Recommendations to expand integrated efficiency and solar projects


The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) issued recommendations to increase investments in both energy efficiency and solar projects for affordable multifamily buildings.

ACEEE recommends efficiency and solar programme administrators:

  • Offer solar incentives to affordable multifamily owners with the condition that applicants also install energy efficiency upgrades
  • Designate programme staff who will serve as the primary point of contact for applicants wishing to take advantage of efficiency, solar, and water conservation programme offerings
  • Provide increased funding for structural, health, and safety building upgrades
  • Fund project pre-development work or provide staff to assist with project planning
  • Encourage energy efficiency contractors, solar installers, and energy auditors to work collaboratively
  • Require that program participants use energy benchmarking services and software
  • Educate tenants about the installation, use, and benefits of a building’s energy efficient equipment and solar systems, and encourage energy-efficient behavior
  • Provide large incentives or financing for owners to reduce renters’ energy use
  • In collaboration with manufacturers and trade associations, train building operators to operate, maintain, and monitor newer energy-efficient and solar technologies
  • Housing finance agencies to adopt utility allowance adjustment methods that will encourage investments in energy efficiency and solar resources
  • State and local policymakers should take steps to grow the workforce of highly trained building operators. We recommend adopting policies that require or incentivise building owners to pursue energy efficiency and solar investments.

According to ACEEE’s whitepaper Our Powers Combined: Energy Efficiency and Solar in Affordable Multifamily Buildings little is known on how affordable multifamily building owners and developers approach the integration of efficiency and solar resources in a building.

Programmes and policies that support these projects have received limited attention.

This drove ACEEE into conducting interviews with administrators of integrated solar and efficiency programmes for affordable multifamily households.

The interviews included questions regarding planning, goals, funding sources, and lessons learned.