Residential multifamily properties, especially affordable housing, are a substantial share of the housing stock in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region and also represent a significant opportunity to capture energy efficiency savings through cost-effective retrofit measures. As policymakers set stronger energy efficiency and carbon reduction goals, the need to address this housing sector has never been more vital.
The nature of the multifamily housing stock creates unique challenges that the region is only beginning to address. Multifamily housing stock is typically older and concentrated urban areas, energy data is often hard to come by, and communication with both building owners and tenants can be challenging. Buildings that are not owner-occupied often present a split incentive between the building owner and the tenants. This split incentive can hinder the capital investment needed for retrofit improvements because of the uncertainty over who will claim the cost savings that result. For these reasons, the multifamily market remains largely untapped in the region.
NEEP offers technical guidance and resources to stakeholders involved in multifamily initiatives. In 2014, NEEP released a report on Increasing Energy Efficiency in Small Multifamily Properties in the Northeast which offers recommendations for policy actions that address buildings with between five and 20 units. The Regional Multifamily Program Matrix provides a comprehensive breakdown of all the multifamily efficiency programs offered in each of the NEEP states.
In 2016, NEEP engaged with a team of Regional Energy Efficiency Organizations (REEOs) to develop a report on the barriers and opportunities for achieving deep energy savings in Multifamily housing retrofits across the country. The report includes a multifamily market characterization with data on the national multifamily housing stock and a number of relevant case studies which show the strategies which have been effective in achieving deep energy savings in this market. This project was made possible by the generous support of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.