HCR is working to put current and future affordable housing projects on the path to meeting New York State’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act ("Climate Act”), which mandates an 85% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, compared to New York State’s 1990 carbon emission levels. For buildings, this will mean dramatically improving building efficiency, especially with regard to building envelope performance and hot water consuming appliances and fixtures and replacing fossil fuel combusting equipment with efficient electric solutions.
To develop a market for this type of affordable housing construction and a model for streamlining access to financial and technical assistance resources from New York State, HCR, has partnered with NYSERDA to demonstrate an approach for incorporating clean energy incentives and technical support for highly-efficient, all-electric new construction or adaptive reuse projects and highly efficient all-electric and electric-ready Retrofits in Existing Buildings. CEI is intended to fund activities related to this work and is secured directly through HCR, without requiring an application to NYSERDA.
Clean Energy Initiative Funding is available for properties applying for and receiving either 9% LIHTC, CIF, or 4% Bond financing. Please review the specific funding availability in the links below. Recipients of CEI funds are not eligible to receive funding from NYSERDA, with an exception for their RTEM, NYSun/solar programs, and the Utilities Clean Heat Program. All CEI recipients must show proof of paying into the Systems Benefit Charge (SBC) through their local utility provider.
HCR is working to put current and future affordable housing projects on the path to meeting New York State’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act of 2019 ("Climate Act”), which mandates at least an 85% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, compared to New York State’s 1990 carbon emission levels. For buildings, this will mean dramatically improving efficiency by increasing the performance of building envelopes and hot water consuming appliances/fixtures and replacing fossil fuel combusting equipment with efficient electric solutions.
To develop this type of affordable housing construction and a model for streamlining access to financial and technical assistance resources from New York State, HCR has partnered with NYSERDA to demonstrate an approach for incorporating clean energy incentives and technical support for highly-efficient, all-electric new construction or adaptive reuse projects.
For more information on the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act of 2019, visit the website, https://climate.ny.gov/
HCR’s Clean Energy Incentives for High Performance Projects (“CEI”) is open to new construction, adaptive reuse and existing building renovations.
Projects will be selected from both the 4% Bond Finance and 9% LIHTC programs per the eligibility criteria found on the respective links below. If selected for clean energy funding, 4% projects will be notified through a conditional award letter contingent upon final approval of project financing. 9% LIHTC projects will be notified at the same time as the RFP funding award announcements.
In addition to receiving clean energy funding based on construction type (described below) to offset the incremental costs associated with achieving the designed building performance, awarded CEI projects will receive support from a designated Technical Assistance Provider (“TAP”) to assist with the enhanced design efforts, at no additional cost to the project. After the award is made, the Technical Assistance Provider will guide the project’s development team and energy efficiency consultant through finalizing the construction documents and through to construction completion, ensuring CEI compliance and providing additional support to the Development Teams as they navigate high-performance building design and construction. The HCR assigned TAP should not replace or substitute any services that are required for building performance certification or otherwise required by HCR’s programs. Below are the eligible project types under the CEI initiative.
Clean Energy Initiative Program: Adaptive Reuse
HCR’s Clean Energy Initiative (“CEI") program provides gap financing for the decarbonization work aligned with HCR’s Sustainability Guidelines Stretch Goal standards for Adaptive Reuse (AR) projects.
To be eligible for funding under this component of CEI an AR project must reach one of the Section 1 Stretch Goals in the Sustainability Guidelines*. Such projects shall be eligible for up to $12,500 per unit for a maximum total project award of $2.5 million.
*If the project has a SHPO designation and cannot reasonably certify to any of the options in Section 1 Stretch Goals, then project can comply with Existing Building term sheet for funding and scope.
Clean Energy Initiative Program: Existing Buildings
HCR’s Clean Energy Initiative (“CEI") program provides gap financing for the decarbonization work aligned with HCR’s Sustainability Guidelines Stretch Goal standards for Existing Building (EB) projects. Projects qualifying under this component of CEI are eligible for up to $25,000 per units with a maximum award per project of $5.625 million.
To be eligible for Funding under this component of CEI an EB project must select one or more of the following goals:
Goal 1: Electrification of Heating – $8,500/unit maximum
Goal 2: Electrification of Domestic Hot Water – $4,000/unit maximum
Goal 3: Advanced Envelope and Ventilation – $12,500/unit maximum
Please review the full-term sheet for specific technical requirements standards for each defined Goal
Clean Energy Initiative Program: New Construction
HCR’s Clean Energy Initiative (“CEI") program provides gap financing for the decarbonization work aligned with HCR’s Sustainability Guidelines Stretch Goal standards for New Construction (NC) projects. Projects qualifying under this component of CEI are eligible for up to $5,500 for a maximum project award of $1.375M. To be eligible for the NC component of CEI, projects must reach one of the Section 1 Stretch Goals in the Sustainability Guidelines.
Additional “Boost” funding is available for the following project types:
1. Under 60 units AND over 4 stories
2. Owner AND Architect have not completed a certified Passive House
3. Projects over 20 stories
4. Operational cost below $1,000/unit a year (modeled)
Project Eligibility Criteria
- To be eligible for participation, a project must be, or be capable of and intend to be, a New York State electricity distribution customer of a participating utility company that pays into the System Benefits Charge (SBC).
- The development team will commit to partner with a designated Technical Assistance Provider, who will assist in:
- Enhanced design development and construction documentation with the current project design team.
- Provide construction oversight for CEI compliance
- Coordinate with the development team to collect Measurement and Verification for two years post lease up
- Ensure proper Benchmarking outlined in the regulatory agreement of successful CEI awarded projects
- The development team will commit to working closely with HCR’s Office of Finance and Development, Design Unit and Sustainability Team through design, construction, measurement and verification.
- Fully comply with the term sheet and Sustainability Guidelines based on project type.
HCR’s Stretch Sustainability Standards
Project teams should review the applicable Sustainability Guidelines based on construction type for a detailed list of technical requirements.
The goal of the Clean Energy Initiative program is to build carbon neutral and carbon-neutral-ready affordable housing. This means that projects exclude fossil fuels from the building systems and equipment, are designed and constructed with a highly energy efficient building shell and utilize highly efficient appliances/fixtures. Building systems and equipment include building heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), domestic hot water (DHW) (where technically feasible based on today’s technology), and appliances.
Allowable exceptions include but are not solely limited to: Projects that rely on a fossil fuel-fired generator for emergency use only, or projects which are served by an off-site fossil fuel-fired central heating plant may qualify as Carbon Neutral Ready if fossil fuel use is excluded from all other building systems and equipment.
To demonstrate compliance as a highly efficient, all-electric building participating projects will be required to submit a signed contract with a licensed or certified professional able to certify or confirm compliance with Sustainability Guidelines (https://hcr.ny.gov/sustainability-guidelines) based on project type.
Exceptions and Exemptions for the Use of Funds:
The funds are designed to cover the cost difference between a project that complies with HCR Design Guidelines, including Appendix F requirements, and HCR’s Stretch Sustainability Goals: highly-efficient, all-electric (Carbon Neutral Ready) buildings. The scope does not require the applicant to include ground source heat pumps, solar photovoltaics, embodied carbon reductions (from material selection or design improvements to reduce quantity of material), or other innovative technologies not specifically mentioned above. While those additional items are not required within in this scope, development teams are strongly encouraged to include those considerations where they can be included cost effectively in the project scope.
Project selection to receive clean energy funds and/or technical support through this demonstration will satisfy the HCR Mandatory Energy Efficiency Strategy required as part of the 4% program and outlined in Appendix F of the HCR Design Guidelines. Applicants should not change their original path for compliance with the HCR Mandatory Energy Efficiency Strategy until the applicant is notified of an award.
Projects selected for clean energy funding and technical support through this demonstration will be prohibited from receiving financial support from other clean energy programs that support highly-efficient, all-electric (Carbon Neutral Ready) housing. If projects have already applied to a NYSERDA program, such as the New Construction – Housing Program or Buildings of Excellence, acceptance of the demonstration funding shall be considered to supersede that previous funding allocation, and HCR, NYSERDA and the awardee shall work together to cancel the New Construction – Housing Award and/or Buildings of Excellence awards and remove its funds from the capital stack post award notification.
Other programs, such as but potentially not limited to the following programs shall be considered to be acceptable to use in conjunction with this award: Real Time Energy Management Program (RTEM), Charge Ready NY, and NY Sun. Projects may also be eligible for NYS Clean Heat, a utility run program. Projects may also be eligible to receive federal or state tax credits for some aspects of their project. HCR encourages project teams to research and apply for these supplemental funding programs.
How to Apply
There is not a stand-alone application for the CEI program. Please follow the directions below, based on your funding pathway with the agency. Currently CEI funds are only available to projects who are applying for LIHTC with HCR, or the CIF program.
- The application to CEI is now integrated into the financing applications for either the 9% or 4% program
- Applicants should follow the term sheet that applies to their project (new construction, adaptive reuse, or existing buildings)
- 9% projects should make sure that Tabs D-3 and D-6 reflect[P(1] the CEI scope of work
- 4% projects should make sure that Tabs M-1 and M-2 reflect the CEI scope of work
- These tabs within the financing application will be used to determine CEI Term Sheet compliance