Secretary Granholm Tours Better Buildings Partner Jonathan Rose Companies' Efficient, Affordable Housing

By Better Buildings Beat Team on Jul 26, 2021

On Wednesday, July 14, 2021, Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm visited Grace West Manor, an affordable housing property in Newark, New Jersey, to recognize owner and Better Buildings Challenge partner Jonathan Rose Companies for its progress in making housing healthier, more affordable, and more energy efficient for low-income families.

Jonathan Rose Companies joined the Better Buildings Challenge in 2014 and is on track to reduce its energy intensity by 20% within ten years across its 11.5-million-square-foot portfolio. The company has achieved an average of more than 2% annual energy savings through a multi-faceted, cost-effective approach to energy and water efficiency, including:

  • Deep energy retrofits
  • Converting systems from fossil-fuel consumption to electric
  • Incorporating renewable energy
  • Using data to monitor and analyze environmental performance at all properties

During the site visit, Secretary Granholm toured Grace West Manor, a 429-unit, affordable Section 8 property in Newark, New Jersey. Approximately $22 million in upgrades have been implemented at Grace West Manor that will not only improve efficiency and lower costs for the owner but also improve resident comfort and reduce residents’ utility bills. Improvements include key energy and water efficiency improvements such as modernized elevators, new energy-efficient domestic hot water boilers, LED lighting upgrades, high performance windows, weatherization measures, and water efficiency upgrades, with further improvements to be undertaken. Since Grace West Manor was acquired, the property has reduced its Energy Use Intensity by 13.3%, carbon emissions intensity by 14.3%, and water use intensity by 58%, according to Jonathan Rose Companies.

From left to right: Miguel Ortiz (Rose), Josh Haggarty (Rose), Kevin McKee (Rose), Nathan Taft (Rose), Justin Scheid (HUD), Sec Granholm, Eric Pennington (City of Newark), Congressman Payne, Kelly Speakes-Backman (DOE), Lauren Zullo (Rose), Caroline Vary (Rose)

After touring Grace West Manor, the Secretary moderated a roundtable discussion, where she heard from the community on the importance of funding, training for both installers and building operators to maintain advanced energy systems, a shift to decarbonization, and the value of the recognition and peer network provided by the Better Buildings Challenge. She was joined by Representative Donald Payne Jr, Acting Assistant Secretary and Principal Deputy Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Kelly Speakes-Backman, Jonathan Rose staff and residents, and other HUD and local officials.

Through Better Buildings, partners like Jonathan Rose Companies demonstrate leadership in energy, water, and waste efficiency while sharing their successful solutions with the market. Learn more about partners’ commitment to ongoing efficiency improvements on the Better Buildings Solution Center.