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Public Housing Environmental and Conservation Clearinghouse

(NEW) PHA Energy Conservation Success Story Webinar on August 20, 2015

In continuation of the Energy Is Everywhere webinar series, we are pleased to announce the 10th webinar titled:  PHA Energy Conservation Success Story.

Webinar will take place on 20 August 2015 at 3 pm. Webinar details are below. 

Each of the over 3100 Public Housing Authorities (PHA) are required to implement energy conservation efforts into their mission to provide low income housing when those efforts are found to be cost effective.  HUD does not prescribe any one single effort in order for PHAs to accomplish that effort.  This allows PHAs to be innovative in their effort to reduce energy consumption and provide energy efficient facilities to their residents.  In this webinar,  we will hear from one PHA how they were able to reduce energy consumptionthrough an innovative approach that reduced water usage, improved resident quality of life and reduced cost for the PHA. 

Please register for this informative webinar at:

Hoarding, Housing, and Pests: A New Approach

Posted: 09 Jul 2015 10:46 AM PDT

Join StopPests in Housing on August 4th, Noon – 1:30pm Eastern Daylight Time (11 am CDT, 10 am MDT, 9 am PDT) to learn about a new approach to address hoarding in multifamily housing, and its impact on pest control.

Through a partnership with the Boston University (BU) School of Social Work, BU School of Public Health, and the University of Nebraska, Omaha, the Boston Housing Authority (BHA) learned that clutter is often associated with an increase in pest reports among their residents. This can certainly be an obstacle to implementing a successful integrated pest management program. In this webinar, learn how you can use their experience, tools, and intervention program to train your own staff to help residents with clutter and hoarding issues. You and your staff will learn how to recognize, flag units, and rate the severity of clutter or potential hoarding, and then offer an intervention that will empower residents to address hoarding behaviors.

Join us and our speakers, John Kane (BHA) and Jordana Muroff (Boston University), for this FREE 90 minute webinarby registering here: Hoarding Webinar Registration

Email for more information or if you have any questions. 

Department of Energy Better Building Challenge

Last year, commercial and industrial buildings used roughly 50% of the energy in the U.S. economy at a cost of over $400 billion. These buildings and operations can be made much more efficient using a variety of cost effective efficiency improvements while creating jobs and building a stronger economy. We have similar opportunities in our homes. In February 2011, President Obama, building upon the investments of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, announced the Better Buildings Initiative to make commercial and industrial buildings 20% more energy efficient over the next 10 years and accelerate private sector investment in energy efficiency.

In 2013, the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) partnered to expand the Better Buildings Challenge to the multifamily residential sector.  As an incentive, Public Housing Authorities that sign on to become Better Building Challenge partners will receive one point towards future HUD NOFA’s.  To learn more, follow the link below.

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.

Energy is Everywhere

Dear Executive Directors:

HUD and the  Department of Energy are continuing the “Energy Is Everywhere” Webinar series by hosting the 9th instalment of the series on Thursday, July 16, 2015 at 3:00 PM EDT. Once more, the webinar series aims to bring additional resources to Public Housing Authority residents on Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) and energy education. This month, the focus will be on partnering with families on early childhood education. Please register using the registration link below.


Families are a young child's most important first teachers, but engaging busy families in meaningful interactive learning can be a challenge. Join Pittsburgh's Carnegie Science Center and Albuquerque's Explora Science Center to discuss best practices for successful family science engagement, including strategies developed by both museums to reach a diverse audience of families. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Please join us July 16, 2015 at 3:00 PM EDT.
Register for webinar:

Please share this information with staff who work on energy issues, resident services staff, and resident leaders.  You may also wish to send this announcement with local schools and/or other organizations with whom you work on energy issues or STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) projects. More information can be found on our website. The link is located below:

Any questions about the series may be directed to

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 energy awareness

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