Congressman Cleaver Fights to Help Families and the Environment

Jul 15, 2014
Press Release

Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II, along with his fellow members of the House Committee on Financial Services, Reps. Dennis Ross (R-FL-3), Sean Duffy (R-WI-7),  Jim Himes (D-CT-4), and John Delaney (D-MD-6), today  introduced the Pay for Success Affordable Housing Energy Modernization Act, bipartisan legislation that will provide the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) the authority to establish a demonstration program and enter into budget-neutral, performance based agreements that result in the reduction in energy or water costs for multi-family housing.

“This bipartisan bill, which I am proud to cosponsor, will increase energy efficiency, help our environment, and reduce utility bills for consumers at no cost to the taxpayer. Creating energy efficient homes has been a priority of mine since the creation of the Green Impact Zone in urban Kansas City, and this bill will further increase energy efficiency for multifamily housing.”

Currently, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) spends more than $7 billion in annual energy and water costs. These high costs are attributable in large part to older housing stock that is not energy efficient. Many multi-family buildings are years behind current energy efficient technology and owners lack capital and incentives to invest in updates. Owners of HUD-assisted properties, such as senior housing and housing for persons with disabilities, typically lack both the capital and incentives to perform energy upgrades that could save HUD millions in utility costs.

In brief:

  • The legislation would allow HUD to enter into a limited number of agreements with intermediaries that will manage the energy and water upgrades in HUD-assisted properties.
  • Intermediaries will raise private capital from investors, and work with energy service companies (ESCOs) to perform the upgrades. 
  • Examples of upgrades include adding insulation, replacing inefficient light and water fixtures and replacing drafty doors and windows.

This legislation does not involve any risk to the federal government or the taxpayer. Investors take the first loss position on energy upgrades, which are then analyzed by an independent third party. If savings are not realized, the federal government does not pay. In the event that savings are achieved, they would eventually lower HUD’s energy expenditures and create savings for the federal government. In addition, the private capital investment in this space would create jobs both for the construction and energy efficiency sector.

The bill text can be found by clicking here.

Emanuel Cleaver, II is the U.S. Representative for Missouri’s Fifth Congressional District, which includes Kansas City, Independence, Lee's Summit, Raytown, Grandview, Sugar Creek, Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Oak Grove, North Kansas City, Gladstone, Claycomo, and all of Ray, Lafayette, and Saline Counties. He is a member of the exclusive House Financial Services Committee and also serves as a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus.