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September 8, 2010

Many local governments would prefer to buy green products and services, but don’t know where to start – or whether they can afford it. The Alliance’s Green Procurement Guide is designed to help local governments craft and implement green procurement policies, and shows that green products are a clear win. Often costing no more than conventional products, they can help local governments save money, create local green jobs, and reduce their environmental footprint. The guide incorporates case studies, simple steps to establish green procurement policies, and sample green bid specifications. While the guide is tailored for local government applications, all organizations can benefit from the policies, processes, and practical resources featured.

August 26, 2010

In May 2010, the Alliance led a roundtable discussion with representatives from leading utilities across the nation to share ideas and implementation strategies for sustainability and energy efficiency programs. The discussion revealed that despite significant advances in energy efficiency technologies and programs, many questions remain about how to implement innovative energy efficiency and sustainability programs in the face of aggressive new goals and changing regulatory environments. This document summarizes the participants’ views on the primary financing, regulatory, and technological barriers facing the industry, and addresses the changing role of utilities as smart grid and comprehensive sustainability programs are implemented.

March 30, 2010

Sustainable rehabilitation offers an opportunity to strategically combine various improvements in a way that can achieve utility cost savings, reduce consumption, and improve resident comfort and health. An integral part of a successful green housing strategy is planning in advance to establish policies, identify opportunities, implement a test pilot, and apply best practices. This strategy guide offers resources and information for developing a sustainability plan for multifamily housing projects. Incorporating sustainability at the planning level involves consideration of the following key actions: 1) Benchmarking your organization’s practices, policies and procedures, 2) Setting goals, developing strategies and actions, and 3) Assessing the sustainability of properties and areas for improvement.

March 30, 2010

One of the greatest challenges to improving sustainability of multifamily housing properties is the high up‐front cost of some energy and water efficiency measures. To help overcome this barrier, utilities and local, state, and federal governments have created innovative financing and incentive programs. These programs generally include rebates on equipment, tax incentives, grants, or low interest loans, and they vary greatly from location to location. This strategy guide includes an overview of some of the most commonly available funding mechanisms and financing strategies to support sustainability initiatives.

March 30, 2010

Sustainability improvements can create value in existing multifamily properties by reducing energy and water costs and increasing attractiveness to current and future tenants. While lack of resources often limits the extent of environmental improvements, it is important that property managers have a framework in place to identify and implement those measures that are feasible. This guide focuses on relatively easy and low cost strategies for improving building sustainability, such as implementing best practices for operations and maintenance activities, and paying close attention to building envelope, heating and cooling, water, and lighting systems.

June 12, 2009

California’s aggressive clean energy, climate, and environmental goals can present a confusing maze of policies, rules, and regulations to even the most dedicated local governments. To help local officials in California successfully develop and implement sustainability plans to meet these goals, the California Sustainability Alliance and Public Technology Institute surveyed California cities to identify the types of sustainability benchmarking and analytical tools needed by local governments. This report presents the responses of 76 California cities on the types of plans and policies being implemented, primary barriers along with strategies for overcoming them, and suggested improvements that are needed for greater success in sustainability efforts.

September 22, 2008

This study presents several recommendations for enhancing the performance and delivery process for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Mark-to-Market (M2M) Green Initiative program. The M2M Green Initiative is a nationwide pilot program designed to incorporate green principles into property rehabilitation, repairs, and replacements for properties undergoing a M2M restructuring. The recommendations suggested here are primarily related to improving technical and economic analysis requirements, improving utility monitoring requirements, and providing more specific guidance for selection of qualified contractors.

June 19, 2008

This report assesses opportunities for improving sustainability through a variety of green retrofit measures at four properties owned by LINC, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing housing for underserved communities. For the properties visited, the following areas were evaluated: energy, water, site, and indoor environment. Several green measures were considered for each property and are discussed in detail. While not all of the measures have financial savings associated with them, each has unique environmental benefits, such as better tenant health or improved resource efficiency through use of recycled materials.

May 2, 2008

The urgency of the water supply situation in Southern California provides a timely opportunity to influence hundreds of millions of dollars in water sector investments to support the state’s aggressive energy and carbon reduction goals. While water conservation and efficiency are the most beneficial from an energy and carbon perspective, recycled water is the next most beneficial option. This study estimates the potential energy and carbon benefits of accelerating and increasing the development and use of recycled water in Southern California It recommends that California take definitive actions now to accelerate the beneficial use of tertiary and secondary wastewater use and establish market based mechanisms that facilitate transfers of recycled water.

May 2, 2008

Recycled water policies shape both development and investment in recycled water. Clear policy at the federal and state levels can provide important guidance for local and regional agencies. Alternatively, unclear or conflicting policies can slow implementation at the local level, and overly restrictive policies can stifle development. Understanding the key federal, state, and local policies, is an important component to increasing recycled water use. This document defines recycled water, presents the basic political and regulatory framework, describes primary barriers and hurdles to greater recycled water development, and identifies the primary stakeholders.