The New York Times recently recognized the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation (DBAF) for a unique public-private partnership with Living Cities, a nonprofit consortium of 22 foundations and financial institutions. Together, they commissioned a report examining the cost savings from energy efficiency retrofits in New York City affordable housing units. The report is due to be released later in November.
According to the study, which surveyed nearly 19,000 affordable housing units, apartments that underwent energy efficiency retrofits saved up to USD 240 a year in fuel costs and USD 70 a year in electrical expenses. New boilers and improved heating controls were installed to replace older, high fuel and energy consuming technology. Retrofitting apartment units has been shown to reduce energy consumption and provide cost savings to the tenants and landlords.
Riverview II in Yonkers, a retrofitted affordable housing unit, has reduced overall electricity useage by more than 25 percent.
Photo credit: Librado Romero,The New York Times
The study hopes to influence lenders to underwrite larger loans to landlords based on the projected cost savings that come from the retrofitted buildings. Currently, lenders do not consider projected cost savings from retrofitted units when they underwrite a loan because there is little data indicating what the savings would be.
Sam Marks, Vice President, Community Development Program Officer at DBAF, noted “The study informs what we hope will be a new set of lending practices that places real monetary value on energy efficiency improvements.”
“Facilitating energy efficiency investment in multi-family buildings lowers operating expenses thereby helping to ensure the long term viability of our affordable housing stock. If brought to scale, these retrofits will significantly contribute to a lowering of the City’s carbon emissions,” said Gary Hattem, President of the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation.