San Francisco Housing Authority Launches Energy Upgrade Initiatives

Ameresco installs energy efficiency measures for SFHA facilities with HUD ARRA funding grants

San Francisco, CA – Mayor Gavin Newsom and San Francisco Housing Authority Executive Director Henry Alvarez III broke ground today on a $12.5 million energy infrastructure improvement project at the Ping Yuen development in Chinatown. The project, funded with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) competitive grant funds from HUD, will bring new windows and hot water piping replacements to Ping Yuen, as well as new windows at two other developments,1880 Pine and 1760 Bush, also owned and managed by the San Francisco Housing Authority.

Ameresco, Inc, a leading comprehensive energy efficiency and renewable energy company, was selected competitively by the Housing Authority to manage the projects and improvements.

“This project is part of our recent Congressional action to stimulate the economy by creating jobs, improving infrastructure, and saving energy,” remarked Mayor Newsom. “Forty-five local construction jobs will be maintained as these improvements are completed.”

Henry Alvarez, Executive Director with the Housing Authority, indicated that this project is the first step in a larger plan to reduce energy costs of the Authority in 38 developments and 5,000 units throughout the City. The project, funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s energy performance contracting (EPC) program, will bring an additional $27 million in energy and water improvements to the SFHA’s portfolio, and save the Authority over $60 million during the twenty year contract term. “The project includes lighting and plumbing fixture upgrades, heating system replacements, cogeneration installation, and other energy infrastructure improvements, for a total investment in our housing stock of $38.7 million,” said Alvarez.

“Ameresco has, and is implementing long-term comprehensive guaranteed savings energy efficiency projects with public housing authorities totaling over a half of a billion dollars throughout North America. San Francisco is one of the largest projects of this type, and it is especially gratifying for Ameresco to partner with the Authority to not only save energy and reduce utility costs, but to also improve housing conditions and provide employment opportunities for the residents and local contractor community,” said David J. Anderson, Executive Vice President, Ameresco.

The HUD energy performance contracting program allows public housing authorities to leverage private capital investment by using the energy and water savings achieved from the installation of efficiency improvements to pay for the cost of the project. Since its inception about twenty-five years ago, the energy performance contracting program through HUD has leveraged over $700 million in private capital for these types of improvements. The largest such energy projects in the country include the Boston, Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, Denver, Minneapolis, and Buffalo Housing Authorities.

About San Francisco Housing Authority
“The mission of the San Francisco Housing Authority is to provide safe, sanitary, affordable, and decent housing to very low-income families, senior citizens and persons with disabilities.”

The United States Congress passed the U.S. Housing Act to provide decent homes for low-income families in 1937, and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors established the San Francisco Housing Authority (SFHA) the following year. The SFHA is the oldest housing authority in California. Since its inception, the SFHA has grown to include 45 developments located throughout San Francisco’s neighborhoods. Today there are 6,371 units of public housing serving very low-income families, seniors, and disabled residents of San Francisco. In addition, the Section 8 program oversees approximately 7,000 with an additional 3,000 served through other federally funded programs.

Housing Authorities are unique entities established by a combination of federal, state and local actions. Today there are approximately 3200 local housing authorities across the nation, and the San Francisco Housing Authority is the 17th largest.

About Ameresco, Inc.
Ameresco, Inc. was incorporated in Delaware in April 2000 and is a leading independent provider of comprehensive energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions for facilities throughout North America. Ameresco’s solutions include upgrades to a facility’s energy infrastructure, and the development, construction, and operation of renewable energy plants. With corporate headquarters located in Framingham, MA, Ameresco has 55 offices in 29 states and four Canadian provinces. For more information, visit

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Ameresco: CarolAnn Hibbard, 508-661-2264, [email protected]