Microblog #23: Why Energy Efficiency Matters

Pair of New Reports Make it Clear: Energy Efficient Apartments are a Good Deal for Everyone

Discussions around energy efficiency and green building often focus heavily on single family homes, but two new Virginia-specific reports make a strong case for focusing more attention on multifamily developments.

The first study, by the Virginia Tech Center for Housing Research and Housing Virginia, showed that the average cost to build LIHTC properties to EarthCraft standards was not significantly different than non-green buildings. Findings were based on actual costs for 24 developments built between 1998 and 2012, both new construction and rehabilitation. The study also found that tenant utility savings in green buildings is sustained and substantial: residents save an average of 45% annually on their energy bills.

 

The second report, by the Virginia Multifamily Energy Efficiency Coalition (MFEEC), demonstrates how energy efficiency is a cost-effective way to maintain safe and healthy affordable housing, promote local job growth, and build a stronger economy for all Virginians. Utility bills represent the largest controllable cost for the 520,000 Virginia households living in multifamily homes. The report explores the unique challenges and opportunities for making Virginia a leader in this area with recommendations for policymakers, regulators, utilities, building owners, as well as the incoming Northam administration.

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