Green Retrofits for Cost Savings and Resiliency

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As first seen in Rental Housing Journal: Green Retrofits for Cost Savings and Resiliency (

The landscape for green technology is changing. Awareness of highly efficient electric heat pumps has been growing, and heat pump systems have now outsold gas furnaces for two years in a row. We’re witnessing new innovations in solar and storage. And government agencies continue to roll out funds—for weatherization, beneficial electrification, energy storage, etc.—from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). In addition to improving efficiency and cutting costs, these solutions can increase resilience and stability in the face of extreme temperatures and natural disasters.

IRA and BIL funds can be used to offset project costs to the extent that a holistic green retrofit requires little to no investment from the owner. Some of the new funding is already in circulation, but there is still an opportunity to influence the funds that have yet to be released because the administering agencies are still developing their plans and designing their programs. One consistent pain point for program administrators and service providers is coordinating various funding sources to effectively serve multifamily properties. While there is a great deal of potential and value in this activity, it has historically been hindered by barriers such as:

  • There are different requirements attached to various funding sources, which can be very burdensome for service providers attempting to coordinate funds while ensuring compliance.
  • Currently, there is insufficient collaboration within and between agencies, utility companies, etc. to improve the guidance that is available for leveraging multiple financial resources.
  • Financing institutions that can provide energy financing are too often overlooked partners in the design of projects and programs, even though their networks, existing project pipelines, and/or expertise can be crucial to project execution.

The multifamily community needs to push for increased collaboration, and for programs to leverage the expertise of multifamily specialists. For those that are unsure how to begin, ICAST has created a dedicated webpage that can serve as a starting point for advocacy efforts.

About the author:

Ryan Kristoff is the Vice President of Grant Programs at ICAST, a TBL Fund affiliate and national nonprofit that designs holistic retrofit solutions for multifamily affordable housing (MFAH). He works with local government, utility, state, and federal partners to create and launch MFAH-focused clean energy programs.

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