Fannie Mae study says affordable rental units more energy efficient than market-rate units

EPA makes its Energy Star score available for the multifamily sector

October 03, 2014 |

Fannie Mae’s new report on energy usage in the multifamily sector found that affordable properties use 28% less energy per unit and are 29% smaller than market-rate properties. Market-rate units incur higher energy cost and use per square foot because there are more units per 1,000 square feet among affordable properties—1.29 affordable units, versus 0.91 market rate units per 1,000 sf.

The report, “Transforming Multifamily Housing: Fannie Mae’s Green Initiative and Energy Star for Multifamily,” provides comprehensive multifamily energy and water data. The first of its kind report serves as the basis for the EPA’s Energy Star Score for multifamily structures.

Costs differentials on energy use can be very steep for multifamily properties. The least efficient property could spend as much as $165,000 more in annual energy costs than a similar property operating at peak efficiently. When owners paid for all energy costs, median annual energy use was 26% higher than when tenants were responsible for paying energy costs.

In a related development, the EPA made its Energy Star score available for the multifamily sector on September 16. According to Fannie Mae, the score will enable owners and operators of multifamily properties with 20 or more units to quantify the energy performance of their properties.


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