Rockford Housing Authority pledges energy efficiency contracts, goals

Online Staff Report

The Rockford Housing Authority (RHA) continues to seek pathways to improve operational efficiency as well as ways to improve the condition of properties in its portfolio. In seeking out these opportunities, the RHA Board of Commissioners supported RHA’s application to the Department of Housing and Urban Development for an Energy Performance Contract (EPC).

Early in 2013, the RHA Board authorized RHA to enter into an agreement with Johnson Controls for the purpose of advancing an EPC to improve its property, achieve savings, and provide a more affordable environment for the residents of RHA. The project is anticipated to generate $7.3 million in construction work/improvements for RHA property, creating jobs and opportunity. Over the EPC contract, RHA will save $8.4 million that early in the project will pay the EPC debt service but over time allows RHA to reinvest in neighborhoods.

Early in 2014, the Better Buildings Challenge expanded to include multi-family properties. RHA committed to expand its commitment to energy efficiency in its 2.6 million square feet of multi-family housing by joining the BB Challenge. RHA pledged to save 20 percent of its energy costs within 10 years; $413,325 annually (calculated at a current annualized basis).

The expansion of the Better Buildings Challenge to include multi-family housing represents an important step toward achieving the goals laid out in the President’s Climate Action Plan,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan.

As a means to stretch RHA funds even further, RHA applied for and received $598,389 in energy grant funds from the State of Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity through the University of Illinois Smart Energy Design Assistance Center (SEDAC).

Ron Clewer, CEO of RHA, said: “RHA is very appreciative for the partnerships that allow these types of successes to shine on our authority; our successes are not possible without our invested partners. Further, it is always a great win when we can get our community back to work; this contract not only means improvements and savings, it also means jobs.”

RHA provides housing to low-income families, elderly and disabled citizens of Rockford.

Posted April 3, 2014

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