President Barack Obama’s Climate Action Plan, announced at Georgetown University in June, outlined an ambitious agenda to address the increasing dangers of climate change. Although the proposed regulatory standards on existing and new power plants have taken center stage in public discussion, the president’s agenda also included several noteworthy proposals to support the important aim of increasing access to energy efficiency and clean energy technologies in affordable multifamily housing.
To reduce the deadly threat of climate disruption, it is essential to rein in polluting energy use, especially the wasteful conventional consumption of electricity in buildings. Currently, large multifamily residential buildings represent a huge source of energy inefficiency, but they also hold the promise of being smart and cost-effective places to make deep savings. Low-income affordable housing in particular can help open this market, improving financial security for building owners, saving tenants needed dollars, and building the demand for clean energy, thereby driving down costs for the entire economy.