Mercy Housing becomes first national multifamily housing organization to achieve portfolio-wide savings’ goal
DENVER – Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) have recognized Mercy Housing for achieving its energy savings goal as a partner in the Better Buildings Challenge. Mercy Housing has achieved energy savings of 24% due to greater efficiency efforts across its portfolio of affordable homes. In 2013, Mercy Housing made a commitment through the Challenge to improve the energy efficiency of its property portfolio by at least 20% over 10 years.
“I am pleased to recognize Mercy Housing for achieving its Better Buildings Challenge goal,” said Daniel R Simmons, Assistant Secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at DOE. “Through their commitment to affordable, efficient energy, our goal achievers are displaying leadership and demonstrating the potential for public-private partnerships to drive energy cost savings in buildings and our communities.”
Through its efforts, Mercy Housing becomes the first national multifamily housing organization to achieve the Challenge’s energy savings goal. “This is a tremendous accomplishment,” said Jane Graf, Mercy Housing’s President and CEO. “Thanks to our Green Hope environmental sustainability program and efforts of employees throughout our organization, we’ve been able to reduce our energy use and operations costs while at the same time improving resident health and combating climate change. We are committed to providing housing that is safe, durable, resident-friendly, and energy-efficient.”
Mercy Housing focused on finding large scale opportunities that did not require capital for implementation as an opportunity to save energy and improve efficiency across 21 million square feet of its building portfolio. Mercy Housing implemented more than 240 efficiency projects to meet its commitment under the Better Buildings Challenge, using a variety of approaches including leveraging rebates, changing its procurement guidelines, and a number of other techniques and technologies. Mercy Housing forged innovative partnerships that helped to find creative capital solutions to implement efficiency in this very cash-constrained industry with multiple layers of split incentives. Of particular note was its work with Affordable Community Energy Services Company (ACE), a mission-driven energy services company with a payment model based on measured, weather-normalized, post-implementation energy savings. Mercy Housing, ACE, and their partner Bright Power worked together to implement a multi-year, multi-phase, multi-property energy and water efficiency retrofit project. In total, Mercy Housing’s efficiency efforts have saved more than 431,306 MBTU.
“We are thrilled to be recognized by DOE and HUD for all the hard work that went into accomplishing this goal,” said Caitlin Rood, Mercy Housing’s National Environmental Sustainability Director. “At Mercy Housing, we care about the communities in which we serve, which is why we created our Green Hope program. Green Hope guides us in all aspects of our operations, from designing, building, and rehabilitating properties, to office practices, property operations, and resident services. Since we committed to this goal in 2013, Mercy Housing and its partners have leveraged $6.3 million in rebates and grants, saving Mercy Housing’s property portfolio a cumulative total of more than $3.1 million.”
Better Buildings Challenge
Through the Better Buildings Challenge, HUD partners with DOE to support the multifamily housing sector, providing incentives and technical assistance for utility benchmarking and planning portfolio-wide investments in energy and water efficiency.
The Better Buildings Challenge is one component of the Better Buildings Initiative, through which DOE partners with 950 public and private sector organizations to drive cost-effective and proven strategies to improve the energy efficiency of the nation’s buildings, plants, and homes. To date, nearly $11 billion and 1.8 quadrillion British thermal units (Btus) of energy have been saved by partners in Better Buildings.
Through Better Buildings, DOE aims to make commercial, public, industrial, and residential buildings 20% more energy efficient over the next decade. This means saving billions of dollars on energy bills, reducing emissions, and creating thousands of jobs. Discover more than 2,800 proven solutions from Better Buildings, Better Plants partners in the Better Buildings Solution Center.
Mercy Housing, Inc. (MHI)
Mercy Housing, Inc. (MHI) is a leading national affordable housing nonprofit headquartered in Denver. Established by the Sisters of Mercy in 1981, and in operation in 41 states, MHI has more than 39 years’ experience developing, preserving, managing, and financing affordable housing. MHI supplements much of its housing with Resident Services, programs that help residents build stable lives. MHI’s subsidiaries further the organization’s mission: Mercy Housing Management Group (MHMG) offers professional property management and Mercy Community Capital (MCC) finances nonprofit organizations.
MHI serves tens of thousands of people with low incomes, including families, seniors, veterans, people who have experienced homelessness, and people with disabilities. Its mission is to build a more humane world where poverty is alleviated, communities are healthy, and all people can live to their full potential. To learn more about MHI and the services it provides, visit mercyhousing.org.