Energy efficiency is one of the clearest and most cost-effective ways to save families money, make our businesses more competitive, and reduce greenhouse gas pollution that contributes to climate change.
This is one of the reasons I am excited to have just signed a memorandum of understanding with Freddie Mac, one of the largest lenders in the U.S. Freddie Mac and EPA’s Energy Star program have agreed to focus together on improving the energy efficiency of multifamily buildings, like apartment buildings, condos and co-ops. This is truly a win-win for the environment and for families all across the country.
The agreement outlines strategies to save energy, water, and money for multifamily property owners and residents. This is one important step toward fulfilling the President’s Climate Action Plan goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency.
It also holds huge potential for the more than 100 million Americans who live in apartments within multifamily buildings and who spend $22 billion on energy every year.
Rising energy costs have been making homes less affordable for many of these Americans. Industry studies have projected that multifamily properties can become 30% more efficient by 2020, unlocking $9 billion in energy savings and preventing more than 35 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year.
The President’s Climate Action Plan calls for helping multifamily buildings cut waste and become at least 20 percent more energy efficient by 2020. While EPA has already been working with Fannie Mae and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, this latest agreement with Freddie Mac is another important step forward in meeting the President’s goal. Together, these three organizations influence the largest sources of residential and multifamily lending in the country.
In partnership with EPA, Freddie Mac is looking to incorporate energy and water efficiency as considerations in the underwriting and lending process – a change that holds enormous potential for driving energy efficiency improvements, and subsequently, greenhouse gas emissions reductions.
This agreement is an opportunity to help Americans save money while reducing energy and water consumption. I am proud to work for the Agency that is helping to make this happen.
Janet McCabe is the Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation, having previously served as OAR’s Principal Deputy to the Assistant Administrator. Prior to joining EPA in November 2009, McCabe was Executive Director of Improving Kids’ Environment, Inc., a children’s environmental health advocacy organization based in Indianapolis, Indiana and was an adjunct faculty member at the Indiana University School of Medicine, Department of Public Health. Ms. McCabe grew up in Washington, D.C. and graduated from Harvard College in 1980 and Harvard Law School in 1983.