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MHO Secures Funding for Energy Audit and Water Saving Upgrades

Oct 25, 2023 | News

Mountain Housing Opportunities is excited to share that we recently secured $110,000 in grants from NeighborWorks America to support green building and operating practices across MHO’s portfolio of affordable rental communities. The majority of the funding will be used to install water efficiency technology in at least ten of MHO’s properties. MHO will utilize the remaining funds to embark on a first-ever energy audit of six affordable rental communities. 

Mountain Housing Opportunities recently partnered with exactwater, an environmental services company that manages patented water efficiency valves that essentially smooth the flow of water from a supply line through the water meter. The device helps address fluctuation in pressure and oxygenation, resulting in less turbulence as the water flows through the meter. In October 2022, MHO implemented an exactwater project at our East Haven Apartments in Swannanoa to test and evaluate the technology on water consumption at the property. Our initial goal was a 15% reduction in water consumption. Prior to installing exactwater’s technology, East Haven—home to 95 affordable apartments and nearly 200 residents—consumed an average of 14.48 CCFs of water daily (1 CCF = 1 hundred cubic feet of water). 180 days after installation, East Haven’s daily usage had dropped to 8.17 CCFs daily. That represents a nearly 44% reduction in average daily water consumption at the property. Needless to say, we are impressed with the results. Thanks to support from NeighborWorks, MHO will be installing exactwater projects in nearly a dozen additional affordable apartment communities starting in 2024.  

“I am inspired by the reduction in water consumption and the resulting cost savings that our partners experience thanks to our specialized project management process and triple patented devices,” said Matt Maher, exactwater’s Chief Sales Officer. “But it is especially gratifying to see this technology deployed in multi-family affordable housing communities where it helps support a triple bottom line: mission delivery, operational excellence, and environmental sustainability. We look forward to expanding this impact across more MHO communities in the coming year.” 

Exploring ways to decrease energy consumption creates both immediate and long-term positive impacts. It helps bolster financial sustainability for residents and MHO’s properties alike and helps conserve our shared natural resources in the region. At MHO, we aren’t just working to address housing affordability needs in our community today, we are building and preserving affordable housing to serve western North Carolina residents for generations to come. Green building practices and proactive asset management strategies that drive energy efficiencies are key to making sure MHO’s properties are sustainable for the long-term. That’s why we are excited to launch an energy audit process for our Compton Place, Griffin, Northpoint Commons I & II, River Glen, and Wind Ridge apartment communities. Energy audits provide in-depth inspections and analyses to assess energy efficiency upgrade opportunities. This includes inspecting appliances, lighting, water and electricity usage, insulation, air sealing, and ventilation. Once complete, the audits of each of these communities will be used to plan for ongoing capital and operating needs. Recommendations could include opportunities from future specs for more efficient household appliances to plans for solar panel installation. 

“These days, there is no way to separate financial sustainability from environmental sustainability when it comes to the long-term stewardship of housing resources,” said James Dennis, MHO’s VP and Director of Asset Management. “Reducing consumption is one of the most effective tools we can deploy to address rising inflation and operating costs. Advancing our green technologies and practices will help ensure MHO can continue to serve our region with safe, well-designed, and climate-resilient affordable housing for years to come.” 

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