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National Affordable Housing Nonprofit Meets DOE Better Buildings Challenge Goal with 20% in Energy Savings

June 9, 2020

Boiler room

Boston, MA – Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) has been named a Department of Energy (DOE) Better Buildings Challenge Goal Achiever with a 20 percent reduction in energy use portfolio-wide. The DOE program is supported by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to encourage cost-effective and proven strategies to improve the energy efficiency of the nation’s buildings, plants, and homes. POAH is one of 92 multifamily housing organizations in the country to participate in the Challenge.

POAH signed on to a public pledge in 2013 to improve the energy efficiency of its 100+ properties by 20 percent or more within 10 years. POAH was able to reduce energy use by 20 stepping up enclosure improvements, boiler control upgrades, LED lighting retrofits and onsite renewable energy generation across its 11,000-unit portfolio.

The Better Buildings Challenge is one component of the Better Buildings Initiative, through which DOE partners with 950 public and private sector organizations to drive cost-effective and proven strategies to improve the energy efficiency of the nation’s buildings, plants, and homes. To date, nearly $11 billion and 1.8 quadrillion British thermal units (Btus) of energy have been saved by partners in Better Buildings.

“I am pleased to recognize Preservation of Affordable Housing for achieving its Better Buildings Challenge goal,” said Daniel R Simmons, Assistant Secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at DOE. “Through their commitment to affordable, efficient energy, our goal achievers are displaying leadership and demonstrating the potential for public-private partnerships to drive energy cost savings in buildings and our communities.”

POAH’s Design and Building Performance department created utility data platforms to prioritize energy improvements and developed a web-based tool (Basis of Design) that includes system and product specifications for use by the development team and site staff. POAH energy specialists also issued Performance Highlights that showed the development team what practices were achieving energy and water saving post renovations.

POAH has been tackling energy inefficiencies and unhealthy buildings since 2001. “POAH is honored to receive this important designation, which reflects the hard work of our staff and financial partners over the past decade.  Achieving greater energy efficiency in our affordable housing properties not only helps address climate change, but it also helps low income residents reduce their energy bills.” said POAH President and CEO Aaron Gornstein.

Details on POAH’s strategies can be found in the redesigned Better Buildings Solution Center.

Better Buildings Challenge

Through the Better Buildings Challenge, HUD partners with DOE to support the multifamily housing sector, providing technical and benchmarking assistance, and offering incentives for partners that participate in the Challenge.

The Better Buildings Challenge is the cornerstone of the Better Buildings Initiative. The Initiative partners with public and private organizations nationwide that includes building owners, manufacturing firms, municipalities, financial institutions, and utilities. Together partners and financial allies are working collaboratively to create and share implementation models that can help the marketplace move more quickly to adopt energy efficiency measures.