HUD Launches Free Energy & Water Benchmarking Service
HUD recently announced that it is making its Energy and Water Benchmarking Service available for sites participating in its Multifamily project-based rental assistance programs. This new, free service provides participating multifamily property owners with data on energy and water consumption at their properties.
The data provided will aid property owners in identifying opportunities for energy efficiency improvements that can benefit residents and promote green investments in individual properties or entire property portfolios. Property owners can also use the information to assess rehabilitation efforts that may be eligible for grant or loan funding under HUD’s Green and Resilient Retrofit Program (GRRP) or other sources of funding.
One level deeper: Funded with $42.5 million through the Biden Administration’s Inflation Reduction Act, the benchmarking service is free for owners of properties participating in HUD’s Multifamily Assisted Housing programs, including Section 8 project-based rental assistance, Section 202 Housing for Low-Income Elderly, Section 811 Housing for Low-Income Persons with Disabilities, and Section 236 Preservation programs.
The Inflation Reduction Act—the largest climate investment in history—established the GRRP with more than $800 million in grant funding and $4 billion in loan commitment authority. GRRP is the first HUD program to simultaneously invest in energy efficiency, renewable energy generation, climate resilience, and low-embodied-carbon materials in HUD-assisted multifamily housing.
The benchmarking service offers owners:
- Specific information about a property’s energy and water performance, comparisons of this usage with similar properties, and recommendations for savings;
- Benchmarking analytics from the ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager®, a tool developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; and
- Technical assistance, training, and other resources.
With the resulting data, owners may apply for GRRP grants and loans under the Comprehensive cohort, as well as comply with the general GRRP benchmarking requirement. This data can also help owners understand and qualify for other energy and water efficiency programs funded by IRA or through their local jurisdictions and utilities.
The bottom line: HUD estimates that up to 9,000 properties may choose to participate in this service. HUD’s contractor, Leidos, will be contacting owners throughout the coming months to discuss the program and solicit participation. Owners may also contact HUD at firstname.lastname@example.org to participate.