The Better Buildings Challenge is a joint venture between the U.S. Departments of Energy and Housing and Urban Development (as a response to President Obama’s call-to-action on energy). The challenge calls upon commercial and industrial building owners to reduce their energy consumption by 20 percent by 2020.
NHT-Enterprise joined the challenge, committing 17 properties totaling 1.5 million square feet of multifamily affordable housing. The Better Buildings Challenge measures progress toward the 20 percent energy reduction goal by dividing our portfolio’s entire energy consumption (electricity and gas) by our total portfolio square footage to get an Energy Use Intensity (EUI). The EUI factors in weather differences from one year to another to lessen the impact of external variables on the measurement.
NHT-Enterprise is excited about our 10 percent portfolio-wide EUI reduction. This reduction is a direct result of many energy upgrades and retrofits at our communities, which include high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment, building automation, LED lighting and Energy Star appliances. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the NHT-Enterprise sustainability team, we are halfway to our Better Buildings Challenge goal.
The portfolio-wide reduction of EUI is beneficial in two notable ways:
- Using less energy results in spending less money on owner-paid utilities Since joining the challenge, NHT-Enterprise reduced utility spending by $150,000 annually. The reduced operational cost allows NHT-Enterprise to allocate additional resources to resident services and keep our properties affordable over the long haul.
- Reducing energy use intensity is better for the environment. A 10 percent reduction in portfolio-wide EUI equates to preventing 3,480 metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the Earth’s atmosphere. That’s equivalent to the annual carbon sequester of 3,300 acres of forest.
NHT-Enterprise will continue do its part to reduce the impacts of global climate change. For more information on NHT-Enterprise’s progress or overall sustainability efforts, contact NHT-Enterprise Sustainability Associate Kathleen Berube.