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Household Energy Bills and Subsidized Housing

Household energy consumption is crucial to national energy policy. This article analyzes how the rules covering utility costs in the four major federal housing assistance programs alter landlord and tenant incentives for energy efficiency investment and conservation. We conclude that, relative to market-rate housing, assistance programs provide less incentive to landlords and tenants for energy efficiency investment and conservation, and utilities are more likely to be included in the rent. Using data from the American Housing Survey, we examine the differences in utility billing arrangements between assisted and unassisted low-income renters and find that—even when controlling for observable building and tenant differences—the rent that assisted tenants pay is more likely to include utilities. Among all tenants who pay utility bills separately from rent, observable differences in energy expenses for assisted and unassisted tenants are driven by unit, building, and household characteristics rather than the receipt of government assistance.
Incentives Report/Research Brief Resident Engagement Split Incentive Utility Allowance
application/pdf
338.24KB

Show Me the Money: Energy Efficiency Financing Barriers and Opportunities

This paper briefly characterizes energy efficiency market sectors; describes the major players in the energy efficiency financing market; describes the key barriers facing each market sector; reviews primary internal and external financing strategies used by each market sector; summarizes our investor discussions; and offers conclusions and recommendations for catalyzing large-scale deployment of capital to the energy efficiency sector.
ESCO Finance Split Incentive
application/pdf
416.75KB

Does the Owner Resident Split-Incentive issue in Multifamily cause a roadblock to Energy Management?

In order for a property to be truly energy efficient, the interests of both the owner and residents must be aligned in favor of sustainability. Unfortunately, traditional lease arrangements often do the opposite, and skew the interests of both parties...
Incentives Resident Engagement Split Incentive

Household Energy Bills and Subsidized Housing

Household energy consumption is crucial to national energy policy. This article analyzes how the rules covering utility costs in the four major federal housing assistance programs alter landlord and tenant incentives for energy efficiency investment and conservation. We conclude that, relative to market-rate housing, assistance programs provide less incentive to landlords and tenants for energy efficiency investment and conservation, and utilities are more likely to be included in the rent. Using data from the American Housing Survey, we examine the differences in utility billing arrangements between assisted and unassisted low-income renters and find that—even when controlling for observable building and tenant differences—the rent that assisted tenants pay is more likely to include utilities. Among all tenants who pay utility bills separately from rent, observable differences in energy expenses for assisted and unassisted tenants are driven by unit, building, and household characteristics rather than the receipt of government assistance.
HUD Split Incentive
application/pdf
338.24KB