On Friday, January 31st, Secretary Donovan toured recent energy-related investments at the Housing Authority of Baltimore City, a Better Buildings Challenge Partner, to highlight their work to cut energy waste and save money. The tour included work resulting from a $53 million energy performance contract that is expected to save over $3 million, annually, in utility costs. In addition, the Secretary touted HABC's industry-leading work in engaging residents in energy efficiency through real-time energy monitoring and training. A university study reported that HABC's initial resident engagement efforts in two properties resulted in an astonishing 28.6% reduction in utility consumption.
Senator Ben Cardin, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Maryland Secretary of Housing & Community Development Skinner and HUD Regional Administrator Jane Vincent joined Secretary Donovan on the tour and spoke to residents at a subsequent community event to celebrate the housing authority's energy work. Click here to see a video of the event.
As part of President Obama's Climate Action Plan, HUD and DOE extended the Better Buildings Challenge extended to include multifamily housing. The Challenge asks building owners to commit to a 20 percent portfolio-wide energy reduction over 10 years. HUD is now working with DOE to expand to a new set of leaders and over 50 multifamily residential owners and managers have already signed on. See here for more information on the Better Business Challenge's expansion to multi-family buildings.