Urban Greenfit and NYCEEC Complete One of the Largest Clean Energy Retrofits in New York City

June 27, 2014

The New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation (NYCEEC) and Urban Greenfit today announced the completion of a $7.4 million energy efficiency and cogeneration project at Roosevelt Landings, located on Roosevelt Island. It marked the occasion today with a power-on ceremony of a new cogeneration plant that was the final component of the project. Financing was provided by NYCEEC alongside incentives from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), Con Edison and the US Treasury Department.

Roosevelt Landings is a 1,003-unit, mixed-income residential development built in 1975. The project includes a deep energy efficiency retrofit, including the installation of energy efficient boilers, a 300kwH combined heat and power plant and various energy efficient measures designed to save energy and increase resident comfort. The project is expected to reduce energy consumption at the building by at least 20 percent, provide back-up electricity for critical systems and reduce carbon emissions by 750 metric tons of pollutants each year. Reducing 750 metric tons of GHG emissions is equivalent to permanently removing 158 cars from the road.

“Conventional lenders are not focusing on energy efficiency as a valuable service to their clients. This leaves building owners without easy access to clean energy financing,” said the CEO of NYCEEC, Susan Leeds. “NYCEEC is changing that. We are leveraging our expertise and smart money to transform multifamily properties such as Roosevelt Landings into clean, high-performing investments.”

Working together with Urban Greenfit and Urban American, NYCEEC’s expertise was key to structuring an innovative financing structure—not typically used in multifamily buildings—that unlocked tremendous energy efficiency potential for Roosevelt Landings. An energy services agreement to fund the efficiency measures was combined with a power purchase agreement for the cogeneration. NYCEEC provided $4.5 million of debt financing. NYCEEC and Urban Greenfit also worked with Fannie Mae, who holds the mortgage on Roosevelt Landings, to accept the transaction and gain confidence in a new financing approach in the multifamily sector that enables clean energy improvements and improves property value.

“We have always been strongly committed to operating our buildings in an environmentally responsible manner, and looking for ways to improve energy efficiency,” said Joshua Eisenberg, an Executive Vice President of Urban American. “We are thrilled that with the completion of the Roosevelt Landings Energy Retrofit Project, this vision is now a reality. We are grateful to all of the stakeholders, including NYCEEC and Fannie Mae, for their shared commitment to a more sophisticated, market approach to promoting energy efficiency.”

“The Roosevelt Landings project proves that it’s possible to take very meaningful steps towards better efficiency and energy reduction, and do so in a way that is financially beneficial to owners and investors” noted Urban Greenfit Principal, David Davenport. “This is process that we plan to replicate, and we hope it encourages other residential buildings to do the same.”

“This impressive collaborative project will not only serve as model of environmental stewardship but will be a showcase in sustainability for the community and the greater New York City region,” said John B. Rhodes, President and CEO, NYSERDA. “Roosevelt Landings is a great example of how the State is supporting Governor Cuomo’s vision to scale up the clean energy economy by advancing innovative energy solutions. In doing so, we are transforming the energy industry, ensuring New Yorkers have improved energy affordability and efficiency and creating a more resilient, cost-effective, world-class system.”

New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation (NYCEEC) is a solution center for clean energy financing in New York City. Founded as an independent, non-profit financial corporation to support New York City’s energy and climate goals, NYCEEC provides innovative financing solutions and technical expertise to meet almost any building owner’s needs. The highlight for owners and tenants is the money in their pockets: NYCEEC-financed projects can result in substantial savings on monthly energy bills.

To achieve its mission, NYCEEC partners with banks, community development financial institutions and energy services companies to finance clean energy improvements and resiliency measures in buildings throughout the five boroughs of New York City. NYCEEC is financially supported by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and by private philanthropic foundations.

Urban American is a real estate investment company that has provided safe, decent and affordable apartments to New York City’s workforce for 15 years. Over the past five years, Urban American has made a strategic decision to lead urban communities in the reduction of carbon emissions. It has invested over $10 million in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects to reposition older multifamily housing stock as more sustainable and energy efficient. Urban American is working to enhance investor value and become a catalyst for meaningful environmental impact by retrofitting older housing stock through targeted and value driven investments

Urban Greenfit, LLC (UGF) is a new affiliate of Urban American. UGF conceived the scope of work, structured the financing and will develop & operate Roosevelt Landings and other projects. UGF is an energy service company (ESCO) providing capital and performance contract development of strategic energy efficiency projects and onsite power generation while delivering a market rate return to investors. UGF leverages public, private and utility funding with state of the art energy management strategies, systems and technology to: reduce building energy expenses, increase net operating income and long term valuations, while improving resident comfort, helping to preserve affordability and reducing carbon emissions