MINNEAPOLIS - The Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA) and Honeywell announced plans to implement an energy-efficiency and facility renewal program to help the housing authority cut utility costs, upgrade its facilities, and reduce environmental impact for its properties. MPHA will use an $11.65 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to fund this program, which is expected to reduce energy costs by more than $1.5 million annually through a variety of facility improvements.

The program will impact 725 sites across the city, ranging from single-family homes to multifamily buildings comprised of up to five units, nearly half of which were constructed prior to 1950. Conservation measures will include installing energy-efficient windows and appliances; replacing outdated furnaces, boilers, and water heaters; and upgrading thermostats. MPHA and Honeywell will also work with the Center for Energy and Environment in Minneapolis to weatherize and seal building exteriors to reduce the loss of warm and cool air.

“We are excited to work with our residents to make energy improvements to their homes, while at the same time contributing to the economic vitality of our community,” said Cora McCorvey, MPHA executive director. “This agreement not only creates jobs and contributes to our environment, but the improvements will help preserve our properties for future generations.” The program is expected to reduce the housing authority’s annual electricity consumption by approximately 2.8 million kilowatt-hours, enough energy to power 140 homes per year on average. It also will cut carbon dioxide emissions by an estimated 2.5 million pounds annually.

“The MPHA program will have a positive impact on the community at large,” said Paul Orzeske, president of Honeywell Building Solutions. “By using stimulus dollars to fund the energy improvements, MPHA can trim utility costs, improve comfort for residents, and reduce its environmental impact.”

Honeywell is currently completing upgrades under a prior agreement with MPHA, one of the largest projects of its kind for a public housing authority. The work will impact more than 40 high-rise buildings and 700 single-family residences, and will pay for itself by reducing utility expenses by an estimated $3.7 million per year throughout the 20-year performance contract.

In addition, MPHA and Honeywell anticipate that nearly 250 tradespeople will be employed during peak construction of the work in progress. The housing authority and Honeywell will also provide residents with opportunities to serve as paid educators and ambassadors, helping other residents understand and use the energy-saving strategies tied to the program.

Improvements under the stimulus-backed program and previous agreement are expected to be finished by spring 2011.

For more information, visit www.honeywell.com/buildingsolutions.

Publication date:07/05/2010