Better Buildings Challenge Expands to Multifamily Housing

PHA named as inaugural partner by DOE and HUD

(Washington, DC - December 24, 2013) - The U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced the expansion of the President's Better Buildings Challenge to include multifamily housing. DOE and HUD recognize the energy efficiency commitment that the Philadelphia Housing Authority is making as a Better Buildings Challenge Partner.

In his recent Climate Action Plan, President Obama called for leading multifamily housing owners to join the Better Buildings Challenge. About a quarter of U.S. households live in multifamily housing units and spend about $40 billion on energy costs each year. Making these housing units 20 percent more energy efficient would save more than $7 billion per year and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 430 million tons. As part of the Better Buildings Challenge, DOE and HUD are partnering with leading private and affordable buildings owners and public housing agencies to cut energy waste and help families save money.

These leaders also broadly share successful strategies that maximize energy efficiency in multifamily housing, contributing actual energy data to verify the energy savings of implemented energy upgrades. Through the Better Buildings Challenge expansion, 50 multifamily partners - representing roughly 200,000 units and over 190 million square feet -have committed to cutting their energy use by 20 percent in 10 years.

"PHA is committed to preserving affordable housing in Philadelphia and sustainable practices - like reducing energy consumption and costs - is a key factor in helping us accomplish our mission," said PHA President & CEO Kelvin A. Jeremiah. "I am excited to join the Better Buildings Challenge and to work with our partners at HUD and DOE to ensure that we are creating healthier, more sustainable communities for future generations."

"By committing to the energy efficiency goals of the Better Buildings Challenge, PHA has taken a significant step towards reducing long term energy costs, supporting innovative technologies, and creating good jobs," said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. "Working together, we will increase housing affordability for owners and residents and foster healthier communities and neighborhoods."

"Partners in the Better Buildings Challenge are leading by example, demonstrating their commitment to providing more efficient and comfortable homes for their tenants that save money and energy," said Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman. "We applaud these partners for joining in this leadership initiative and we look forward to working with them as they make their communities more energy efficient and foster greater economic growth."

Learn more about PHA's Better Buildings Challenge commitment to reducing its energy intensity by 20 percent by 2020 here.