, and
more than 50% higher than GHG emissions from all vehicles in New
York City.8
Older residential buildings are disproportionately responsible for GHG
emissions. One study found that buildings built before 1980 are
responsible for approximately 70% of building GHG emissions, and
buildings built before 1960 are responsible for almost 40%. Housing
units built before 1980 represent approximately half of the United
States’ total housing stock, presenting a tremendous opportunity to
capture energy savings through the implementation of retrofits.9
Even if only a fraction of buildings were to implement energy
retrofits, there would still be a substantial impact on total GHG
emissions nationwide. If just one in ten households nationwide
installed ENERGY STAR-rated heating and cooling equipment, it
would prevent the release of more than 17 billion pounds of
greenhouse gases. Likewise, if every household in the United State
replaced just one incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent
bulb, it would prevent GHG emissions equivalent to taking more than
800,000 cars off the streets.10
8.
City of New York, PlaNYC Inventory of New York City Greenhouse Gas Emissions, 2011.
http://www.nyc.gov/html/om/pdf/2011/pr331-11_report.pdf
9.
Con Sol, Cost-Effective Green House Gas Reductions in the Residential Sector, 2008.
http://www.cbia.org/go/cbia/?LinkServID=D3BFD657-F8E2-4F63-97B404B55FD856B5&showMeta=0
10.
ENERGY STAR, Residential Home Improvement: An Overview of Energy Use and Energy Efficiency
Opportunities. http://www.energystar.gov/ia/business/challenge/learn_more/ResidentialHomeImprovement.pdf
Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation – Living Cities
Retrofit Spotlight: Williamsburg Court
Williamsburg Court is a 59-unit
affordable multifamily housing
property located in the
Williamsburg neighborhood of
Brooklyn, NY. The property
currently houses 190 residents, the
majority of whom earn less than
60% of area median income.
St. Nicks Alliance (St. Nicks) financed the construction of the building in
1993, using Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) as equity. As the
building approached its Year 15 LIHTC refinancing in 2008, St. Nicks
sought to implement energy efficiency measures as a means to
physically improve the relatively new building, and better position the
building for refinancing.
St. Nicks would test the waters for energy efficiency retrofits with
Williamsburg Court, with the intention of employing these strategies
across their portfolio if it proved successful. Even though Williamsburg
Court was a modern building with relatively newer systems, energy
efficiency improvements implemented throughout the building enabled
the building to achieve nearly 60% of energy savings, which totaled a
reduction of nearly 150 tons of CO2 from fuel and common area
electric use reduction.
Furthermore, St. Nicks found that this improved the indoor environment
for tenants as well, noting that tenants found that the improved air
quality (as a result of increased air sealing and ventilation system
upgrades) also improved health conditions for those suffering from
asthma and other respiratory problems.
Williamsburg Court not only served as a successful test case for St.
Nicks, but also showed the owners that the opportunity for energy
improvements exists in old and modern buildings alike.
Benefits of Energy Efficiency in Multifamily Affordable Housing | 18
Market transformation as a
priority for investment
Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation – Living Cities
Benefits of Energy Efficiency in Multifamily Affordable Housing | 19
Market transformation as a priority for investment
As the affordable multifamily sector seeks to stimulate
greater energy efficiency retrofit activity, coordinated
support and increase resources are required from
government regulators, policymakers, philanthropic
organizations, and the real estate industry.
Energy efficiency retrofits result in a broad range of economic, social
and environmental goods that align with the missions of these varying
stakeholders. Retrofits provide a reliable and achievable opportunity
to improve the long-term viability of affordable housing, generate
economic activity, provide health and financial benefits to building
residents, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Policymakers,
investors and other stakeholders who care about these objectives
should care about investing in energy efficiency.
The most effective way to engender this change is to focus
on activities that can spread beyond a single retrofit project
to help systematically change existing business practices,
including project financing, technology, or public policy.
to the fact that, despite decades of investment in energy efficiency in
multifamily buildings, there are no commonly accepted datasets, data
standards, or third party verification practices to measure and confirm
energy savings. This means that lenders cannot reliably assess the risk
associated with lending against energy savings projections.
While the Deutsche Bank / Living Cities study marks considerable
process on this front, a variety of additional efforts are critical to
supporting transformation of underwriting practices. The industry needs
to continue to document the reliability of energy savings through the
development and/or expansion of building energy databases.
Furthermore, increasing accountability in audit projections can serve as
a means to improve the accuracy of projections and support lenders’
use of audit projections. Additional efforts are also required to build
upon the study’s methodology for underwriting against energy savings
and prove out the concept. Finally, support from government and
philanthropic sources are required to support these activities and serve
as a source of credit enhancement in the early stages. And while some
housing agencies and industry stakeholders have begun to make
important shifts, energy efficiency retrofits need to become part of
typical business practice on a broader scale.
One of the greatest impediments to implementing energy efficiency
improvements, however, is the lack of upfront capital to invest in
retrofits. The Deutsche Bank / Living Cities initiative recognizes that
new, innovative approaches to financing retrofits can have
extraordinary impacts and engender lasting change in the market.
Other efforts are helpful to engender greater support from government,
foundations and others. These include the need to continue to measure
the positive economic impacts of energy efficiency retrofits, document
the health and safety benefits to tenants, and systematically quantify
savings and associated economic benefits for building residents.
The ability to underwrite against energy savings potential is central to
unlocking new financing. Conventional lenders, however, treat energy
savings projections skeptically and virtually never incorporate them in
the underwriting models that determine the sizing of loans. Many point
More information on these policy considerations can be found in the
2011 Deutsche Bank / Living Cities study at:
http://www.db.com/usa/content/en/ee_in_multifamily_underwriting.html
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Benefits of Energy Efficiency in Multifamily Affordable Housing | 20
Appendix
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Additional Sources and Studies Reviewed
HR&A reviewed nearly twenty studies conducted by private
consultants, governmental organizations, and nonprofits to
identify different quantifications for economic impacts of
efficiency retrofits and studies’ associated methodologies.
These studies are listed below. Among a plethora of interesting
research on the subject, HR&A chose two studies to highlight in this
document, focusing on research that fit the following criteria:
1. Quantified job creation per dollar invested in multifamily energy efficiency
retrofit projects, including direct, indirect and induced job creation;
2. Provided a clear description of the methodology employed, including the
sources of data inputs;
3. Utilized data from actual market activity as inputs to the project model;
4. Utilized industry-accepted economic impact assessment software such
as IMPLAN to model how impacts flow through the economy; and
5. Conducted within the last five years.
Benningfield Group, Inc. U.S. Multifamily Energy Efficiency Potential by 2020. The Energy Foundation. October 2009.
Booz Allen Hamilton. U.S. Green Building Council Green Jobs Study. US Green Building Council, 2008.
Chapman, R., Howden-Chapman, P. e al., Retrofitting housing with insulation: a cost-benefit analysis of a randomized community trial, 2009.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19299400
City of New York, PlaNYC Inventory of New York City Greenhouse Gas Emissions, 2011. http://www.nyc.gov/html/om/pdf/2011/pr331-11_report.pdf
Con Sol, Cost-Effective Green House Gas Reductions in the Residential Sector, 2008.
http://www.cbia.org/go/cbia/?LinkServID=D3BFD657-F8E2-4F63-97B404B55FD856B5&showMeta=0
DeCicco, John, Howard Geller, and Skip Laitner. Energy Efficiency and Job Creation: The Employment and Income Benefits from Investing in Energy Conserving
Technologies. ACEE, October 1992.
ECONorthwest and Yosick, Bonnie Gee. Economic Multipliers and Metrics for Green Sector Strategies and Green Industries in Oregon. August 2010.
Economic Opportunity Studies. How Many Workers Does the Weatherization Assistance Program Employ Now? What Jobs Will the Recovery Act Offer? 2009.
Ehrhardt‐Martinez, Karen and John “Skip” Laitner, The Size of the U.S. Energy Efficiency Market: Generating a More Complete Picture, American Council for an Energy
Efficient Economy (ACEEE), 2008.
ENERGY STAR, Residential Home Improvement: An Overview of Energy Use and Energy Efficiency Opportunities.
http://www.energystar.gov/ia/business/challenge/learn_more/ResidentialHomeImprovement.pdf
Global Insight. U.S. Metro Economies: Current and Potential Green Jobs in the U.S. Economy. United States Conference of Mayors and the Mayors Climate Protection
Center. October 2008.
Gold, Rachel and Steven Nadel. Appliance and Equipment Standards Jobs: A Money Maker and Job Creator in all 50 States. ACEEE. May 25, 2011.
Goldenberg, Noam, Dan Kawai, and Ian Saxon. An Economic Feasibility Study of Green Buildings in Vancouver. January 2006.
Heintz, James, Robert Pollin, Heidi Garrett-Peltier, and Helen Scharber. Green Recovery: A Program to Create Good Jobs and Start Building a Low-Carbon Economy.
Center for American Progress and Political Economy Research Institute at University of Massachusetts Amherst. September 2008.
Kats, Greg. The Costs and Financial Benefits of Green Buildings. 2003.
Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation – Living Cities
Benefits of Energy Efficiency in Multifamily Affordable Housing | 22
Majersik, Cliff. The Impact of Energy Costs on Multi-Family Residential Building Value. New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. August 2005.
Mast, Bruce, Jennifer Somers, and Jennifer Roberts. Green Rehabilitation of Multifamily Rental Properties. Bay Area LISC and Build It Green. 2007.
McKinsey Global Energy and Materials, Unlocking Energy Efficiency in the U.S. Economy. McKinsey & Company, July 2009.
New York City Labor Market Information Service. "Green Collar Training and Workforce Development." July 2009.
New York Energy Research and Development Authority.The New York Energy $martSM Assisted Multifamily Program Final Report. 2007.
North Carolina State University and National Center for O*NET Development. Greening of the World of Work: Implications for O*Net-SOC and New and Emerging
Occupations. US Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration. February 2009.
Roland-Host, David. Energy Efficiency, Innovation, and Job Creation in California. Center for Energy, Resources, and Economic Sustainability (CERES) at UC Berkley.
October 2008.
State Environmental Resource Center. "Environmental and Economic Impacts of Traditional Building vs. Green Building." Sep 14, 2004.
http://www.serconline.org/grBldg/fact.html
Urban Green Council. Cost of Green in NYC.Fall 2009
US Department of Housing and Urban Development. "Quantifying Energy Efficiency in Multifamily Rental Housing". Evidence Matters. Summer 2011.
http://www.huduser.org/portal/periodicals/em/EM_Newsletter_Summer_2011_FNL.pdf
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The Benefits of Energy Efficiency in Multifamily Affordable Housing
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