Energy was high at NEEP’s Multi-Family Regional Leadership Group meeting, held February 27 in the “Civil Action” Court Room at EPA Region One’s Federal McCormack Building and via webinar. Stakeholders from Maine to Pennsylvania to Washington State came together to learn and share knowledge about multi-family energy efficiency opportunities and barriers. Speakers included Efficiency Maine Trust’s Rick Meinking, HR&A Advisor’s Candace Damon, and NYSERDA’s Mike Colgrove. It didn’t end there though.
Break-out sessions on Building Energy Rating, Market Barriers, and Funding and Financing encouraged discussion and brainstorming, which were shared with the rest of the 58 attendees. Dave Carey of Harcourt Brown & Carey Energy & Finance, for example, developed a great visualization that showed us what financing was available and to whom. MIT’s Alex Marks explained the benefits of building energy rating and disclosure, sharing the Peter Drucker quote, “things that are measured, are improved.”
The room was filled with thought leaders from around the region who came together in order to increase the momentum and lessons learned from Efficiency Maine Trust’s new multi-family retrofit program. Practitioners, program administrators, policy makers, finance, community action councils, state housing finance authority, consultants and industry association representatives came together, excited to share lessons learned, best practices, and to brainstorm about future steps for accelerating energy efficiency in multi-family housing. This included conversation about how to best conduct NEEP’s Multi-Family Workshop at the Summit this June. NEEP’s vision is that by facilitating conversation, we will create an event that is most useful and impactful for its participants, the multi-family project, and efficiency in the region.
So what were the take-aways from the first in-person leadership meeting? We all agree that this is a tough challenge—from cracking the nut on split incentives to engaging building owners and tenants alike achieving deep energy retrofits in this market faces real barriers. Encouraging dialogue is the first step to supporting leadership and making change. Presenters and audience members agreed that we must define the market and value energy efficiency.
The regional leadership meeting was a great success. By bringing those with diverse backgrounds together, the region is one step closer to realizing deep energy savings in the multi-family housing sector.