Engineered Utility Allowances: Increasing Sustainability of LIHTC Properties and Improving Quality of Life for Residents
The following study details the results of a pilot project of NeighborWorks America, which asked 2rw Consultants to evaluate the effectiveness of engineered energy calculation models to adjust utility allowances at affordable housing properties across the United States. NeighborWorks then engaged Community Housing Partners (CHP) to assess the results. The results indicate that using the engineered utility allowance method to estimate usage and costs can be beneficial for affordable housing properties in two ways. First, owners and managers of LIHTC properties will find it easier to fund and recover investments in energy efficiency. Second, pairing the engineered energy calculation method with a resident education program can be used to improve resident use and understanding of energy-efficient components in their homes.