Throughout the summer, a group of energy efficiency advocates, weatherization providers, affordable housing providers and environmental organizations began meeting around finding ways to improve the energy efficiency of Virginia’s multifamily housing stock. Over a series of meetings, this multi-sector group agreed to form an ongoing coalition – the Virginia Multifamily Energy Efficiency Coalition (VA MFEEC).
The group decided to focus specifically on the affordable multifamily residential stock due to the unique programmatic challenges it presents, and the impact lower energy costs have for low and moderate income renters, and the potential towards helping the state meet its energy goals. In Virginia and nationwide, multifamily housing lags behind other sectors in terms of energy efficiency and is currently underserved by state, federal, and utility weatherization programs in the state.
The group has set a goal of “25/25/25”, which means the coalition will support policies and programs resulting in an average energy savings of 25% or greater in 25% of the affordable multifamily housing stock in Virginia by 2025. The group plans to achieve this goal by working to bolster the state’s utility driven energy efficiency programs, working for the inclusion of multifamily housing in federally funded programs, and promoting the development of innovative financing tools to enable building owners to cost effectively improve their buildings and pass the energy savings on to tenants.
The Coalition will be lead by the Virginia Housing Alliance, and is supported by the Energy Foundation, the National Resources Defense Council, The National Housing Trust and Elevate Energy through the Energy Efficiency for All (EEFA) campaign.