Energy Policy Work
LISC Boston has actively participated in the state’s Energy Efficiency Advisory Council (EEAC) over the past three years. Through our collaborative policy advocacy work with state housing finance agencies, process reforms have been achieved with the goal of making it easier for owners to incorporate energy efficiency measures at the time of rehab/recapitalization.
Based on the collaboration LISC fostered among utilities, housing finance agencies, and owners, the following process reform outcomes will be institutionalized during 2017:
- The utilities have committed to creating a “clear roadmap” to illustrate the options owners have when approaching rehab to better align refinancing events with available efficiency programs. Since every project doesn’t qualify for LEAN, it’s important that owners have clarity on 3 primary program options and available incentives for each.
- The utilities have agreed to discuss how their cost-effectiveness formula works, as well as the potential for them to accept incremental costs and benefits as opposed to current cost effective criteria, and how their formula can be applied at the time of refinancing.
- All LEAN audits will be given to owners. LEAN said owners could ask for their audits but very few (if any) owners knew that was an option.
- LEAN will accept 3rd party comprehensive audits as a basis to inform their Scope of Work.
- LEAN to provide incentive commitment in collaboration with lenders’ commitment letter.
- It will be possible for an owner to use their own General Contractor for LEAN work on rehab.
- The LEAN Low-Income Multifamily Advisory Committee will be reconstituted to foster greater coordination among LEAN, housing finance agencies, and owners. This groups hasn’t met for over two years and there is now a commitment to meet biannually.
While significant process reforms were achieved, the “proof is in the pudding” and much opportunity remains to drive policy improvements and institutionalize best practices in the sector. LISC looks forward to continuing to collaborate closely with all stakeholders involved, including owners, lenders, state housing/energy/clean energy agencies, and utilities