The world of multi-family efficiency is reaching a turning point in its evolution. The multi-family sector promises substantial potential energy savings that have not yet been adequately addressed due, in part, to a number of market barriers impeding progress.
NEEP partnered with Efficiency Maine Trust (EMT) last summer to collaborate on a comprehensive multi-family efficiency project. NEEP works in an advisory capacity to Efficiency Maine in order to increase the visibility and momentum of multi-family retrofits in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions through research, analysis, and project advisory efforts.
NEEP’s multi-family-team recently attended the Regional Multi-family Quarterly Progress Update in Maine this past week. The progress of the multi-family energy efficiency project to date, along with its associated implications regarding the program’s momentum and outreach efforts are exciting to say the least.
The goal of the Efficiency Maine program is to provide free benchmarking services to 5-20 unit multi-family buildings, including energy audits, an energy reduction plan, and retrofit installation incentives and rebates. Efficiency Maine’s goal is to benchmark 2,500 units, audit 2,200 units, and retrofit 1,800 units by September 30 of this year.
This benchmarking tool provides building owners with a deeper look into energy uses and costs. Building owners can view a percentile ranking, comparing their properties to other Maine multi-family buildings. Providing buildings owners with pragmatic savings program incentives, with data to back them up, is a crucial aspect in the advancement of multi-family energy efficiency.
The projects higher level goal is to more closely examine how benchmarking will influence multi-family efficiency adoption and expose pathways around market barriers. The lessons learned from this project will be equally valuable to the quantitative achievements and provide a benchmark of their own.
As part of the update, NEEP announced the formation of the Regional Multi-family Retrofit Leadership Group, comprised of 112 individuals representing local, state, and federal government, non-government organizations, associations, practitioners, financial sector leaders and other stakeholders. NEEP’s Comprehensive Regional Program Matrix, a comprehensive aggregation of multi-family retrofit programs in 11 states and the District of Columbia, will also soon be featured on the recently launched Multi-Family Resource Center.
Key partnerships, extensive programs, and newly developed resources are guiding multi-family efficiency advancement forward. This program will be a stepping stone in the realization of full-scope, regional-level, multi-family efficiency savings. Historically, this achievement has been difficult to reach, but thanks to innovative approaches, these goals are in sight.