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Bowser Administration Launches Program to Help Multi-Family Affordable Housing Meet New Energy Performance Standards

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

CONTACT: Nicole Goines, PIO, (202) 536-7666 cell, [email protected]

The Affordable Housing Retrofit Accelerator Bolsters Nation’s First Building Performance Program with Tailored Support for Affordable Housing

WASHINGTON, DC – December 8, 2021 – Today, the Bowser Administration, through the Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE), announced the launch of a new initiative, the Affordable Housing Retrofit Accelerator, that will provide direct technical and financial assistance to multifamily affordable housing buildings so they can meet the compliance requirements of the nation’s first Building Energy Performance Standards (BEPS). By working with building owners to uncover energy savings opportunities and improve building energy performance, the Accelerator -- a  stimulus-funded program that is a project of DOEE, the DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU), and the DC Green Bank -- will help housing units remain affordable, improve health and comfort, and achieve lower utility bills for the owner and residents.

“The District is proud to continue to push the envelope and find innovative solutions to address greenhouse gases through energy efficiency in our existing buildings,” said DOEE Director Tommy Wells. “Federal stimulus funds have provided us with an incredible opportunity to ensure that our affordable housing buildings are safe, healthy, and energy efficient for the residents who live in them. We are excited to see how this will transform the market and set an example for the rest of the country.”

Some benefits to be offered under the Accelerator program include Affordable Housing Retrofit Energy audits, one-on-one guidance on how to comply with the BEPS requirements, and financing for the installation of new energy-efficient building equipment.  Building owners will have a direct line of communications with and support from DOEE, the DCSEU, and the DC Green Bank.

“Over the past 10 years, the DCSEU has been helping District commercial and multifamily building owners and managers uncover and pursue opportunities to reduce their energy costs and run their buildings more efficiently,” said DCSEU Managing Director Ted Trabue. “The Affordable Housing Retrofit Accelerator program offers a tremendous opportunity for us to expand our impact and we are excited to partner with DOEE over the next several years.”

This is the first year of a multiyear program demonstrating the District’s deep commitment to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions to stem catastrophic climate change.  Development of the framework and vision for the Affordable Housing Retrofit Accelerator was supported by the Bloomberg Philanthropies American Cities Climate Challenge. Washington, D.C. is one of the 25 winning cities in the Climate Challenge, which is helping cities set and surpass ambitious climate goals by ramping up action in the two highest-emitting sectors in cities: transportation and buildings.

 “Increasing DC’s supply of sustainable and affordable housing is a key goal for DC Green Bank, and we are looking forward to partnering with DOEE and the DCSEU to bring the Accelerator to life for that purpose,” said DC Green Bank CEO Eli Hopson. “By delivering low-cost financing for affordable multifamily buildings to exceed the BEPS requirements we will demonstrate to the nation that sustainability and inclusive prosperity go hand-in-hand.”

Eligibility requirements for the Affordable Housing Retrofit Accelerator are as follows:

  • Multifamily building over 50,000 square feet
  • The building meets the definition of affordable housing
  • The building does not meet the District’s 2021 BEPS (ENERGY STAR score lower than 66 in calendar year 2019)

Building owners can find more information about program on the DCSEU website or by calling the DCSEU at 202-479-2222.

About the District Department of Energy & Environment

The DOEE is the leading authority on energy and environmental issues affecting the District. Using a combination of regulations, outreach, education, and incentives, the agency administers programs and services to fulfill their mission and promote environmentally responsible behavior that will lead to a more sustainable urban environment.

About the DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU)

The District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) helps DC residents and businesses use less energy and save money. Since 2011, as a contractor to DOEE, the DCSEU has delivered financial incentives, technical assistance, and information to tens of thousands of District residents and businesses, helping them save more than $1.2 billion in lifetime energy costs. Its work is building a brighter economic, environmental, and energy future for the District. For more information, visit dcseu.com.

About the DC Green Bank

DC Green Bank was established by the District's Green Finance Authority Establishment Act of 2018. DC Green Bank develops and facilitates innovative financial solutions to support District businesses, organizations, and residents in the journey to a cleaner future. DC Green Bank invests in solar energy systems, energy efficient buildings, green infrastructure, and transportation electrification in line with its values of Sustainability, Clean Economy, and Inclusive Prosperity. Additional information about DC Green Bank’s mission and investments and how to access affordable green financing can be found here.