NYSERDA Invests $27M in Affordable Housing Energy Efficiency

The agency is committing funding to improve the energy efficiency of more than 220,000 affordable housing units across New York State.
Richard Kauffman

Richard Kauffman, New York State Energy and Finance Chairman

New York—The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is committing $27 million in funding to improve the energy efficiency of existing affordable housing units throughout the state. Owners and managers of multifamily housing will be able to use the funding to reduce energy costs through investing in whole-building and in-unit energy efficiency measures.

NYSERDA’s Multifamily Performance Program will provide the funding, as the program has just been relaunched through its new $5 billion, 10-year Clean Energy Fund (CEF). The fund supports developing and deploying clean energy technologies to reduce costs and accelerate the use of clean energy.

The improvements will lower owners and residents’ bills by $450 million over the 15-year lifetime of the upgrades and will improve the health of more than 220,000 affordable households by 2019, according to the NYSERDA release.

In conjunction with this effort, NYSERDA and the NYS Homes & Community Renewal (HCR) will also be coordinating the development of sustainable affordable housing in the state.

“New York State has steadily increased affordable housing to meet the critical needs of moderate and low-income families over the past few years and continues to do so,” said Richard Kauffman, New York State Energy and Finance Chairman. “This funding will provide these most vulnerable of New Yorkers with a safe, quality, healthy place to live, while also reducing energy use to help the state address climate change, leaving no families or communities behind in these efforts.”

The CEF will dedicate a minimum of $234 million in total to low- to moderate-income initiatives in its first three years. The funds will allow owners and managers to improve building performance, conduct building retrofits and achieve cost-effective energy savings to make New York State’s affordable housing high performing.

NYSERDA multifamily clean energy programs will support new HCR green policies aimed at improving the long-term quality, efficiency and affordability of HCR-financed housing stock, in anticipation that Governor Cuomo‘s $10 billion proposal to create and preserve 100,000 affordable housing units in the state over the next five years will be approved.

For existing buildings, NYSERDA will assist HCR in implementing new requirements to baseline and benchmark developments’ energy usage and connect building owners with incentives and technical assistance providers that will improve the building’s quality and reduce operating costs.

For new buildings, NYSERDA will reward high-performance buildings that achieve Passive House and Net-Zero Energy standards (in which buildings produce as much energy as they consume on-site or through a community shared renewable energy project.) The renewable energy projects allow residents to buy or lease part of a solar project and receive credit for the power production on their monthly electric bills.

According to NYSERDA, its support of these objectives will help reduce upfront construction costs for developments that pursue HCR’s green building standards, and will encourage newly constructed affordable housing to be sustainable and healthy.

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