February 15, 2024

Community Housing Partners (CHP) Energy Solutions hosted a collaborative event at our Baltimore Training Center on January 30-31, 2024. The Weatherization Multifamily Peer Exchange, a two-day gathering, brought together representatives from national weatherization agencies to engage in discussions, share ideas, and seek guidance on both administrative and technical aspects of multifamily projects.

The first day of the event included sessions and discussions on various multifamily topics, including project management, energy efficiency strategies, and regulatory considerations. The diverse perspectives and experiences shared during these sessions added depth to the collective knowledge, enhancing the effectiveness of future multifamily projects.

The second day of the exchange took participants beyond the training center as the group visited Shenandoah Apartments in Winchester, Virginia. This apartment community for seniors and individuals with disabilities recently underwent energy audits by CHP, and improvements are scheduled to take place later this year. Attendees had the opportunity to tour the property, including several units, gaining insights into CHP’s multifamily audit and weatherization processes.

Matthew Nehrt, Maintenance Service Technician at Humphrey Management, shared his anticipation for the upcoming improvements at Shenandoah Apartments, stating, “CHP is looking at moving our units from older PTAC units to mini splits, meaning a lot better heating and cooling inside our apartments. Residents have been coming up to me since CHP did the energy audits, and they’re excited for the work to begin.”

CHP recently conducted a 12-month energy analysis at another Humphrey Management property in Strasburg, Virginia. About the analysis, data from which was used to update the residents’ utility allowances, Area Manager Margie Smoot said, “We were able to reduce the rent for residents by $20 per month. Residents came to me thinking there was a mistake! For our residents on fixed income, that’s $20 more for food on the table and other essentials. That’s why I’m so passionate about CHP and weatherization. It’s huge.”

In total, 25 individuals participated in the peer exchange, representing 11 states. Among the attendees were Jonathan Ballew, representing the National Association for State Community Service Programs, and a representative from the U.S. Department of Energy. As the participants return to their respective states, the knowledge and insights gained from this event will contribute to the ongoing improvement of multifamily weatherization projects across the country.