As a building owner interested in electrification, what are some things I should consider before starting the process? 


It’s a great question, and I’ve organized my answer into three key action steps.  

Identify funding and financing opportunities  

Before beginning the process of electrifying your building, it is important to understand the various funding sources that may be available to help cover the cost of the upgrades. Research local, state, and federal decarbonization incentive programs to determine your eligibility. Often, the most effective way to finance decarbonization projects is through “stacking” funding programs – or using multiple energy incentive programs in conjunction with more traditional housing financing such as the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit. Navigating incentive programs can be a time-consuming and complex process, so consider dedicating staff time to this effort or engage an energy consultant if bandwidth is limited.  

Consider the impact on tenants  

For multifamily buildings, electrification can provide direct health and financial benefits to tenants. Electrification can dramatically improve indoor air quality inside units and lead to improved long-term health outcomes for tenants. As part of a decarbonization upgrade, in-unit energy efficiency measures can also provide significant savings on tenants’ utility bills. Energy retrofits can also lead to a greater sense of satisfaction and pride among tenants with the understanding that their building is contributing to a greener, more sustainable environment.  

Seek out technical experts  

When considering an electrification retrofit, it might be worthwhile to speak with a technical expert. Seeking technical assistance from experts can help building owners understand existing and emerging electrification technologies and how they can be applied to building to maximize efficiency. In some cases, technical experts may also provide financial modeling to provide clarity around cost and utility savings over the course of several years.  

Additionally, you may be able to receive guidance about preparing your building to accommodate an electrification retrofit. For example, technical experts could help with mapping out roof space for solar panels or evaluate the efficiency of your existing electrical system. Lastly, technical assistance can also help with the identification of funding streams and support performance monitoring of major electrification systems.