Cambridge, MA Housing Authority: Energy performance

Energy Performance
Cumulative (vs. Baseline)1%
Annual (2019)1%

Better Buildings Challenge Partners strive to decrease portfolio-wide source energy use intensity (EUI) and to increase the percent improvement compared to a set baseline. Cambridge Housing Authority's (CHA) portfolio consists of 29 developments and 2.4 million square feet. In 2019 the housing authority improved energy performance by 23% from a 2014 baseline, making it a Challenge Goal Achiever that year. Key components of CHA’s approach were to follow Enterprise Green Communities criteria, and to maximize energy efficiency in buildings undergoing Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) conversion.  CHA focused on envelope improvements, LED lighting retrofits, water savings and Combined Heat and Power on-site electricity generation.  Now, with a new 20% energy savings goal, Cambridge has achieved 1% savings against its new 2018 baseline year.


Looking at the percent improvement in energy performance across all properties can provide insight into how an organization is saving energy. Cambridge Housing Authority has achieved energy performance improvement of greater than 6% at four of its properties. There are ten properties that have experienced an increase in Source EUI. These properties have been targeted for or are currently undergoing energy efficiency improvements.


Property-level energy performance metrics, including EUI and percent improvement to date, are critical to track progress over time and identify opportunities for additional energy savings. Cambridge Housing Authority's portfolio consists of properties with  a wide range of baseline EUI values, most of which are from 100 to 160 kBtu/sq. ft. The majority of properties have shown energy improvement since 2018. The properties located near or below the 0% axis may present good opportunities for further savings.