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Low Carbon Pathways for Multifamily Buildings Page


Take a step-by-step approach toward implementing a low carbon retrofit of your multifamily buildings and receive valuable financial incentives along the way. The Low Carbon Pathways for Multifamily Buildings offers four packages of incentivized energy upgrades that bring deep energy savings to major building systems. This guided path of building upgrades can help you achieve your sustainability goals.

The Low Carbon Pathways program is right for you if:

  • You have any upcoming planned or potential building improvements and are interested in learning about available high-performance solutions
  • You want to reduce operating costs and improve resident health and comfort
  • You are focused on electrification of your multifamily property

How it Works

Each of the four packages includes detailed guidance for each building system and a set of required upgrades, along with additional recommended upgrades to achieve even deeper energy savings and incentives to major building systems:

  • Envelope – Install building envelope upgrades to meet specific U-value target, or provide code-compliant mechanical ventilation in each bathrooms and kitchen
  • Ventilation – Provide balanced ventilation to each unit, including heat/energy recovery
  • Heating & Cooling – Install heat pump technology for in-unit heating and cooling
  • Domestic Hot Water (DHW) – Implement heat pumps to provide 30-100% of DHW load, dependent on the existing systems

Building owners are not required to implement all packages in order to receive incentives. However, implementing all packages can bring high performance to buildings at near EnerPHit (Passive House Certificate for retrofits) levels of performance, greatly improving resident comfort and achieving substantial savings on energy costs.

Implement each package one by one to make improvements over time, leveraging existing capital improvement points, such as equipment end of life and tenant turnover. This approach enables you to make upgrades on your timeline and build a path toward compliance with Local Law 97 and other building regulations.

Don’t have a capital improvement plan? NYSERDA offers Low Carbon Capital Planning Support through cost-share incentives for an energy study conducted through the Flexible Technical Assistance (FlexTech) program to help develop a capital plan that incorporates low carbon improvements over time.

Available Incentives

Measure Package Required Upgrade Incentives* Add-On Incentives**
Envelope $3,750 per dwelling unit
(additional $1,250 per dwelling unit if this is the first package implemented)
Air sealing:
$50 per dwelling unit Steam upgrades: $250 per dwelling unit
Ventilation $750 per dwelling unit Air sealing:
$50 per dwelling unit
Heating & Cooling $750 per dwelling unit
Additional incentives available through utilities for heat pump installation
Air sealing:
$50 per dwelling unit Induction stoves: $100 per dwelling unit
Domestic Hot Water $700-750 per dwelling unit
Additional incentives available from utilities for heat pump installation

*All required upgrades within a package must be implemented and adhere to measurement & verification and quality control protocols to receive the required upgrade incentives for that package.

**Add-on incentives are available when implementing recommended upgrades along with all required upgrades.


Eligible Buildings

  • Existing multifamily buildings – open to both affordable and market-rate
  • New multifamily buildings or those that have undergone substantial renovations must be in operation for at least one year prior to applying to this program.
  • Buildings with 5+ units where at least 50 percent of the building’s gross heated footage is residential space
  • Must pay into System Benefits Charge (SBC)/NYSERDA Clean Energy Fund on their electric utility bill

Eligible Multifamily Owners and Property Management Firms

Must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Own or manage at least 10 existing multifamily buildings
  • Are a current member in at least one building owner or property management organization that meets semi-regularly or shares information among members, including but not limited to:
    • Citizens Housing and Planning Council (CHPC)
    • Council of New York Cooperatives & Condominiums (CNYC)
    • New York State Association for Affordable Housing (NYSAFAH)
    • Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY)
    • Rent Stabilization Association (RSA)
    • Urban Homesteading Assistance Board (UHAB)

Get Started

  1. Talk to a Provider. Before applying, talk to your provider about the program to see if your building is the right fit. If you don’t have a provider you are already working with, you can access NYSERDA’s network of qualified Multifamily Building Solutions Providers or FlexTech Consultants
  2. Review Program Documentation. Visit the Low Carbon Pathways Project Opportunity Notice (PON) 4701 to review detailed information about the program with your provider, including requirements to participate and receive incentives.
  3. Contact Us. If you still have questions about a project, your eligibility, or the application process, email us at MFLowCarbonPathways@nyserda.ny.gov

Access the Low Carbon Retrofit Playbooks as a Resource

Created as a resource by NYSERDA, Steven Winter Associates, and the Building Energy Exchange (BE-Ex), each Playbook summarizes retrofit strategies that maximize occupant comfort and energy savings through a transition from fuel to electricity- based heating, cooling and hot water systems. The playbooks cover five common building typologies – garden style (1-3 stories), pre-war (4-7 stories), post-war (4-7 stories), post-war (8+ stories), and post-1980 (8+ stories). Learn MoreLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page..