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Improving California’s Multifamily Buildings: Opportunities and Recommendations for Green Retrofit and Rehab Programs

In California, the single-family home weatherization and whole-house performance sector is very active, with many programs already in place and new ones that began rolling out in the fall of 2010. While these programs have the potential to achieve impressive energy savings, their approaches do not neatly carry over into the multifamily and affordable housing sector.

The multifamily and affordable housing sector is different from the single-family sector in many fundamental ways, and optimal energy improvements at the whole-building level cannot be accomplished by merely modifying or expanding the single-family programs. The opportunities and challenges unique to the multifamily sector can only be met if there are well-designed and well coordinated programs and policies that address this sector’s specific infrastructure.