ACE recently completed $6.3 million New Market Tax Credit project to provide energy retrofits to 11 of Hispanic Housing’s buildings. One property to highlight is Continental Plaza Apartments, a 292-unit development in Chicago’s south side neighborhood of Auburn Gresham. By utilizing ACE’s mission-driven energy service model, the property is able to dramatically reduce the building’s energy and water costs with minimal upfront investment.
The renovations included installing an extensive solar photovoltaic system on the rooftop, which generates about 200,000 kWh each year, and a micro combined heat and power system – a relatively new concept for multi-family housing in the United States – to generate electricity from wasted heat energy from the building’s domestic hot water. IN addition, a 10-year shared-savings energy performance contract and power purchase agreement gives the owner the added benefit of a third-party providing the operations and maintenance necessary to sustain the efficiency savings throughout the contract.
Through the retrofit measures, Continental Plaza reduces its annual utility costs by over $47,000 under the shared-savings agreement – a 15 percent utility cost reduction. A building owner who receives all of the energy and water cost savings could have seen its 2014 utilities reduced by as much as $109,282. Continental Plaza is an example of how energy and water upgrades can help preserve affordable housing while reducing carbon emissions and conserving natural resources.