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Accelerating Multifamily Building Upgrades

In 2017, the StopWaste Energy Council received a $1 million grant from the California Energy Commission to manage a project that will increase the number of energy upgrades in the California's existing multifamily buildings through policy research and tool development. Included below are deliverables from the grant.


Multifamily Electrification Readiness Report

The report provides policy context (Part 1) and functional technical information (Part 2) to accelerate the electrification of California’s existing multifamily buildings.

For more information and to download the report, click here.

Low-Cost Assessment Tool

StopWaste and the Association for Energy Affordability (AEA) assessed existing building modeling software programs developed for use with existing multifamily buildings. EnergySoft's EnergyPro Lite (EPL) was selected for further development and versions 4.0 and 4.1 were released over the course of the grant.  The software was made available to cities and energy programs across the state.  Modeling upgrades included:

  • Owner-facing report output
  • Incorporation of lighting, pipe insulation, DHW, and other formally external calculations
  • Existing and proposed solar PV and thermal calculations
  • Electrification/fuel-switching modeling capability
  • Measure cost, utility cost, and payback estimation

EPLv4.1 Training Webinar Recording (YouTube)

For programs or cities interested in using EPL, contact Ben Cooper.

Multifamily Benchmarking Report

For this report, the Association for Energy Affordability (AEA) provided technical assistance to multifamily building owners throughout the State to help them comply with the State’s Building Energy Benchmarking Program (AB802). Challenges to obtaining complete and accurate data from utilities and submitting to the Energy Commission were identified. The benchmarking data set was also used to examine the relationship between energy use intensity (EUI) and various building characteristics and to compare energy model predictions with actual performance. The report concludes with recommendations to the Energy Commission to build on its findings.
Report: Benchmarking MF Buildings in CA

Rental Housing Potential Study

Achieving deep carbon reductions in rental properties is complicated because building owners often have little incentive to invest in energy efficiency when their tenants are the ones who foot the utility bills, an obstacle known as a “split incentive.”

For this study, StopWaste and Franklin Energy surveyed and interviewed local government staff from 26 California jurisdictions to understand the characteristics of their rental housing inspection programs. Because we did not identify any California jurisdictions that have energy efficiency requirements as part of their rental housing inspection program, we also interviewed staff in three cities outside of California that do have rental housing inspection programs with a focus on energy efficiency. Those cities are Boulder, Colorado, New York City, and Austin, Texas. We identified key considerations for jurisdictions exploring the idea of a rental housing ordinance with energy efficiency requirements and organized ordinance feasibility considerations into four steps:

  1. Evaluate the baseline rental housing characteristics and existing policies.

  2. Assess the resources needed for development, implementation and enforcement.

  3. Consider potential impacts on renters.

  4. Evaluate approaches to program design.

This report does not categorically recommend the adoption of housing inspection ordinances with energy efficiency requirements because these policies are resource-intensive to implement and could cause tenant displacement in tight real estate markets. However, jurisdictions considering ways to protect and improve the quality of their rental housing stock can draw on a wealth of information we have presented.

Report: Rental Housing Potential Study

Recommendations to Improve Tenant Access to Energy Efficiency Data

Add content here from Candis' work.

Convening of the Multifamily Home Energy Retrofit Coordinating Committee (MF HERCC)

Since 2010, StopWaste has convened the Multifamily Subcommittee of the U.S. EPA's California Home Energy Retrofit Coordinating Committee. Over the course of the grant, MF HERCC was convened on three separate occasions to present on and discuss issues pertinent to energy upgrades in the existing multifamily sector.

As chair of the MF HERCC, StopWaste works with stakeholders in the multifamily sector to develop multifamily energy upgrade program design recommendations and standards. These recommendations have influenced the design of ratepayer-funded multifamily energy upgrade programs, leading to increased participation.

April 24th, 2018 - Low-Cost Assessment Tool and Benchmarking


October 30th, 2018 - Financing, LCAT and Benchmarking Updates


October 27th and 28th, 2020 - Equity and Multifamily Housing

Day 1 - Equity, Energy & Multifamily Housing

  • Historical Inequities in Housing (Matt Van Des Sluis, BARHII)
  • Community Engagement & Program Delivery (Eric Arnold, Georgia Power Company)
  • Affordability Definitions (Kathleen Yip, CPUC)
  • Affordability of Utility Service (Ankit Jain, CPUC)

Day 1 Slides

Day 2 - An Inflection Point for MF Energy Programs

  • Update on Multifamily Programs (Sarah Lerhaupt, CPUC)
  • Case study on Tennant Access: Self-Generation Incentive Program–Battery storage for medical/essential needs (Tory Francisco, CPUC)
  • Case study on Program Layering: BayREN/MCE BAMBE streamlining (Grace Peralta, MCE)
  • Data to identify Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing (Hal Nelson, Res-Intel)

Day 2 Slides