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DC Housing Authority Achieves Better Buildings Challenge Energy Savings Goal

May 18, 2022 3:11 PM
DC Housing Authority Achieves Better Buildings Challenge Energy Savings Goal

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recognized the DC Housing Authority for achieving its energy savings goal as a partner in the Better Buildings Challenge. DCHA has achieved energy savings of 31% due to greater efficiency efforts at its Fort Lincoln property.

DCHA is one of the market leaders partnering with DOE and HUD to set portfolio-wide energy savings goals and share their efficiency strategies on the Better Buildings Solution. To date, Better Buildings partners have saved more than $15 billion in energy costs, resulting in more than 150 million metric tons of avoided carbon emissions.

“Congratulations to our 2022 Better Buildings Goal Achievers for reaching their ambitious energy savings goals,” said Kelly Speakes-Backman, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy. “By saving energy and sharing their proven real-world solutions, these partners are leading the charge toward a clean energy economy while helping other organizations learn from their success.”

DCHA focused on Fort Lincoln, a senior and disabled property, as an opportunity to save energy and improve efficiency. The building, located in Ward 5, has a mix of efficiency and one bedroom units and was built in 1971.

Over two phases, DCHA replaced fluorescent lighting, fan coil units, faucets, shower heads, and other inefficient equipment. More recently, we added several energy efficiency improvements including a new air conditioning chiller, new boilers, new domestic hot water systems, new high efficiency system pumps, a building automation system, and the installation of a 120 kW solar photovoltaic system.

“DCHA joined the Better Buildings Challenge to get expert advice and learn about innovative solutions and  improvements to increase energy and water savings in our aging buildings, while also improving the standard of living for our residents,” said DCHA Executive Director Brenda Donald. “These sustainable solutions, which we are working to deploy throughout our portfolio, saved the authority more than $54,000 at Fort Lincoln alone. That money can now be reinvested in other areas of our communities.”

The total capital investment at Fort Lincoln for this most recent phase of modernization was $2.5 million, which includes a $557,000 DOEE Solar-For-All grant for the installation of the Solar PV system. DCSEU (District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility) provided $86,000 in energy efficiency rebates for lighting, cooling, and boiler installation.

Along with the capital improvements to the building, DCHA implemented a prescriptive maintenance program. The program consists of a data analytics-driven maintenance program, monitoring system performance in real time to predict equipment failure before it happens. This drastically improves the system uptime, reduces operation costs, and assures resident comfort.

The solar PV system has generated $59,000 in solar renewable energy credits to date, which helps fund the DCHA Solar-for-All Resident Engagement program. This program provided job-training for 58 DC residents in solar PV installation through WDC Solar.

Through the Better Buildings initiative, HUD partners with DOE to support the multifamily housing sector, providing incentives and technical assistance for utility benchmarking and planning portfolio-wide investments in energy and water efficiency and carbon reduction.

The Better Buildings Challenge is one component of the Better Buildings Initiative, through which DOE partners with more than 900 public and private sector organizations to make commercial, public, industrial, and residential buildings more efficient, thereby saving energy and money while creating jobs. Discover more than 3,000 proven efficiency solutions from these partners in the Better Buildings Solution Center.

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