The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) issued a whitepaper addressing the impact of energy efficiency projects deployed for multi-family households.The report analysis policies, regulation and investments made towards improving the multifamily energy efficiency sector.
The whitepaper comprises data on energy efficiency collected from 51 metropolitan areas with the most multifamily households in the US.
ACEEE define multifamily households as those living in buildings with five or more housing units.
Despite challenges such as split incentives, resource constraints and lack of information and marketing hurdles in the multifamily energy efficiency sector, project deployment has grown since 2013.
ACEEE gives credit to the growth of the multi-family energy efficiency market to energy regulators and local governments’ introduction of new policies on energy efficiency.
Multifamily energy efficiency funding
The policies enabled the development of energy efficiency frameworks and budgets for energy conservation programmes to be set, says ACEEE.
According to the findings of ACEEE, utility companies, federal state governments and other energy efficiency programme administrators increased annual spending for multifamily energy efficiency projects by at least $180 million per annum since 2011.
Of the fifty-one metropolitan statistical areas included in the report, thirty-eight have dedicated multi-family energy efficiency programmes in place compared to thirty in 2013.
Twenty-two new energy efficiency programmes have been introduced and several expanded in the metropolitan areas. Twenty-five metropolitan areas now have comprehensive retrofit options in addition to the direct installation of basic energy efficiency measures, up from 16 metropolitan areas in 2011.
The report forecasts the implementation of energy efficiency programmes for multi-family households to increase under efforts by utility firms to improve their customer services by helping consumers to reduce their energy use and costs as well as improve the comfort of their indoor environments.
The organisation projects the sector to reap $3.4 billion in annual savings per annum.
However, the inability of energy efficiency policies to effect on buildings constructed during 1980s, whose majority are multifamily households, is negatively impacting on the growth of the sector.
ACEEE recommends the introduction of laws targeting old buildings to adhere to certain building energy efficiency standards.
Moreover, since most of the multi-family buildings occupied by low-income consumers are older apartments and therefore are not affected by energy efficiency standard policies, ACEEE recommends utilities and governments to tailor energy efficiency programmes for consumers in old apartments. [PSE&G files proposal to boost energy efficiency].
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