San Bernardino Housing Authority Hires Company to Help Its Units Reduce Energy and Water Usage

By Erin Brereton, Content ManagerSan Bernardino, Calif.–The Housing Authority of the County of San Bernardino (HACSB) recently announced that Westborough, Mass.-based energy solutions provider NORESCO will add $14.5 million of water and energy conservation improvements to its public housing units.NORESCO will install xeriscaping–environmentally friendly landscaping that uses native and drought-tolerant plants, shrubs and groundcover–and a centralized system for irrigation to reduce annual water use by 300 million gallons.The company also plans to make plumbing fixture upgrades, add programmable thermostats and to enroll residents in an income qualified rate program for electricity and natural gas to cut costs.NORESCO estimates that its work will save HACSB $2.4 million annually over the length of its 20-year contract.In addition, the project will provide environmental benefits. The changes are forecast to reduce annual carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions by 3.8 million pounds a year–the equivalent of removing 329 cars from the road or planting 517 acres of trees.The new equipment will increase reliability, help relieve some of the HACSB staff’s maintenance duties and improve resident comfort at housing authority properties such as Redwood Terrace (pictured), a multifamily senior living complex in Fontana, Calif.”More public housing authorities are turning to energy performance contracts (EPCs) as energy prices rise and available budgets shrink,” said Randy Clark, Vice President and General Manager of NORESCO. “EPCs are a unique way for authorities to turn savings from reductions in energy consumption into needed housing improvements for their residents. EPCs are a win for the authorities, the residents and the environment.”HACSB has provided public housing for low- and moderate-income families and individuals, including the elderly and handicapped persons, since 1941. The housing authority manages 1,675 family public housing units and owns 897.With clients including the U.S. government, public housing agencies and school districts, NORESCO specializes in the development, design, construction, financing and operation of energy and environmental efficiency projects, performance contracting and central energy plants. NORESCO has implemented more than $2 billion in energy projects at more than 2,000 sites throughout the U.S. and abroad over the past two decades.