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 limited and moderate income households. These improvements are intended to reduce a building’s energy use and lower utility bills for occupants and owners.
The MEEHA Program is funded by utility ratepayers (utility customers) through utility companies serving Maryland that are regulated by Maryland’s Public Service Commission. Only projects located in the service territories of the following utility companies are eligible for funding (see the Service Territory Map).
Eligible Utility Companies:
The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development has been allocated a total of $20.5 million (residential) and $5 million (commercial) for the 2021-2023 funding cycle.
MEEHA funds are restricted to affordable multifamily rental properties with income or rent restrictions for a minimum of 20% of units for tenants with income at or below 80% of AMI. Eligible applicants include non-profit organizations, for-profit organizations and governmental entities.
MEEHA energy funds are used for the purchase and installation of energy efficiency measures. Funds are issued to affordable housing owners or developers through a grant or loan (typically 0% interest and deferred payments for the term of the loan).
The amount of MEEHA funding is determined in one of two ways: an energy audit conducted by a Qualified Energy Auditor or through the use of a Prescriptive List. In projects that complete an energy audit, funded measures are required to collectively meet a 1.1 Savings to Investment Ratio (SIR) and typical funding amounts range between $2,500 and $3,000 per unit depending on the type and age of the building. Funding for measures included in the prescriptive list is predetermined and cannot exceed $3,000 per unit. In each type of project, the funding may not cover the entire cost of the measure resulting in a cost share with the project Owner or Developer.
Projects which previously received energy efficiency funds from the Department or other energy funding providers may be eligible for additional energy efficiency measure funding, and will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
To assist with the funding process, Owners of retrofit projects (seeking only energy funds from the Department) may elect to commission a Qualified Project Manager. Projects are eligible to receive up to $4,500 for Qualified Project Managers to assist the owner with the application or other required documents, energy audit coordination, finding and managing contractors, construction schedules, creating and submitting requisitions, and assisting with any inspections required by the Program.
Projects seeking funds for efficiency improvements to existing buildings must have an Energy Audit completed by a Qualified Energy Auditor. To establish best practices and guidance for conducting the energy audit, the Department has adopted the use of the Department’s Multifamily Energy Efficiency and Housing Affordability Program Guide and the Building Performance Institute’s Multifamily Building Analyst Standard.
The Energy Audit consists of an on-site evaluation to collect information about the existing conditions of the project. The Qualified Auditor enters this information into building simulation modeling software using one of the following softwares: RemRate, eQuest, EAQUIP, or TREAT. This analysis is used to evaluate which energy efficiency measures should be recommended and to create the recommended Scope of Work. The Qualified Auditor then compiles all of the information, including the existing conditions of the project, the recommended Scope of Work, and the resulting energy savings to create an Energy Audit Report.
After creating the recommended Scope of Work, the Qualified Auditor organizes and inputs the information into a Funding Request Calculator. The Funding Request Calculator acts as the formal funding request to DHCD and is submitted in addition to the energy audit report.
The Funding Request Calculator (FRC) is the formal request for funding by the owner. The FRC is completed by the energy auditor in coordination with the project Owner, Development Team, and/or Project Manager. The FRC is evaluated by DHCD and adjusted if necessary.
Before being submitted to DHCD, the FRC must adhere to the following rules:
To become a Qualified Energy Auditor, the applicant must hold a current Building Performance Institute Multifamily Building Analyst Certification, and one other current building science certification, as well as demonstrate their experience completing energy audits on multifamily residential buildings by submitting copies of 3 energy audit reports they have previously completed.
Project owners may incorporate the use of a Qualified Project Manager into the energy efficiency project. The Qualified Project Manager assists the owner throughout the funding process including assisting with the application submission, coordinating contractors, and managing the installation of the energy efficiency measures.
To become a Qualified Project Manager, the applicant must submit a signed Project Manager Qualification Form and a Qualified Project Manager Affidavit. The Project Manager Qualification Form states the requirements of the Project Manager and the Qualified Project Manager Affidavit states the Project Manager has experience managing at least three (3) multifamily energy efficiency projects.
MEEHA funds may also be available to reimburse, at least a portion of, the cost of an energy audit and project manager for retrofit (only MEEHA funding) projects. These costs will be included in the loan or grant and can be requisitioned for after executing the loan or grant documents. The full energy audit and half the project manager funding can be requisitioned for on the first requisition. At least half of the project manager funding must be held until the project is complete.
Projects can utilize the prescriptive list for funding specific measures in certain situations where an energy audit cannot be reasonably completed on the project. If a project would like to explore this option, they must contact DHCD to request funding for the project in this manner. If accepted, DHCD will work directly with the Owner or Developer to define the Scope of Work for MEEHA funding. A Qualified Energy Auditor does not have to be commissioned for this process. Instead, the Owner or Developer will need to complete a Prescriptive List Funding Request Calculator. Measures in the Prescriptive List include the MEEHA Prescriptive Measure Incentives (PDF) | (Excel).
Applications are accepted on an on-going basis and evaluated based on readiness to proceed and how the project furthers both the energy efficiency and housing affordability purposes of the program.
If the Applicant wishes to proceed:
Projects seeking MEEHA funds 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.
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. MEEHA’s affordability requirement is: at least 20% of units must be at or below 80% Area Median Income (AMI).
Upon completion of review of all documents submitted, the Department creates the necessary agreements (grant, loan, and/or regulatory) to be executed by the owner and the Department. After agreement execution, the project can begin construction.
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 and require supporting documentation verifying the installation and specifications of qualified energy efficiency measures.
Housing and Building Energy Programs
Community Development Administration
Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development
7800 Harkins Road, Lanham, MD 20706
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