On Dec. 3, NMHC/NAA members participated in a White House event announcing an expansion of the Better Building Challenge to multifamily housing. Specifically, the Department of Energy (DOE) and HUD are partnering with both market rate and affordable housing owners, as well as housing agencies, to cut energy waste and help families save on their utility bills. The expansion of the challenge involves 50 multifamily partners, including numerous NMHC/NAA members that have committed to cutting their energy use by 20 percent in ten years.
An obstacle to property owners participating in the challenge is the lack of accurate, whole building utility data. NMHC/NAA have urged policymakers to find a way around the legal and technical obstacles that prevent utilities from making this data available to property owners. The information is essential for property owners to benchmark their properties through tools such as the EPA Portfolio Manager. Several cities have successfully implemented programs to share data and the Data Accelerator program announced by DOE yesterday seeks to build on those experiences.
NMHC/NAA multifamily members that joined the challenge as part of the announcement included: Campus Crest Communities; Forest City Enterprises; Housing Partnership Equity Trust; McCormack Baron Salazar; Mercy Housing, Inc.; National Church Residences; NHP Foundation; TIAA-CREF; Tonti Properties; and, WinnCompanies.