05 Mar

Bowery Residents’ Committee Landing Road

Bright Power affordable housing, solar

New York City has been crumbling under the pressure of a homeless crisis — but an innovative experiment could turn the tide, Business Insider, March 4, 2018

Bright Power provided green building and energy efficiency design and construction consulting phase services for Landing Road. Bright Power also designed and installed 114 kW solar PV on the roof of the building.

“Solar panels on the roof of the Landing Road Residence provide about 25% of the electricity for the apartments.”

25 Jan

NYCHA Announces New Partnerships to Raise $40 Million for Repairs, Build New Affordable Homes

Danielle Brocker

NYCHA Announces New Partnerships to Raise $40 Million for Repairs, Build New Affordable Homes, January 25, 2018.

NYCHA announced the awards for the latest NextGeneration RFPs to develop affordable senior housing on NYCHA-land at three sites. We are excited to join the developers and several teams for two of the three sites; Selfhelp Community Services and RiseBoro Community Partnership will develop Sumner House and Settlement Housing Fund and Joy Construction will develop Twin Parks West.

19 Jan

NYCHA picks partners to improve scattered site units in Bronx and Brooklyn

Betsy Harbison affordable housing

NYCHA picks partners to improve scattered site units in Bronx and Brooklyn, January 18, 2018

Bright Power is working on all 3 bundles:

“These so-called scattered site units have been grouped together in three bundles: 648 units located in 15 buildings in the Bronx, where the Gilbane Development Company, Dantes Partners, Apex Building Group and The Kraus Organization will get involved; 343 units in 13 buildings in the Bronx, where RDC Development will work with NYCHA; and 691 units in 31 buildings in Brooklyn, where Hunt Development Group and Pennrose Properties will join the venture, NYCHA said.”

16 Jan

Unique $3 Million Loan Benefits Low-Income Families and the Environment

Betsy Harbison California, investment

Chicago, IL – Affordable Community Energy Services Company (ACE) recently received loan approval from Reinvestment Fund to perform comprehensive energy efficiency and water conservation projects for Mercy Housing in California, the nation’s largest nonprofit owner of low-income housing.

“This loan is groundbreaking in a number of ways,” explains Jeff Greenberger, President of ACE. The commitment for approximately $3 million, together with the incentives available in California, enables ACE to perform almost $6 million of energy and water retrofit improvements for 6,000 affordable housing units in California. “The Reinvestment Fund commitment becomes the springboard from which ACE can continue to fulfill its mission to help keep affordable housing affordable and the planet livable.”  

An innovative lending strategy

“Reinvestment Fund really stepped up on this project,” Greenberger adds. “This may be the first loan that funds both energy efficiency and water conservation improvements at non-profit affordable housing—without a real estate lien or guarantee by the owner of the housing.”

Greenberger maintains that the loan has been “de-risked” in large part as a result of the confidence shown by Bright Power, Inc., ACE’s technical and installation partner, in guaranteeing a certain level of reduction in utility consumption as a result of the project improvements. These reductions will result in significant savings, which are shared between Mercy and ACE and ACE’s share becomes a source of revenue for paying off the loan over a 10-year period.

“This unique financing model enables us to provide vital energy and water saving services to buildings that otherwise had no means to pay for them,” states Jeffrey Perlman, President of Bright Power. “We are pleased to be working with ACE, Reinvestment Fund and Mercy Housing on such a landmark project, and we look forward to replicating this model with other low-income housing owners where feasible.”

Mercy Housing and its residents see real benefits

The housing units comprise the majority of Mercy Housing’s California portfolio. Caitlin Rood, Mercy’s National Director for Environmental Sustainability and a tireless champion of this project said, “It’s a model in which everyone wins—investors, subsidized housing owners, ACE and its partners, and, ultimately, our residents.”

The work is expected to take between 18 and 24 months and will include the following types of improvements, among others: common area and apartment lighting, aerators and showerheads, toilets, HVAC controls, air sealing and insulation, pumps and pool pumps, boilers/water heaters or heat pump water heaters, clothes washers and refrigerators.

“This project with ACE is a perfect example of the types of initiatives we want to finance,” said Andrew Rachlin, Managing Director, Lending and Investment. “It is a real catalyst for change in low-income communities. Its benefits are measurable both in terms of money saved and carbon emissions reduced. Ultimately, it helps the quality of life for low-income families and for the environment.”

Reinvestment Fund and ACE must still finalize the loan documentation, which is expected to take up to 30 days, but the project team has already begun to plan the next phase of work.

About Reinvestment Fund (www.reinvestment.com)
Reinvestment Fund is a catalyst for change in low-income communities. We integrate data, policy and strategic investments to improve the quality of life in low-income neighborhoods. Using analytical and financial tools, we bring high-quality grocery stores, affordable housing, schools and health centers to the communities that need better access—creating anchors that attract investment over the long term and help families lead healthier, more productive lives.

About Mercy Housing (www.mercyhousing.org)
Mercy Housing is one of the nation’s largest affordable housing organizations with work spanning 41 states. They participate in the development, preservation, management and/or financing of affordable, program-enriched housing across the country. Mercy Housing serves a variety of populations with housing projects for low-income families, seniors and people with special needs. 

About Bright Power (www.brightpower.com)
Bright Power is an energy management firm specializing in multifamily buildings. Bright Power’s energy management solutions include EnergyScoreCards, benchmarking software, energy audits, energy procurement, onsite generation, green building design services, turnkey installation of energy improvements, commissioning services, incentive program administration, and ongoing energy management. 

About ACE (www.affordablecommunityenergyservices.com)
ACE (Affordable Community Energy Services Company) is a mission-driven, for-profit social enterprise. ACE brings broad-based energy efficiency, water conservation and renewable energy improvements to the vastly under-served owners and residents of low-income housing. ACE is currently working with Mercy Housing in California, the largest affordable housing nonprofit in the country. If you would like more information about this topic, please call Jeff Greenberger at 312-894-9523 or email jeff@affordablecommunityenergyservices.com.  Learn about becoming an investor in ACE’s future.

11 Jan

Urban Green Council: Getting Pumped

Betsy Harbison efficiency

Getting Pumped, January 10, 2018.

It’s Electrifying: Converting Heating Systems, Urban Green’s second panel on how New York City could electrify its buildings, featured three top practitioners of efficient, affordable building improvements. Moderator Mike Brusic of Bright Power opened the evening by presenting the enormity of the task: according to NYC studies, we must lower GHG emissions from buildings by 46 percent from 2005 levels to reach 80×50. Space heating uses 36 percent of source energy in NYC buildings, and with over three million housing units in NYC—and ‘only’ about 20,000 new units being built per year—we must attack existing space heating systems, especially steam, head-on. But how?”

30 Nov

Daro Realty Launches Sustainability Initiatives For Its Nine Residential Buildings

Betsy Harbison

Will Reduce Energy Consumption By 11% and Save Over 7 Million Gallons of Water Annually

WASHINGTON, D.C. — November 30, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Daro Realty LLC, one of DC’s oldest and most revered residential brands with nine buildings and 700 rental apartments under management, announced today a suite of measures aimed at reducing the environmental impact of its operations while enhancing resident comfort. The efficiency upgrades were initiated as part of Daro’s sustainability program and are designed to reduce the consumption of natural resources, minimize waste, and create healthier living environments.

Earlier this year, Daro engaged Bright Power, the leading energy and water management partner for multifamily buildings, to complete an energy and water audit to identify opportunities to reduce Daro’s energy and water consumption, determine an actionable scope of work to achieve these reductions and mitigate the buildings’ overall environmental impact. With Bright Power’s completed audit and recommendations, Daro began to implement measures to effectively manage energy and water consumption, which include new energy-efficient lighting systems, new hot water heating systems and controls, low flow water conserving plumbing fixtures, pipe insulation, as well as the use of Green Seal® certified chemical free, eco-friendly cleaning products.

In total, seven individual measures will be installed across Daro’s nine properties, and will result in a 27% reduction of water consumption or 7.3mm gallons annually. Total energy consumption will fall by 11% annually, equating to 328,919 kWh of electricity and 29,238 therms of natural gas (the equivalent of driving across the country nearly 250 times). The full suite of conservation installations are expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2018.

“We are proud to be the premier rental option in Northwest D.C. and are committed to providing our tenants with a high-quality living experience which in today’s market also carries a responsibility to delivering eco-friendly sustainability improvements,” said Carissa Barry, Daro Realty’s President. “These upgrades will lower utility costs, save energy, reduce money and time spent on building operations, increase the value and long-term sustainability of our buildings, all without sacrificing quality of service.”

“We are thrilled to be working with an organization like Daro that understands the value of energy and water improvements, and the intersection between reduced operations and maintenance costs, improved tenant comfort, positive environmental impact, and increased asset value,” said Jeff Perlman, President and Founder of Bright Power.

The nine Daro properties receiving sustainability upgrades are: 1600 | 1600 16th Street NW1900 Lamont | 1900 Lamont Street NWArcher | 3701 Massachusetts Avenue NWParkway | 3220 Connecticut Avenue NWParkwest | 2929 Connecticut Avenue NWPhoenix | 1421 Massachusetts Avenue NWRodman | 3002 Rodman Street NWRodney | 1911 R Street NW Washington; and Sedgwick Gardens | 3726 Connecticut Ave NW.

About Daro Realty LLC (www.daroapartments.com)
Daro was founded in 1935 by Dunbar A. Rosenthal. The 83-year-old company employs approximately 50 professionals across nine revitalized historic properties and is known as a top owner-managed firm in the Metropolitan DC area. In 2013, Daro began operating under new management leadership with a focus on strong customer service and an infusion of capital into the portfolio. Daro is proud to offer its tenants the charm and grandeur of DC’s historic properties alongside the comfort of modern amenities and class-A service. Daro is an Infinity Real Estate portfolio company, operating independently in the District of Columbia, and its sustainability program is part of Infinity’s “Green Landmark Initiative” aimed at preserving and rehabilitating historic properties so that they operate with the highest efficiency and least environmental footprint possible.

About Bright Power (www.brightpower.com)
Bright Power provides strategic energy and water solutions to building owners and operators nationwide, with offices in New York City and Oakland, CA.  Specializing in multifamily buildings, Bright Power’s suite of services help clients reduce consumption and environmental impact, increase resident comfort, and increase the value of their real estate assets. Bright Power’s energy management solutions include EnergyScoreCards benchmarking software, energy audits, energy procurement, onsite generation, green building design services, turnkey installation of energy improvements, commissioning services, incentive program administration, and ongoing energy management. Clients of Bright Power include many of the largest owners of multifamily housing across the country – the company has worked with over 31,000 buildings comprising over 896,000 apartment units across 49 states.

28 Nov

October Forum Recap: Women of Green

Betsy Harbison

October Forum Recap: Women of Green, November 27, 2017.

Andrea Mancino, Bright Power

“Mancino has worked at the energy management firm Bright Power for five years, first as an Existing Buildings Intern and was recently promoted to Director of New Construction. Mancino recalled that her big break came when she was volunteering at a symposium hosted by The Garrison Institute. There she met GreenHomeNYC board members Andy Padian and Bomee Jung, who told her about the organization. Mancino became a GreenHomeNYC volunteer and the Women of Green forum was the first event she attended as an emerging professional. Mancino succeeded in landing a position at Bright Power, starting out in the existing buildings group and then, with a fellow female colleague, she co-founded the New Construction group, which works in building rehabilitation and high-level new design construction. Mancino said working in new construction has made her a ‘jack of all trades.’ ‘You have to know everything from ventilation flow rates to lighting fixture controls, to HVAC, to insulation strategies.’ In offering advice to emerging professionals, Mancino emphasized the importance of getting your hands dirty in the field. ‘There is a lot you can learn in school but in this industry there is a lot you have to learn by experience.’ While she is pleased to have seen a shift of more women in the green building industry, particularly in engineering, she said women’s representation in construction needs work. ‘Women generally don’t hold powerful/leadership roles in the construction industry and I’d like to change that.’ She encouraged female professionals to get involved in women’s industry groups and is herself a part the Women in Construction advocacy group.”