LINC Housing leads the way in pursuit of Zero Net Energy Retrofit for Low Income Housing

LINC Housing, a Better Buildings Challenge multifamily partner has developed, owned or operated quality affordable housing communities for limited income families, seniors and persons with special needs throughout California for more than 30 years. In 2013 the California Energy Commission (CEC) awarded a Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) grant to LINC to design and implement an energy efficiency retrofit program at The Village at Beechwood. The 100-unit apartment complex had the highest energy index of all of its properties. The goals of this project were to reduce utility costs for residents, but also to provide guidance and a model for implementing similar programs for other multifamily owners.

LINC simulated the impact of multiple energy efficiency measures on its baseline to determine which of these measures would be the most cost-effective, while enabling LINC to reach its energy reduction goals. The final package of efficiency measures included lighting retrofits, refrigerator replacement and reducing leakage in the building envelope and ductwork. LINC implemented these measures in 30 of the units at the Village at Beechwood. Preliminary results demonstrate that these energy efficiency measures have resulted in significant decreases in energy usage compared to the control units. LINC will continue to monitor the effectiveness of each measure using approximately 50 sensors throughout the property.

LINC has recently received a grant to retrofit two additional properties and hopes to expand its program to the rest of its property portfolio. To read more information about this successful energy efficiency program for multifamily housing, check out LINC’s newly published implementation model here.

We look forward to more multifamily partners using LINC’s implementation model as a guide to implement more smart, scalable and innovative approaches to retrofits in the multifamily and affordable housing market.