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Photo Credit: Sparhawk Group
Photo Credit: Sparhawk Group

Comprehensive Energy Audit Matching Grant Program

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What does this program provide?

LISC Boston and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) are offering grants to fund 50% of the cost of comprehensive energy audits and kickoff meetings (or a condensed integrated design meeting) for up to 60 multifamily affordable housing projects approaching refinance/rehab in Massachusetts. Projects pursuing adaptive reuse to become multifamily affordable housing will also be eligible. All selected properties will be eligible to receive free benchmarking services leading up to and following refinance/rehab so LISC and MassCEC can help owners track their property's resultant energy and water savings.

How much will it cost to participate?

Typically, a comprehensive (ASHRAE Level II) energy audit averages $10,000 - $15,000 based on several factors including your property’s size (number of units and buildings); building type (high-rise, low-rise, etc.); and building energy systems (e.g. all-electric, gas heating, etc.). Selected projects will receive 50% off the price, so expect to pay approximately $5,000 - $7,500 for your half-price comprehensive energy audit. ASHRAE Level II energy audits can be used as a basis of underwriting projected savings with permanent lenders.

A kickoff meeting (or a condensed integrated design meeting) is typically a 2-4 hour planning process involving the project’s development team (including the project manager, real estate director, asset manager, property management company representative, architect, and engineer) and building science firm, costing from $2,500 - $5,000 based on the complexity of the project. Selected projects will receive 50% off the price, so expect to pay approximately $1,250 - $2,500 for your half-price kickoff meeting. Note: While we highly recommend that owners engage in a kickoff meeting to incorporate the comprehensive energy audit recommendations into the planned rehab scope of work, owners are free to just do a comprehensive energy audit.

Selected projects will also be eligible to receive benchmarking services (via WegoWise) for up to 1 year post-retrofit free of charge (up to $1,000 value).

What projects will be eligible?

Nonprofit, for-profit, and housing authority multifamily affordable housing projects approaching refinance/rehab in Massachusetts will be eligible. We are targeting projects in design development so audits can fully inform the scope of your project. Projects pursuing adaptive reuse to become multifamily affordable housing will also be eligible.

When is the ideal stage for a project approaching rehabilitation to receive a comprehensive energy audit?

The audit occurs during the pre-development phase of the rehabilitation project when the building owner has engaged a team of professionals to evaluate the existing conditions at the site and develop a scope of work and budget for the project. The building audit results/recommendations should be considered alongside the Capital Needs Assessment (CNA) and be used as part of the integrated design process to develop scope of work for the rehabilitation.

It is understood that project timelines can be highly variable. The goal of this process is to ensure that energy, water, resiliency, renewable energy and healthy housing opportunities are integrated into overall scope development and budget considerations, and that the team has thought critically about ways to address operations and maintenance concerns on site through system improvement or reconfiguration.

What are project selection criteria?

  • Clear opportunity to achieve carbon and cost savings.
  • Owner capacity and willingness to navigate applicable utility energy efficiency programs.
  • Owner capacity and willingness to explore measures that may not be funded through utility energy efficiency programs but result in energy savings.
  • Owner capacity and willingness to explore financing the most applicable renewable technology identified.
  • Clarity on where the building stands in the overall rehab timeline process – can owner project how far away they are from construction closing?
    • NOTE: Projects early in design development can potentially provide the most opportunity to inform the scope of work.
  • Owner willingness to share project analysis, enroll in WegoWise, and perform a case study.

How long will it take the building science firms to complete my comprehensive energy audit?

Approximately 6-8 weeks from the date of the building science firm’s site visit.

How long will this program last?

  • September 15, 2018 – Application will be available on LISC Boston's website at lisc.org/boston/our-work/green-retrofit-initiative/. Property owners/developers/managers may start submitting applications to LISC.
  • November 1, 2018 – Anticipated official start of program.
  • Rolling program for up to 3 years. Funding is available to support up to 60 projects.