The purpose of the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s Multifamily Energy Efficiency and Housing Affordability (MEEHA) program is to promote energy efficiency and affordability in the State’s multifamily rental housing developments for low and moderate income households. These improvements are intended to reduce a building’s energy use and lower utility bills for occupants and owners.
The Department provides grants and loans with flexible terms for the purchase and installation of energy efficiency improvements. The program is being undertaken as part of the State’s efforts to: 1) promote energy efficiency; and 2) create and preserve affordable rental housing opportunities.
Only individual and mixed metered projects located in the service territories of the following utility companies are eligible for funding (see the Service Territory Map).
Eligible Utility Companies:
The MEEHA Program is funded by utility ratepayers (utility customers) through utility companies serving Maryland that are regulated by Maryland’s Public Service Commission. The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development has been allocated a total of $15 million (residential) and $5 million (commercial) for the 2018-2020 funding cycle.
MEEHA funds are restricted to affordable multifamily rental properties. “Affordable” means rental housing with existing income or rent restrictions, or housing with units that serve tenants with low to moderate incomes, as determined by the Department. Multifamily rental housing may include apartment buildings or townhouse facilities with five (5) or more units. Eligible applicants include non-profit organizations, for-profit organizations and governmental entities.
MEEHA energy funds are used to make loans and grants for the purchase and installation of cost effective energy conservation measures identified by an Energy Audit. The Department will target (but not be limited solely to) a package of energy conservation measures that collectively demonstrate a minimum Project savings to investment ratio of 1.1.
For projects which involve the rehabilitation of existing multifamily rental housing, the proposed energy conservation measures must be based on an Energy Audit completed by a Qualified Energy Auditor(see the department’s Qualified Auditor List). In order to establish best practices and guidance for conducting the energy analysis required for multifamily building energy improvement projects, the Department has adopted the use of the Building Performance Institute’s Multifamily Building Analyst Standard and the Department’s Multifamily Energy Efficiency and Housing Affordability Program Guide (see the Department’s Multifamily Energy Efficiency and Housing Affordability Program Guide).
To become a Qualified Energy Auditor, the auditor must hold a current Building Performance Institute Multifamily Building Analyst Certification, and one other current building science certification, as well as demonstrate a minimum of two (2) years of experience completing energy audits on multifamily residential buildings.
To create the Energy Audit Report, Qualified Auditors must perform an on-site evaluation. During this evaluation, they will collect the necessary information and perform the necessary diagnostic testing as required by the guidance stated above. The collected information and results of diagnostic testing will be used by the Qualified Auditor to create a building simulation model using one of the following softwares: RemRate, eQuest, EAQUIP, or TREAT. This building simulation model will be used to determine estimated energy savings for specific energy conservation measures.
The Energy Audit Report must provide an estimate of utility use reductions and expense savings for both the tenant and the owner that are expected to result from installing the recommended energy conservation measures. Specifications of the existing equipment/conditions for all recommended measures must be identified. A breakdown of tenant vs. owner savings must be identified for each measure. The Auditor ECM Data Sheet must be included with the energy audit report.
Projects incorporating any of the following measures: air sealing, duct sealing, and/or mechanical ventilation require a Department Qualified Energy Auditor to perform quality control inspections on this work. Air sealing, duct sealing, and mechanical ventilation require the use of appropriate diagnostic equipment to verify air leakage reductions and fan flow values.
At the Department’s discretion, MEEHA funds can also be used to reimburse at least a portion of the cost of an energy audit where a property installs all of the measures agreed upon and approved by the Department.
Projects which involve the rehabilitation of existing multifamily rental housing are eligible for MEEHA funding for qualified energy conservation measures as detailed in an acceptable energy audit report as follows:
Projects which previously received energy efficiency funding from the Department, or other energy funding providers, may be eligible for funding of additional energy conservation measures, and will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
Multifamily rental housing projects involving new construction, properties not currently in service, or a change in use are eligible for Multifamily Energy Efficiency and Housing Affordability funding only for the incremental cost of qualified energy conservation measures that exceed current building code. A detailed savings report utilizing the TRM algorithms must be provided in order for the Department to determine project eligibility. The report must identify and compare the cost, estimated kWh usage, and cost of use for both the code baseline condition and the higher efficient condition proposed for the project. As a general rule, new construction, properties not currently in-service, or a change in use projects will qualify for far less MEEHA funding per unit than projects which involve rehabilitation.
If Applicant wishes to proceed:
Projects seeking MEEHA funding in addition to other Department rental housing financing (“pipeline projects”) will have the MEEHA application and review process integrated with the Department’s 202 application and underwriting for other rental housing financing. A separate application for MEEHA funding is not required.
All applications should clearly identify the amount of energy funding requested in accordance with the conclusions of the energy audit and within the parameters outlined above in “Funding Eligibility”. Contractor price proposals identifying individual energy conservation measure costs for labor and material must be provided.
Applications will be accepted on an on-going basis and evaluated based on readiness to proceed and how the project furthers both the energy efficiency and the housing affordability purposes of the program.
Complete applications will be assigned to a Department underwriter and Energy Construction Management Officer (ECMO) for review. The review will include a Dun and Bradstreet credit analysis of the applicant, confirmation that the project is located in an eligible funding territory, and a review of the applicant’s prior experience and performance (if any) with the Department.
The assigned underwriter will also confirm the affordability status of the project. For projects with existing affordability restrictions, a minimum of five (5) years of affordability must remain, otherwise an extension of affordability will be required. If a property has no existing affordability restrictions, a 5 year period of affordability must be imposed on the property.
Upon completion of review of all documents submitted, the Department issues a reservation letter reserving funds for the project. The reservation letter is only a reservation of funds and not a commitment to provide funding to a project. Funding amounts are subject to change pending final execution of the grant or loan agreement.
MEEHA funds are disbursed during the course of construction as work is completed and approved by the ECMO. All disbursements for retrofit projects will be subject to a 10% retainage requirement. Requisitions for MEEHA funds must be completed on MEEHA requisition forms (Pipeline/Retrofit ) and require supporting documentation verifying the installation and specifications of qualified energy conservation measurements.
Projects which receive energy funds must agree to allow the Department to track the project’s energy usage (both landlord and tenant) for at least 24 months following completion of work. It will be necessary to obtain each existing resident’sCustomer Energy Usage Release Form) as well as future residents.
CONTACT: Turia CookEnergy Management OfficerHousing and Building Energy Programs P: (301) 429-7735 E: TuriaM.Cook@Maryland.gov Preston ThomasEnergy Program Manager Housing and Building Energy ProgramMaryland Department of Housing and Community Development P: (301) 429-7784 E: Preston.Thomas@maryland.gov Multifamily Housing Programs Community Development Administration Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development 7800 Harkins Road, Lanham, MD 20706 Toll Free: 1-800-543-4505 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org