Study Clarifies Energy Savings in Retrofitted Buildings
Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation and Living Cities, a nonprofit partnership of 22 foundations and financial institutions, commissioned a new study that shows that the practice of retrofitting buildings with energy-conserving technology can significantly reduce spending on fuel and electricity.
The study examined nearly 19,000 affordable housing apartments in New York City that had undergone energy-efficiency retrofits and found that these changes resulted in a 19 percent savings on fuel bills and a 10 percent savings on electricity across the portfolio. This translates into $240 in fuel savings and $70 in electrical savings per apartment every year.
In one cited example, at an 88-unit, two-building affordable housing site, the installation of new boilers and heating controls reduced fuel costs by 50 percent. At one of the buildings, there was a fuel savings of $551 a year per apartment, while at the sister building, the saving was $355 annually for each unit.
The study's authors hope the results will go beyond persuading owners to institute environmentally beneficial retrofits. They hope that lenders will use this data and consider underwriting larger loans to owners based on the projected savings that come from retrofitting buildings. Currently, lenders don't consider future savings from retrofits when they're underwriting a loan because there's little data indicating what those savings would be.