Leveraging the Low-Income Weatherization Program for Multifamily Helps Achieve Deeper Energy Savings and Maintain Long-Term Affordability

In 2016, TNDC Alexander Residence —a 179 unit senior affordable housing development in the Tenderloin—was one of TNDC’s most expensive properties in terms of energy usage. In an effort to reduce their operating expenses and ensure long-term affordability and availability of services for residents, TNDC staff sought energy efficiency programs that support deep energy savings, while also minimizing interferences to residents. One of these programs is the Low-Income Weatherization Program for Multifamily Properties (LIWP-Multifamily).

“One of the most compelling aspects of LIWP is that the program focuses on providing whole building savings rather than just solar or just energy efficiency— this supports an integrated approach,” said Tabitha Harrison, Sustainability Program Manager at TNDC. Harrison also noted that the hands-on technical assistance from program implementers was crucial to the success of the retrofit. TNDC worked with LIWP-Multifamily program implementers to leverage LIWP dollars in combination with incentives offered through the Bay Area Regional Energy Network Multifamily Building Enhancements rebate program and the California Solar Initiative’s solar thermal rebate program. As a result, 98 percent of TNDC’s retrofit costs were covered through a combination of LIWP-Multifamily and other resources.

According to Harrison, programs like LIWP-Multifamily are crucial to supporting her organization’s goals. “Energy efficiency and solar retrofits help manage our operating costs, which in turn supports our core mission: providing housing and supportive services for San Francisco’s most vulnerable populations.”