||This document proposes a strategy for Environmental Defense Fund to increase energy
efficiency investment in public housing. Improving the energy efficiency of public
housing buildings represents a tremendous opportunity to decrease energy consumption
nationwide. In 2010, PHA-paid energy expenditures totaled more than $1 billion, a
similar magnitude to the $3.6 billion the U.S. Department of Defense spends on energy
consumption in its facilities.
Reduced energy use results in cost savings for public housing authorities (PHAs) and
the federal government, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. The U.S. Department
of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides utility subsidies to PHAs and oversees
their work. Working with HUD, many housing authorities have used energy performance
contracts to perform energy efficiency retrofits. These contracts will continue to
be an important tool to enable housing authorities to invest in energy efficiency.
As a leading environmental nonprofit, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) has a significant
role to play in helping PHAs across the country to invest in energy efficiency.Some
housing authorities have already performed energy efficiency retrofits; many others
have not yet become involved in programs to reduce energy use. EDF can work with housing
authorities of varying levels of experience to help increase investment in energy
efficiency nationwide. If EDF is successful in its strategy, it should expect to see
housing authorities of all sizes using locally- or context-appropriate funding models
to invest in energy efficiency.
Working with public housing authorities, HUD, and partner organizations, EDF has the
ability to help decrease our nation’s energy consumption and reduce greenhouse gas
emissions associated with energy use. These efforts can increase national awareness
of the importance of making the country’s affordable housing stock more energy efficient.
Implementing the strategy outlined here will help EDF improve the climate, preserve
affordable housing for those who need it most, and demonstrate the significance of