20 Nov

Multifamily Now Eligible for ENERGY STAR Bragging Rights

Leyna O'Neill

The ENERGY STAR label is synonymous with efficiency. New homes, commercial buildings, even refrigerators have been eligible for the EPA’s recognition for over twenty years, yet existing multifamily buildings have been historically left out, until now.

On November 13, 2014, ENERGY STAR announced the first seventeen existing multifamily residential buildings in the nation to receive their prestigious certification. Bright Power is proud to have worked with Related Management on three out of the five New York City properties:

  • 30-50 21st: Owned by NYSANDY2 30-50 21ST LLC, managed by Related Management and with technical assistance from Bright Power
  • Terrific Tenements 423 W 48th Street: Owned by Clinton Housing Preservation, LP, managed by Related Management, and with technical assistance from Bright Power
  • Terrific Tenements 527 W 47th Street: Owned by Clinton Housing Preservation, LP, managed by Related Management, and with technical assistance from Bright Power

These three affordable housing properties were primed for certification thanks to Related Management’s commitment to sustainability. With existing technologies like bi-level lighting in all corridors and public spaces, occupancy sensors and high efficiency ventilation fans, boilers and domestic hot water systems, these buildings were already bringing their A-games when the certification process began. That’s right, all three properties were already receiving A grades in EnergyScoreCards.

Our engineers went on site to examine the systems, search for inefficiencies and speak with residents to make sure that the buildings’ needs were being met on the grounds of energy and comfort. The buildings got a clean bill of health on all counts which came as no surprise to our team of analysts who have been following the buildings’ performance in EnergyScoreCards for over a year.

“We are thrilled to be among the first owners recognized with the ENERGY STAR multifamily certification. It is a great acknowledgement of our continued commitment to environmental responsibility across all asset classes and we are especially proud that these apartments are not only more sustainable, but also affordable.” said Jeff Brodsky, President of Related Management.

The expansion of the ENERGY STAR program is a win for the multifamily industry. The impact of building efficiency on the lives of tenants is significant and will no longer go unrecognized by the public. We look forward to helping more of our clients achieve certification for years to come.

To read the full press release click here.

Leyna O’Neill

13 Nov

Related Management Recognized by EPA for Being Among First Multifamily Properties to Earn ENERGY STAR Certification at Three NYC Properties

Leyna O'Neill

Three of Related Management’s affordable housing properties, 30-50 21st St., Terrific Tenements at 423 W 48th St and 527 W 47th St, have been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as being among the first multifamily housing properties to earn ENERGY STAR certification for superior energy performance.

Thanks to technical assistance from Bright Power, these three properties join just fourteen others across the nation to make up the inaugural set of multifamily buildings to achieve the prestigious ENERGY STAR multifamily certification. The recognition signifies that these pioneering properties are more energy efficient than 75 percent of similar properties nationwide.

By reducing the amount of energy consumed, these properties will help cut utility bills for tenants and reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with producing energy. Current estimates show that multifamily properties can become 30 percent more efficient by 2020, unlocking $9 billion in energy savings and preventing annual greenhouse gas emissions roughly equivalent to the average annual output from over four million U.S. households.

“We are thrilled to be among the first owners recognized with the Energy Star multifamily certification. It is a great acknowledgement of our continued commitment to environmental responsibility across all asset classes and we are especially proud that these apartments are not only more sustainable, but also affordable.” said Jeff Brodsky, President of Related Management.

“We are proud to be able to help our longstanding client, Related Management, to achieve the ENERGY STAR multifamily certification on these three properties. It is a great recognition of their industry leadership in energy management and sustainability,” said Jeff Perlman, President of Bright Power.

A combination of the following measures were taken at the three properties by Related Management prior to the multifamily ENERGY STAR rating, making the certification process simple:

Continuous monitoring of energy use at all sites using Bright Power’s EnergyScoreCards (www.brightpower.com/energyscorecards) to make energy efficiency capital improvement recommendations for the future
Installation of new, high efficiency condensing boilers and domestic hot water storage tanks
Bi-level lighting systems in corridors and public spaces
Installation of occupancy sensors in unoccupied spaces such as basements and boiler rooms
High efficiency ventilation fans

Along with Related Management’s three properties, 14 other multifamily buildings were also among the first to earn EPA’s ENERGY STAR for existing buildings. They are:

680 North Lake Shore Drive, in Chicago, Ill.: Owned and managed by Golub & Company, with technical assistance from Goby, LLC
The Ashley at RiverHouse, in Arlington, Va.: Owned and managed by Vornado/Charles E. Smith
Aspira Apartments, in Seattle, Wash.: Owned by TIAA-CREF, managed by Riverstone Residential Group and with technical assistance from JDM Associates
Avalon The Albemarle, in Washington, D.C.: Owned and managed by AvalonBay Communities, Inc
Castle Square, in Boston, Mass: Owned by CSTO Winn Owner LLC and managed by WinnResidential
Circa Green Lake Apartments, in Seattle, Wash.: Owned by TIAA-CREF, managed by Pinnacle and with technical assistance from JDM Associates
ECO Modern Flats, in Fayetteville, Ark.: Owned and managed by Specialized Real Estate Group
Harvard School of Public Health – Shattuck International House, in Boston, Mass.: Owned by President and Fellows of Harvard College and managed by Energy Management Associates, Inc.
Jeffery Parkway, in Chicago, Ill.: Owned and managed by Nautilus Investments, with technical assistance from Elevate Energy
MidAtlantic – DC: The Statesman, in Washington, D.C.: Owned and managed by AvalonBay Communities, Inc.
Peter Cooper Village, in New York, N.Y.: Owned and managed by CompassRock Real Estate
Prescott Wallingford, in Seattle, Wash.: Owned by TIAA-CREF, managed by Riverstone Residential Group and with technical assistance from JDM Associates
River City, in Chicago, Ill.: Owned and managed by Marc Realty, and with technical assistance from Goby LLC
Stuyvesant Town, in New York, N.Y.: Owned and managed by CompassRock Real Estate

“Related Management’s achievement demonstrates that it’s possible to overcome the many traditional barriers to energy efficiency in the multifamily housing market and reap significant energy and cost savings,” said Jean Lupinacci, Chief of the ENERGY STAR program for Commercial and Industrial Buildings. “Through the example they’ve set, we see how we can all help to make properties more cost-effective for renters, while cutting greenhouse gas emissions and protecting human health.”

Energy costs for renters have risen by 20 percent on average over the past decade, so energy efficiency represents a significant opportunity to reduce utility costs and the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production of energy, which contribute to climate change. ENERGY STAR certified buildings use an average of 35 percent less energy and are responsible for 35 percent fewer carbon dioxide emissions than typical buildings. Many types of commercial buildings can earn the ENERGY STAR, such as office buildings, K-12 schools, hotels, and retail stores.

The new 1-100 ENERGY STAR score and certification for existing multifamily properties is based on nationally representative survey data collected by Fannie Mae from a number of companies, including Related Management and Bright Power. It is the first time existing multifamily properties have been able to be certified as ENERGY STAR. Previously, only new construction multifamily properties have been able to earn certification by meeting prescriptive design requirements for high performance.

More on the first multifamily properties to earn the ENERGY STAR: www.energystar.gov/multifamilyhousing


Bright Power, Inc. was founded in 2004 on the principle that it’s a good idea to know how your building uses energy and it’s an even better idea to use this knowledge to reduce energy use and improve your bottom line. Bright Power specializes in multifamily apartment buildings, saving clients energy, money and time. Bright Power’s energy management solutions include EnergyScoreCards benchmarking software, energy audits, energy procurement, solar energy, green building, and construction management of energy improvements. Our services are designed to help our clients make smart decisions and investments that maximize energy efficiency and minimize costs.

More about Bright Power: www.brightpower.com


Related Companies is the most prominent privately-owned real estate firm in the United States. Formed 42 years ago, Related is a fully-integrated, highly diversified industry leader with experience in virtually every aspect of development, acquisitions, management, finance, marketing and sales. Headquartered in New York City, Related has offices and major developments in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, South Florida, Abu Dhabi, Sao
Paolo and Shanghai and boasts a team of approximately 2,500 professionals. The Company’s existing portfolio of real estate assets, valued at over $20 billion, is made up of best-in-class mixed-use, residential, retail, office, trade show and affordable properties in premier high-barrier-to-entry markets. Related has developed preeminent mixed-use projects such as Time Warner Center in New York and CityPlace in West Palm Beach and is currently developing the 28-acre Hudson Yards project on Manhattan’s west side. Related also manages
approximately $3 billion of equity capital on behalf of sovereign wealth funds, public pension plans, multi-managers, endowments, Taft Hartley plans and family offices.

More about Related Management: http://www.related.com/


ENERGY STAR is the simple choice for energy efficiency. For more than 20 years, people across America have looked to EPA’s ENERGY STAR program for guidance on how to save energy, save money, and protect the environment. Behind each blue label is a product, building, or home that is independently certified to use less energy and cause fewer of the emissions that contribute to climate change. Today, ENERGY STAR is the most widely recognized symbol for energy efficiency in the world, helping families and businesses save $300 billion on utility bills, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by two billion metric tons since 1992. Join the millions who are already making a difference at energystar.gov.

Find ENERGY STAR certified buildings: www.energystar.gov/buildinglist

More about ENERGY STAR for commercial buildings: www.energystar.gov/buildings

24 Jun

Multifamily Retrofit Study Report Released

Leyna O'Neill

Bright Power and the Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future (SAHF) are proud to announce that the results of our collaborative study, titled Energy and Water Savings in Multifamily Buildings, have officially been released.

Energy and Water Savings in Multifamily Buildings

From the SAHF website:

Energy and water consumption represent some of the largest operating costs in multifamily properties, estimated at $22 billion per year in the US. The newly released Energy and Water Savings in Multifamily Retrofits report provides a detailed analysis of 236 multifamily properties that underwent energy and water retrofit projects from 2009 to 2012. The report includes results for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Green Retrofit Program and the Energy Savers Program in Illinois and finds that there were significant energy savings and cost reductions for participating properties.

This is the first study to examine a large and diverse national data set containing pre- and post-retrofit utility data for both owner- and tenant-paid energy and water accounts. In addition to the findings themselves, the challenges faced in performing this research provide useful insights for others seeking to understand and execute energy and water retrofits in multifamily properties.

The report found that the Green Retrofit Program (GRP), implemented by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, reduced building energy consumption by 18%, and reduced water consumption by 26%.  Energy Savers, a project of Elevate Energy and the Community Investment Corporation that targets heating systems in multifamily properties in the Chicago area, reduced gas consumption an average of 26%.

Please click here to read and download the full report.

The report was written by Bright Power, issued by SAHF, and made possible by a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

13 Jun

Bulk Energy Procurement Initiative is Active

Leyna O'Neill

We are proud to finally have the recently announced NY Bulk Energy Procurement Initiative for the Affordable and Supportive Housing communities up and running!

NY Bulk Energy Procurement Initiative

For more, see the official press release included in full text below:


New York, NY (June 13, 2014) – Housing and Services, Inc. and Bright Power today announced an Affordable/Supportive housing bulk utility purchasing pool in New York, funded by a grant from the JPMorgan Chase Philanthropic Foundation.

The program, named the NY Bulk Energy Procurement Initiative for Supportive and Affordable Housing,(BEPI)was designed to organize owners of supportive and affordable housing buildings, pooling resources to purchase gas and electric supply services in bulk.

Unlike Con Ed, NYS Energy Supply Companies (ESCOs) offer fixed-rate and fixed-term energy supply contracts, reducing risk exposure and increasing budget security.

“Negotiating energy supply costs with ESCOs as a large group of buildings, versus individually, will lower gas and electric supply prices and help stabilize operating costs for affordable housing owners – many of whom operate on extremely thin margins,” said Jim Dill, executive director of Housing and Services, Inc.

Housing and Services, Inc., a Manhattan congregate of 515 housing units, has worked with Bright Power in the past to develop an energy management strategy that mitigated their own risk and were quite pleased with the results they saw during the harsh weather conditions of the 2013-14 winter season. By securing a fixed rate for HSI’s natural gas and electricity contracts, Bright Power’s energy market experts helped HSI reduce annual energy spending by more than 25 percent last year.

“Because of economies of scale, providers will get the most competitive utility prices and also gain budget certainty with effective energy cost control measures,” said Richard Meister, Director of Procurement at Bright Power. “Participation in the pool will not only reduce exposure to volatile energy markets, but will also give them a track record of energy usage and access to Bright Power’s expertise in energy conservation and sustainability.”

JPMorgan Chase delivered a $120,000 check to the partners as they introduced the program at the New York Nonprofit Times Facility Management Conference on June 12, 2014 at Baruch College. The NY Bulk Energy Procurement Initiative for Supportive and Affordable Housing will be piloted in New York City, and throughout New York State.

“By joining together, supportive and affordable housing providers can combine their purchasing power to lower utility costs and create efficiency across communities. Relieving some of the burden on providers gives them the capacity to invest in and grow their own local economies,” said Michael Haberman, head of JPMorgan Chase Philanthropy in the Northeast region.

About JPMorgan Chase

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.5 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.

About Bright Power

Bright Power is a trusted energy management partner for real estate owners, managers, and their residents. The company’s practical energy solutions – including efficiency, solar energy, benchmarking, energy auditing, and commodity procurement – save building owners energy, money, and time. With particular expertise in multifamily residential buildings, Bright Power provides clients with energy solutions that reduce waste, improve cash flow, and achieve energy law compliance. Learn more about how your building can better use energy at www.brightpower.com

02 Jun

Andy McNamara to speak at NY14 Passive House Conference

Leyna O'Neill

Vice President of Engineering Andy McNamara will be speaking on a panel titled The Energy Puzzle: Passive House, Renewable Energy and a Decarbonized Grid on June 17th at 10:15am.

NY14 Passive House Conference & Expo

From the NY14 website:

The Energy Puzzle: Passive House, Renewable Energy and a Decarbonized GridRichard Leigh, Urban Green Council
Tomás O’Leary, Passive House Academy:

The climate crisis requires we slash energy demand and decarbonize what remains. Passive House, effective at slashing building energy demand, will soon incorporate onsite renewable goals into new certification criteria, further enabling the move to an all electric power infrastructure that is supplied from carbon free sources.  From building infrastructure, to grid infrastructure, this session will explore the challenges and opportunities of this essential journey.

08 May

New Affordable Housing for Artists Boasts Top of the High Line Solar

Leyna O'Neill
Solar Installation Design by Bright Power, NYC
Solar Installation Design by Bright Power, NYC

Bright Power recently partnered with Related Companies on a new construction project that takes a unique approach to affordable housing in New York City. Situated on West 29thStreet in Chelsea, this project was designed to house local artists, meaning that  the lifestyle and mindset of its future occupants have been integrated into its design while also keeping efficiency a high priority.

Midway through the construction process, Bright Power joined the design team to assess the feasibility of a solar PV installation and assist them in reaching their LEED goals. The 28kw solar PV installation was especially challenging to design due to conditions at the site. Overlooking the Highline and subsequently the Hudson River, the solar system needed to be able to withstand very high winds in order to stand up to the heavy, nearly constant breeze coming off the water. The installation uses the highest efficiency solar modules on the market in an effort to optimize the system within the confines of the space and zoning regulations. Thanks to this investment, the owner will save upwards of $180,000 in utility costs over the system life.

Bright Power worked with the developer to combine tax credits including both energy and Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) with other available incentives pertaining to solar systems to make this solar project financially viable.

Bright Power is the leader in solar energy for the affordable housing community. We look forward to continue working with affordable housing partners to keep efficiency accessible to all. Renewable energy and energy efficiency are a critical part of preserving the long-term affordability of housing, ensuring that rising energy costs don’t hurt the individuals and families who can least afford it.

04 May

Multifamily Operations and Maintenance Toolkit Now Available

Leyna O'Neill


Bright Power and Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future (SAHF) have released an updated version of the Multifamily Energy and Water Management Toolkit, available for free download at sahfnet.org/energy.  The toolkit provides multifamily owners and managers with a set of worksheets, checklists, tips and handy references to help cut energy and water consumption and costs, and keep your properties operating efficiently. For example, the toolkit includes worksheets to assess your organization’s energy management capacity, checklists for inspecting boilers, AC units, water fixtures, and other building systems, and tips for successful retrofit projects.

Over the coming months Bright Power will work with SAHF members, some of the largest owners of affordable multifamily housing in the country, to roll out energy efficient operations and maintenance practices in their portfolios. SAHF members are all Inaugural Partners in the Better Buildings Challenge, and have embarked on the Big Reach, an ambitious commitment to reduce energy and water consumption 20% across-the-board at their properties by 2020.

29 Apr

Bright Power LEED project now leasing units in LIC

Leyna O'Neill

Pearson Court Square, a 197-unit luxury apartment building in Long Island City, has started leasing its finished units.

Pearson Court Square Leasing Luxury Units

Developed by L+M Development Partners, the building will feature a number of energy conservation and sustainability features thanks to a collaboration between SLCE and Bright Power on the design — features that have earned the building Energy Star and LEED certification.

For more about the building: http://www.buzzbuzzhome.com/pearson-court-square