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Public Housing Environmental and Conservation Clearinghouse 

Digitally Engaged Communities: Helping Residents Get Online and Thrive Online

In continuation of the Energy Is Everywhere Webinar series, we are pleased to announce April’s Energy is Everywhere webinar, titled Digitally Engaged Communities: Helping Residents Get Online and Thrive Online

Date and Time: 21 April 2016, 3:00 PM EDT

Registration Info:

Webinar Details

At any given moment we juggle life’s responsibilities from monitoring the progress of our child’s science project to monitoring stock profiles. We constantly occupy multiple titles: parent, account, advocate. As resources become more and more accessible, the pathway to attaining knowledge and training have expanded and shifted to form an intricate highway of opportunity. Online resources can now accommodate the small business owner working to expand, the teacher wanting to remain up to date on technological innovation or the veteran working to learn a new skill. Internet access opens opportunities for everyone to learn, teach, and engage others working towards similar goals.

Currently 21.4% of Americans miss out on these opportunities because of lack of Internet access. Income remains the primary indicator of whether a household will have home Internet access - only 54% of households with incomes of $30,000 or less have a home connection.

EveryoneOn, a national nonprofit aiming to close the digital divide, will share with teachers and adult education organizations how to use the organization’s ZIP code locator tool to help their communities identify affordable Internet service options for as low as $10 a month and refurbished technology devices. In addition to our low-cost offers for Internet and devices, EveryoneOn provides digital training and partners with local libraries and community organizations to help individuals find courses in their neighborhoods.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Webinar Title: Energy is Everywhere – Spring Energy-Saving Tips 
Date: March 17, 2016 at 3:00 PM EST

Register now!

Did you know that by simply switching your light bulb, you could reduce your energy use for lighting by 90%? Learn how to make the switch and other strategies to reduce your electricity bills in the Energy Is Everywhere Webinar this March. 

We will continue going through the Resident Engagement Toolkit created by Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future (SAHF) to help you and your residents save money and energy in your homes this Spring. 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. 

Upgraded Utility Benchmarking Tool Available to PHAs

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has upgraded a free online utility benchmarking tool that can help you as a PHA identify what your properties’ energy use is, ultimately allowing you to determine how to reduce your energy and save on utilities. EPA’s tool, the Portfolio Manager, is a free, web-based benchmarking tool that allows users to monitor the water and energy consumption of the buildings in their portfolio.  With this tool, interested PHAs can track their weather-normalized utility consumption by month or year, allowing you to compare energy use between buildings, target improvements to reduce your energy consumption and costs, and determine the effectiveness of energy improvements.

PHAs who have used the tool and want to see the upgrades, can visit EPA’s upgrade page.

PHAs who are new to the tool, can get started here: Energy Star Benchmarking Starter Kit.


Sustainable and Green Topics

[Image - Apartment]Energy Conservation

All Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) are required to implement HUD policies in support of National Energy Conservation goals by requiring PHAs to conduct energy audits and undertake certain cost effective energy conservation measures.  When cost effective and funding is available, PHAs should install energy conservation measures with the shortest paybacks periods first to help fund longer payback energy conservation measures.   

Smoke Free Public Housing
Since 2009,  the Office of Public and Indian Housing has encouraged PHAs to adopt smoke free housing policies in some or all of their buildings.  The elimination of second or third hand smoke that can migrate between multifamily units can be an important step towards improving the health of residents as well as reducing maintenance costs for PHAs.   

Click here to read the Press Release for "Smoke-free subsidized housing would save $521 million a year."

[Image - Mattress]Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
IPM focuses on pest prevention, eliminating sources and using less toxic materials to control pests such as bedbugs, cockroaches and ants.

Water Conservation

[Image - Water Droplet] Water conservation benchmarking is a very useful starting point for PHAs to target water saving opportunities and can help PHAs overall asset management strategy.

[Image - AC Unit] Operations & Maintenance
O&M includes all aspects of running a building over the course of its useful life. Because of the far-reaching nature of O&M, a well designed and properly executed program is critical to the overall success.

[Image - Eco friendly person with suitcase] PIH Green Initiative
The PIH Green Initiative is about spotlighting the latest topics related to the environmental movement known as "Going Green" This month's article is about Green Building.

[Image - Lead Paint] Hazardous Materials
Lead Threat Thrives: Years after poisoning, a Queensbury family still fearing its effects.

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Energy Stars and Green Giants
PHECC Newsletters
Additional Resources

Research and review more details about what HUD and other federal government agencies have available to further awareness around energy and environmental conservation issues.

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