Fighting for a Just Transition to Green Energy

Our Energy Services:

 

Transition to solar energy with Co-ops Go Solar, our free training and technical assistance program 

 

 

Explore incentive programs to get money back for efficiency projects

 

 

Get trained on energy efficiency 

 

 

Explore green compliance codes (Local Laws 84, 97, and more)

 

 

Pay less for heating oil with UHAB Fuel

 

 

Why Energy?

UHAB helps affordable HDFC co-ops improve energy efficiency and explore renewable energy through training and technical assistance. Energy efficiency is a crucial fight for HDFC co-ops because:

Energy efficiency keeps affordable housing affordable. Energy burden (paying over 6% of your income for energy) means paying more money to live in a less safe, less comfortable home, and having to choose between paying energy bills and other essential costs like food and healthcare.

 Because of racist housing policies that crowded low-income people of color into substandard housing, low income communities' rate of energy burden is three times higher than the national average,

In New York City, affordable HDFC co-ops provide a safe haven in an increasingly expensive city. Energy efficiency keeps down operating costs and frees up capital that can then be invested back into the co-ops' communities. 

Clean energy protects our community's health. Living in an energy inefficient home worsens health problems. Children with respiratory diseases may be exposed to pollutants if their home is not well sealed, while those with medical conditions aggravated by heat may not be able to afford to run an air conditioner.

Affordable housing residents are on the frontlines of climate change--and driving the fight for a just transition to renewable energy. HDFC co-ops are a type of affordable, self-controlled housing. They're clustered in historically underresourced neighborhoods such as upper Manhattan, the South Bronx, and Central Brooklyn. 

Today, these neighborhoods face higher environmental burdens, from worse air quality to flood risk to high heat vulnerability. Putting affordable housing at the forefront of the push for cleaner buildings and renewable energy addresses a legacy of environmental racism, and ensures a just transition to a carbon-free future. 

Contact us to take our energy survey and make a plan for your HDFC co-op.

Take advantage of Incentive Programs to upgrade your HDFC!

 

There are a variety of incentive programs available for affordable housing in New York City that can defray the cost of upgrading your building. Building heating systems account for 40% to 50% of energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from a typical large multifamily building. And depending on building size and heating fuel, smart steam heating system adjustments can save you from $10,000 to $30,000 a year on energy costs. Here are a few programs that may be of interest to HDFCs. For a more complete list, go to https://retrofitaccelerator.cityofnewyork.us/resources

 

Multifamily Performance Program: NYSERDA’s Multifamily Performance Program enables you to make energy saving improvements to your affordable multifamily properties (5+ units), resulting in greater efficiency, marketability, and profitability. The program features a tiered-incentive structure, starting at $700/unit and increases up to $3,500/unit if you decide to target a higher level of projected energy savings.  You work with a NYSERDA qualified Multifamily Building Solutions Provider who will conduct an energy assessment and  create a customized improvement plan tailored to your building aimed at giving you a minimum of 20% energy savings along with reduced energy bills. The more energy savings you target, the more incentives you will get through the Multifamily Performance Program.

Benefits of the Multifamily Performance Program

  • Incentives up to $3,500 per unit
  • Improve Property Value
  • Lower Operational Costs
  • Improve Tenant Satisfaction

 

Con Edison Multifamily Energy Efficiency Program: Con Edison gas and electric customers are eligible for a number of free or reduced price upgrades and equipment. All buildings are eligible for free LED bulbs inside apartments, and rebates on LED bulbs in common areas. This is an easy, low-cost way to lower energy bills and comply with local laws. Con Ed gas customers are eligible for even more free and reduced cost energy conservation measures. 

 

Weatherization Assistance Program: This program is available to buildings where at least 2/3 of residents are below 60% of state median income. An onsite energy audit will determine what energy upgrades the building recieves, but they may include a boiler tuneup, air sealing, and wall insulation. Some upgrades are free, while some require a contribution from the building.

 

National Grid Multifamily Program: National Grid gas customers are eligible for techncial assistance and rebates for upgrades to insulation, boilers, furnaces, steam traps, and more.

 

Incentives for Solar Energy: There are multiple incentives for HDFCs to install solar panels, including federal and state tax credits. Together, these incentives can cover most of a solar array's cost. Check out UHAB's Co-ops Go Solar program for free technical assistance and training to understand your renewable energy options.

 

Energy Efficiency Training

 

NYC Retrofit Accelerator Trainings

Hands-On Efficiency Trainings

NYC Retrofit Accelerator’s low-cost, hands-on trainings are aimed at helping you operate your building efficiently, reduce costs, and increase resident comfort. These intensive, interactive settings may be a good option for a crash course in energy efficient building operation!

You will learn how to:

  • Diagnose energy and water efficiency challenges
  • Implement no- to low-cost energy solutions on your own
  • Schedule and prioritize projects
  • Find funding and incentives to help pay for projects

Heating and Air Sealing: 2 days - $50

Water Conservation and Plumbing: 1 day - $25

Energy Efficiency Electrical: 1 day - $25

Classes meet at Solar One Lab, 29-76 Northern Blvd., Long Island City (Queens) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m and are held several times a year. Check here for more information or for upcoming training dates.

 

On-Site Training for Building Staff

If your board or other residents want to learn more about how your building runs and what you can do to make it more efficient, contact us to arrange a free on-site training with NYC Retrofit Accelerator! This training includes a two-three hour building walking tour and highlights simple opportunities to save energy, and you’ll be able to ask about specific issues and systems in your building.

Contact David Avina (212-479-3374; avina [at] uhab.org), Clara Weinstein (212-479-3337; weinstein [at] uhab.org), or Emily Ng (212-479-3318; ng [at] uhab.org) for more information or to schedule an on-site training session. 

 

UHAB Energy Efficiency Training for HDFCs

UHAB runs free energy classes on heating systems and energy efficiency for your HDFC!  In an interactive, small group format, we will explore opportunities to save money and conserve energy in your building, discuss the best ways to communicate internally about these projects, and present incentives and resources that may help you fund energy efficiency work. 

Check out our HDFC Training Calendar for the next training dates. 

 

Small Building Operator Training

CUNY Building Performance Lab is a free 30 hour training course for management and operations staff in buildings above 5 units. The course is also open to all shareholders who manage an aspect of building operations. The class takes place on weekends, and covers building systems like heating and electricity, safety, compliance, and energy efficiency measures. Completing the program can result in energy savings of 5-20% without any major capital expenditures. Se habla español.

Go to https://www.cunybpl.org/opstraining/ to learn more, or contact the Building Performance Lab here: 

Alexander Zurakowski: (212) 650-6591

James Lane: (212) 650-7069

Email: opstraining@cunybpl.org

 

Green Energy Codes

HDFCs must comply with several green energy codes.

  • Local Law 84 (Benchmarking) requires buildings to track and report energy useage every year, and recieve a benchmarking score based on efficiency
  • Local Law 33 requires buildings to post their benchmarking scores in their buildings beginning in 2020
  • Local Law 87 (Energy Audits and Retrocommissioning) requires larger buildings to occasionally undergo an audit and retro-commissioning every ten years
  • Fuel Conversion regulations require all buildings to transition off #4 oil
  • Local Law 97 (the Climate Mobilization Act) requires HDFCs to comply with emissions limits starting in 2024

The New York Sustainability Help Center is a free city service to help building owners understand and comply with these laws. Contact them by email or at (212) 566-5584.

Local Law 84: Benchmarking

Beginning May 2018, buildings exceeding 25,000 square feet must comply with New York City’s Benchmarking Law (Local Law 84).  Benchmarking is the process of evaluating energy and water efficiency in buildings. By measuring, tracking, and comparing energy and water consumption using standard metrics, building owners can assess the relative efficiency of their buildings compared to other similar buildings.

Find out if you have to comply with the Benchmarking Law by viewing the city's covered buildings list here

UHAB Benchmarking Assistance Services
 
UHAB offers free trainings designed to help you understand and complete the Benchmarking filing. Check our HDFC Training Calendar for upcoming training dates. 
 
UHAB can also complete the Benchmarking filing for your building for an affordable cost, and help you understand how it works in the process! 
 
For questions, more information, or a quote, contact David Aviña at benchmark@uhab.org or 212-479-3374. 

 

Local Law 87: Energy Audit and Retro-Commissioning

New York City’s Local Law 87 requires all buildings over 50,000 square feet to perform an energy efficiency audit and retro-commissioning once every 10 years, as part of the City’s Greener, Greater Buildings Plan (GGBP). The intent of this law is to inform building owners of their energy consumption through energy audits, which are surveys and analyses of energy use, and retro-commissioning, the process of ensuring correct equipment installation and performance.

Check if and when your building is required to comply with Local Law 87 here.

If your building is above 50,000 sq ft and required to comply:

  • Visit the City’s website for more information about the law and the required Energy Efficiency Report (EER)

  • Contact NYC Retrofit Accelerator for help. Retrofit Accelerator can help walk you through the process of finding someone to complete the audit and submit a report to the city. Contact them today if you have questions about the law or if your building will be required to comply within the next few years! If you have upcoming planned work, some contractors can complete the audit at the same time and you can use this audit for Local Law 87 compliance within four years.

 

Fuel Conversion

In 2011, the Department of Environmental Protection issued regulations that require all buildings burning No. 4 heating fuel oil to convert to a cleaner fuel (natural gas, ultra-low sulfur No. 2 oil, biodiesel, or steam) upon boiler or burner retirement or by January 1, 2030, whichever is sooner. NYC’s Local Law 43 has already phased out usage of No. 6 heating fuel oil. For a summary of these regulations, visit the Clean Heat Regulations page.

If your building needs to convert its fuel source, NYC Retrofit Accelerator can help you walk through the process and finance your conversion.

 

For more information about any programs listed on this page, please contact the Member Services Energy Efficiency Team:

David Aviña: email or call (212) 479-3374 for information about UHAB Fuel, benchmarking, and green energy codes. ¡Hablo español!
Emily Ng: email or call (212) 479-3318 about membership to UHAB
Eliza Klein: email or call (212) 479-3346 about solar and Con Edison's Multifamily Program
Clara Weinstein: email or call (212) 479-3337 about trainings, incentive programs, solar, heating system upgrades, and more