Multifamily Housing

May/June 2010
A version of this article appears in the May/June 2010 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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May 03, 2010
Over 30% of the U.S. population and over 25% of U.S. households live in multifamily (MF) buildings. Yet when we talk about possible energy efficiency improvements in the residential sector, we seldom think of opportunities outside of single-family (SF) homes, and we almost never consider technologies that are appropriate only for MF homes. In fact, almost every study of the potential for energy efficiency in the existing residential sector either excludes MF buildings or includes them as a nonspecific part of the aggregate residential sector. U.S. Multifamily Energy Efficiency Potential by 2020, a report prepared by the Benningfield Group, is meant to help national and regional policymakers understand achievable energy efficiency potential in the country’s existing MF sector. The report is the most comprehensive survey of potential energy efficiency savings in the multifamily/apartment market conducted to date. It provides a clear and compelling case for scaling up energy efficiency retrofit activity for the 26 million apartments located in the United States, including those that are home to some nine million families below the poverty level, and four million elderly households. (See Figure 1). Figure 1. There are 26 million apartments located in the United States, including those that are home to ...

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