Blog   |   Apr 11th, 2017 The next stage for multifamily energy efficiency programs: Expanding reach and driving deeper savings

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After years of growth, multifamily energy efficiency programs in many parts of the United States have hit a stage of diminishing returns, with the "low-hanging fruit" of upgrading lightbulbs, appliances, and water fixtures completed in many cases. That's putting more pressure on administrators of energy efficiency programs to focus on making deeper inroads into apartment buildings, affordable housing, and other multifamily properties.

What strategies and solutions can work in 2017? In this new article, TRC's Julieann Summerford and Shelley Beaulieu explain avenues to success TRC experts have refined from years of experience, such as:

  • Taking a one-stop-shop approach to serving multifamily buildings holistically
  • Identifying the best time in a building's lifecycle (rehabilitation, refinancing, sale, resident turnover) to pursue efficiency upgrades.
  • Building strong "trade allies" such as electricians, plumbers, and heating/ventilation/air conditioning specialists to market and deliver efficiency measures.
  • Recruiting building superintendents and maintenance staff to become evangelists for energy efficiency. 
  • Understanding and accommodating unique cultural factors in program design and outreach.

This article is the second in a series. In the coming weeks and months, we will be following up with additional advice on how utilities, policymakers, and other stakeholders can: 

  • Drive deeper, cost-effective savings through “whole-building” approaches to energy efficiency;
  • Shape and implement  high-performance building initiatives and reach codes; and
  • Benefit from distributed energy resources, including microgrids, utility-scale renewables, and home- or building-scaled distributed generation

For more information, please download the full article.

Blog Authors

Julieann Summerford

Julieann Summerford

Julieann Summerford is an Associate Vice President within TRC's energy efficiency practice. She has been designing and implementing residential programs since 1999. She oversees TRC’s suite of new construction and retrofit programs for both multifamily and single family. Julieann managed the first whole building multifamily programs in the state of California – for both rehab and new construction. She has authored numerous publications on energy efficiency and the multifamily market. She holds a B.S. in Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning from the University of California, Davis. Contact Julieann at

Shelley Beaulieu

Shelley Beaulieu

Shelley Beaulieu is an engineer and management consultant with 12 years professional experience in energy engineering, with a focus on energy efficiency and building science. She currently serves as TRC's Program Manager for NYSERDA’s Multifamily Performance Program and has served as a consultant on the design, implementation and technical review of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities’ Pay for Performance Program’s New Construction component. She holds a M.S. in Chemical Engineering from Colorado State University and is a LEED Accredited Professional.