Community Development Innovation Review

March 2014

Financing Energy Efficiency Retrofits of Affordable Multifamily Buildings


Apartment buildings are home to more than 17 million households nationwide, yet they remain a significant and mostly untapped opportunity for energy efficiency gains. Energy efficiency upgrades in multifamily buildings could save building owners and residents up to $3.4 billion annually. Many cities and states that have embraced energy retrofitting as a job creator and boon to both the environment and economy have yet to address potential savings in multifamily properties, primarily because of obstacles not faced by single-family and commercial properties. The need for multifamily energy retrofits is clear, but two barriers—a lack of information and financing—stand in the way. This paper reviews the challenges facing the multifamily housing energy efficiency market and the opportunity that tools such as on-bill repayment provide to finance energy efficiency retrofits for the subsidized affordable multifamily market.

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Other articles in this issue

Mixing Asset Building with Energy Efficiency: A Recipe for Financial and Environmental Sustainability

The Future of the Clean (Green) Economy

Cleaner Energy and Health: Household, Local and Global Benefits

Manufactured Homes Help Both Save the Planet and Save Money for Low-Income Owners

Utilities and Community Developers Partner to Improve the Energy Efficiency of Affordable Rental Housing Nationwide

Integrating Energy Efficiency into Mortgage Financing: Promising Efforts in the New York City Multifamily Building Sector

Home Energy Efficiency and Mortgage Risks: An Extended Abstract

Charter Schools Ripe for Green Investments

Financing Energy Efficiency in Low-Income Multifamily Rental Housing: A Progress Update from the Low Income Investment Fund

Neighborhood Health: A New Framework for Investing in Sustainable Communities

Bringing Down Green Financing Costs: How a State-sponsored Bank Might be the Key

Understanding the True Benefits of both Energy Efficiency and Job Creation

Can Cities Lead the Way in Innovative Energy Retrofits for Single-Family Homes?

Lenders’ Property Standards and Energy Efficiency: The Vital Link for Affordable Housing

Energy to Heal: Health Care, Climate Change, and Community Resilience