Energy efficiency upgrades to US apartment buildings could save owners and residents up to $3.4 billion, according to a report from CNT Energy and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).
Cost-effective upgrades to buildings with five or more apartment can save 15-30% on utility bills, according to the report Engaging as Partners in Energy Efficiency: Multifamily Housing and Utilities.
The report’s key finding is that utilities and building owners need to work together to identify potential savings and implement the necessary measures.
“We have billions essentially sitting untapped in our apartment buildings. We can harness that by simply setting better policies for efficiency for apartment buildings,” says Anne McKibbin, report author and policy director at CNT Energy.
Although energy efficiency upgrades help maintain affordable housing and improve occupant comfort, while reducing financial risks for lending institutions, building owners often find it difficult to get good advice or the necessary financing.
“Utilities and local regulations vary dramatically from state to state and region to region, so there is no one-size-fits-all solution. [But] the common thread is that partnering with the utility is crucial,” says Eric Mackres, ACEEE senior policy analyst.
The report outlines a variety of strategies that could help apartment buildings engage with utilities to start the process and says the approach could be particularly valuable in regions like Florida, Illinois, Texas and the District of Columbia, where there is a high proportion of multiple-occupancy buildings.
For further information:
US weatherization scheme reaches 600,000-home target ahead of schedule (19-Dec)
US government puts up $8 million to help consumers manage energy use (15-Nov)
27 January 2012