Efficiency for Everyone: Insulation Also Necessary in Multi-Family Homes

This entry was posted in Blog on by .

All buildings require insulation, regardless of what purpose the building serves. Insulation is often discussed regarding a single-family home—but Dolphin Insulation spreads the insulation wealth to multi-family homes through MassSave’s benefit program. MassSave defines a multi-family home as: a facility that has five or more units on the single property. If you live in or own a multi-family facility, energy savings should be your top priority.

Here at Dolphin, we offer MassSave’s Multi-Family Energy Assessments, which identify potential improvements in energy efficiency in multi-family facilities. MassSave uses a whole facility approach, which focuses on the entire facility’s thermal envelope, air sealing, and various mechanical systems. MassSave also assesses the potential for in-unit savings.

If your multi-family facility is eligible, it could receive incentives for any of the following, and more:

  • Insulation
  • Air sealing.
  • Lighting upgrades to control energy use for lighting each home.
  • Occupancy sensors to avoid using energy unnecessarily.
  • Water heating equipment and measures, including low-flow showerheads and pipe wrap.
  • Programmable thermostats.

Although contractors offer incentives for insulating and sealing multi-family facilities to make them more energy efficient, the multi-family market remains hard to reach. Unfortunately, the buildings that will benefit most from energy upgrades often do not invest in them. Luckily, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) recently explored many options to make energy upgrades financially easy for owners and tenants of multi-family facilities.

Currently, most of the energy upgrades in multi-family homes are paid for through traditional finance or through self-finance. These payment methods are unappealing and often prevent buildings from undergoing necessary energy-efficient upgrades. The ACEEE found many energy efficiency-specific financial plans that make insulating and air sealing an entire facility manageable and appealing. For example, an owner can add a section to a tenant’s lease to cover the cost of energy conserving upgrades.

Owners often hesitate to upgrade their facilities due to the cost—but when you increase energy efficiency, the initial price pays for itself as you continue to save. Some payment methods for tenant buildings include Energy Services Agreement/ Managed Energy Services Agreement (ESA/MESA), Commercial PACE, and Green Leasing.

Energy Services Agreement and Managed Energy Services Agreement are services agreements that cover upfront costs, turnkey, manage systems, misaligned payback period, and split incentives.

Commercial Pace includes a property tax and a loan that addresses upfront costs, split incentives, and a misaligned payback period.

Lastly, Green Leasing is a contract between an owner and a tenant that covers split incentives.

The bottom line is that there are many incentives and financial plans to make insulating and air sealing available to all buildings. You will spend money, only to ultimately save more money, along with saving energy. Contact Dolphin for more information regarding options to transform the energy efficiency in your multi-family home.