August 28, 2018

Community Housing Partners (CHP) has a strategic goal of adopting operational practices that reduce the nonprofit’s environmental impact. To support this goal, CHP Asset Management is continuing to improve utility efficiencies at the property level.

Recently, CHP was awarded a $4,000 grant from NeighborWorks America to participate in the Strategic Efficiency Program with WegoWise – an online tool for tracking utility data, benchmarking energy and water use, prioritizing retrofits, and measurement.

The program will provide 30 hours of training and technical assistance to Shaun Rai and Marilyn Fields to implement a strategic efficiency plan aimed at reducing portfolio-wide energy water usage. WegoWise will provide the training, which will include 10 weeks of weekly, one-on-one sustainability training, monthly webinars, and actionable cost-saving strategies that are portfolio specific.

The training will enable Rai and Fields to:

  • Use WegoWise to understand water and energy trends at the portfolio level
  • Identify opportunities for efficiency improvements
  • Create a “spike action plan” for the portfolio, to address consumption spikes proactively
  • Research local incentives and rebate programs to identify economical retrofit opportunities
  • Work with WegoWise’s partner network to coordinate on-site visits as needed, and develop retrofit plans
  • Use WegoWise’s reports to share progress internally as well as with NeighborWorks America

Shaun Rai, Senior Asset Manager, said, “In terms of our portfolio and energy performance, our first goal is to successfully create the process for tracking energy usages on properties in a systematic way, to improve our energy outcomes on the property level, and create more awareness on the property level about the importance of improving our energy efficiency.”

Just as importantly, the team wants to ease the utility burden carried by CHP’s residents. If they can create and maintain energy sustainable units, fewer of the residents will have to make difficult tradeoffs between paying their utility bills and paying for other necessities like medicines and food for their families.