Item 5b-Staff Response to Cyrus Reed's Questions Regarding the Success of the ARRA Grant-Funded Multifamily Energy Returns Program(Better Buildings) — original pdf
TO: Low Income Consumer Advisory Takes Force FROM: Denise Kuehn, Director, Energy Efficiency Services DATE: August 7, 2015 SUBJECT: Questions Concerning the Success of the Better Buildings Grant – Multifamily Submitted in July 17, 2015 Low Income Consumer Advisory Task Force 1. Question: Did this program (Better Buildings grant-funded program focused on multifamily properties) work? Answer: Yes. In approximately one year (September 2012-September 2013) 1,587 multifamily units at 21 properties received comprehensive upgrades tailored to the specific, existing conditions discovered through a sample test-in and energy modeling process. As was discussed in the July 17th Task Force meeting, the lessons learned through the pilot program have been used to inform the current multifamily energy efficiency program design. 2. Was it cost effective? Answer: The $/kW value for the Better Buildings multifamily program was ~$895/kW. This number is a predictive estimate from REM/Rate® energy modeling software. The value is above the target that Austin Energy generally sets for energy efficiency program cost effectiveness (~$700/kW). The increased value can be attributed to several factors including costs associated with paying for the test-in/out and modeling process and the short timeframe for pilot project completion (increased rebates to encourage fast adoption by multifamily property owners). However, as was detailed in the July 17th memo from Austin Energy to the Task Force and as pertains to the impact on customers, the program was effective. Compared to similar properties, the multifamily properties that participated in the Better Buildings program have energy usage trending down. Please see the July 17th memo and explanation of kWh savings.