Housing authorities that are seeking alternate energy sources or new funding streams will be particularly interested in HUD’s latest PIH notice. It ushers in a number of programmatic changes in an effort to increase the use of on-site renewable energy technology at federally subsidized housing projects. We have highlighted a few notable changes below. For more in depth coverage, please see our Ballard Spahr Alert or visit HUD’s webpage to read the notice in full.
Public housing authorities may now combine Rate Reduction Incentives with Energy Performance Contract financial incentives. The notice eliminates conflicts between these programs that make it difficult to combine energy improvements that encourage both consumption and rate savings. Housing authorities that combine the incentives will receive 100 percent of the cost savings.
RRIs can now assist housing authorities that install on-site utility technologies. They may fund a variety of technologies, from solar power to geothermal heat pumps. RRIs are also available for authorities that complete retrofits to reduce resident-paid utility spending. Authorities that are awarded RRIs will retain 50 percent of their annual utility cost savings.
The notice provides information on financing options for the installation of on-site energy infrastructure, such as Power Purchase Agreements that can lessen authorities’ startup costs.
The definitions of eligible technologies and the flexibility in how HUD has indicated it will view projects combining on-site generation and conservation measures suggest opportunities for public-private collaboration between housing authorities and service providers in installing, financing, maintaining, and operating on-site generation technologies. We will continue to monitor these changes and provide information on how housing and energy stakeholders can get involved.