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Energy Efficiency and Conservation at HUD: New Opportunities for State Partnerships

Presentation given by John H. Miller, II, PE of the Office of Public and Indian Housing at the HUD Workshop with The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) held on March 23, 2005. View the Presentation. (Download PowerPoint Viewer)

HUD Rehabilitation Energy Guidelines

One easy-to-use source for finding cost-effective ways to remodel an existing building is HUD's Energy Efficient Rehab Advisor. The Rehab Advisor's energy efficiency recommendations are based on ENERGY STAR® specifications, where applicable.

Tips: Energy Audits

Before spending money on materials and equipment, it is important to identify the energy-efficiency strategies that are most cost effective in a specific situation. An energy audit is a good way to gather this information.

Sample RFP
Use this recent sample Housing Authority Energy and Water Audit Request for Proposals (RFP), developed by ABT Associates, as a guide for writing RFPs for your agency.

What to Look for in an Energy Audit
To get the best results, you want your energy audit to be comprehensive. Some auditors only examine lighting and water conservation measures. A proper audit will look at everything that can effect energy and water use.

Ask your auditor to complete these three tasks:

  1. Conduct an energy audit walk-through survey. The HUD Energy Audit is contained in Chapters 4 & 5 of “Energy Conservation for Housing - A Workbook,” located at http://www.abtassoc.com/reports/D19980034.pdf.
  2. Based on that survey, develop a list of potential energy conservation measures (ECMs).
  3. Analyze each measure or group of ECMs for cost-effectiveness and develop a final itemized and prioritized list of recommended measures based on their cost, payback, and safety.

Chapter 7 of the workbook discusses most ECMs and provides worksheets to develop costs and benefits for each measure. Most auditors will have their own computerized cost/benefit/ranking software, but you can spot check an auditor's calculations by using these worksheets.

Learn More
To learn more about energy audits, visit HUD’s Website on energy audits.

PIH Energy Goals Support HUD's Energy Action Plan

HUD has developed an Energy Action Plan to improve energy efficiency and energy conservation in HUD-assisted rental housing. The goal is to reduce public housing energy bills by as much as $200 million a year while maintaining comfort and safety. PIH has developed five Management Plan goals for FY 2005 to support the Energy Action Plan. Read the five Management Plan goals.

To ensure compliance, field offices may contact PHAs as necessary to discuss and investigate these goal accomplishments and audits, energy performance contracts, and utility allowance reviews.

Replacing Appliances? Find Out Which Models Use Less Energy

Today's appliances use considerably less energy than their predecessors. It might make sense to replace outdated appliances in your properties with Energy-Star rated models, which could save enough energy to pay for themselves in a short time. The American Council for an Energy-Efficiency Economy's Top-Rated Energy-Efficient Appliances webpage identifies the best energy performers in a number of appliance categories. For a more extensive list, see ACEEE's Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings.

Choices, Choices—Should You Repair or Replace Your Windows?

Old, inefficient windows can cost your housing authority a bundle in energy costs. But does it always make sense to replace old windows? Not necessarily, according to a recent article in FacilitiesNet. Replacing windows is neither simple nor inexpensive, so it pays to do a complete assessment of your properties to decide whether replacement or repair is a better option for you. Check out the complete article at http://www.facilitiesnet.com/bom/Jan04/Jan04envelope.shtml to learn more about today’s window options, how to assess the condition of your windows, and factors to help you decide whether to repair or replace them. The article even includes an evaluation worksheet to help you evaluate the condition of your windows!

Cool! Researchers Testing Innovative Air Conditioning Technology

Davis Energy Group recently developed a new cooling technique and the group's researchers are now testing it in California homes. Called Night Breeze, the technology works by bringing cooler nighttime air inside to cool concrete floors, walls, and other thermal masses. The system is integrated into the home’s heating and air-conditioning systems, allowing ventilation air to be delivered to all occupied spaces and keeping installation costs down. Previous monitoring and simulations have demonstrated energy savings exceeding 70 percent in some California climates.

Learn more about Night Breeze!

Lessons Learned Result in New Affordable, Energy-Efficient Housing Project

Developers of a new housing project in Carbondale, Colorado, are relying on energy efficiency to make the homes affordable for residents. The Consortium for Advanced Residential Buildings (CARB) and Steven Winter Design made energy recommendations for the project based on lessons learned through other Building America projects. The 52-unit modular home development--which includes both single- and multifamily units--will boast many energy-efficiency features and keep energy bills low for residents over the long term. A model home for the development is now complete. Building America is a project of the U.S. Department of Energy.

Read more about the project!

Best Natural Gas Energy Efficiency Programs—Does Your Utility Measure Up?

In December 2003, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) published Responding to the Natural Gas Crisis: America's Best Natural Gas Energy Efficiency Programs, which profiles more than 30 examples of outstanding natural gas energy efficiency programs across the country. The report includes examples of practical, successful natural gas energy efficiency programs that can help housing authorities and other sectors cope with natural gas prices that have nearly doubled over the past two years.

Download the report!

New Study Says Renewables, Efficiency Could Cut Natural Gas Prices

Natural gas prices are predicted to increase a whopping 36 percent on average for U.S. consumers. These rising costs affect all sectors, but the low-income are particularly hard hit. However, energy efficiency and renewable energy systems hold promise to reduce these costs, according to a new study by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and Energy and Environmental Analysis, Inc. According to the study, aggressive programs to encourage energy efficiency and renewable energy could reduce the demand for natural gas enough to cause a 10 to 20 percent drop in wholesale natural gas prices. The report concludes that savings to consumers and businesses over the next five years could exceed $75 billion.

Read a summary, or download the full report.

Use PHECC's Cost-Reduction Toolbox and start reducing energy consumption in your properties today!

DOE 25-Year Strategic Plan Looks to Provide Energy Stability and Guard Against Price Spikes

On August 6, 2003, DOE released its 25-year Strategic Plan that spells out a general vision as well as specific technologies and projects it hopes to develop in the next 25 years. The plan is committed to clean coal and nuclear, but also supports renewable energy and energy efficiency, with the underlying principle that a diversity of energy sources can help provide stability and guard against price spikes.

Download the Strategic Plan.

HUD Publishes Notice 2003-18 Affecting Operating Subsidy, Utilities

Read the new notice.


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