TRC Energy Services recently presented a workshop on behalf of the San Diego Housing Federation that gave multifamily property owners and managers a unique opportunity to discuss energy efficiency with seasoned industry colleagues. Moderator Nicole Beaulieu of TRC Energy Services welcomed Sylvia Martinez of Community HousingWorks, Kevin Ramussen of So. Cal HERS Raters and Sean Woolsey of Sun Country Builders to discuss their experience in bringing Los Robles Apartments through the Energy Upgrade California Multifamily program to receive incentives for installing energy upgrades.
The 76-unit community was built in 1978 and in need of extensive repairs. According to Martinez, “We had already planned a substantial rehab for Los Robles. The energy audit indicated cost-effective ways to lower our energy use. Although we were challenged by the combustion testing requirements, participation in the EUC MF program was a win-win for quality and savings.” As part of the full-scale renovation, CHW upgraded the individual apartment homes with Energy Star® appliances and installed low-e vinyl windows and new “cool” roofs to the buildings. CHW reports a 16.55% improvement with substantial reductions in gas, electric and water usage as a result of the energy efficiency upgrades.
The panelists also shared some of the improvements they have experienced since the inception of the EUC MF program. “The early days were like the Wild West,” joked Ramussen. “TRC and SDG&E listened to our feedback and have worked diligently to improve the program. Additional policies and procedures, such as mandatory stakeholder meetings, have really streamlined the process for the better.”
Many audience members had also participated in the program on past projects and were able to share their experiences and suggestions as well. Most agreed that multifamily properties that were already slated for a large scale renovation could potentially benefit from utilizing incentives to expand their scope of work to include whole-building energy efficiency measures.
CLICK to review the Case Study of Los Robles’ success.