Resources On This Page
As a community, we are working to equitably achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. Here in Ann Arbor, 67% of our greenhouse gas emissions come from buildings and since our housing stock is around 55% rentals, rental housing represents a substantial opportunity to reduce Ann Arbor’s carbon emissions. To help property owners accomplish this work, the Office of Sustainability and Innovations has developed this resource hub to connect property owners to financial and educational resources.
This list is continuously expanding as more opportunities become available. Are you aware of additional resources? Let us know! Contact
Joe Lange and/or
Zach Waas Smith to get it added to the resource hub.
Are you working with tenants to help encourage energy saving behaviors? Refer to our
energy efficiency for renters page.
Note: This page provides an overview of various financial and educational resources that are available to property owners. It does not constitute professional tax advice or other professional financial guidance. It should not be used as the only source of information when making purchasing, investment, and tax decisions, or when executing other binding agreements.
DTE offers rebates for multiple energy efficient appliances, including washers and dryers, windows and doors, insulation, Wi-Fi thermostats, and more. The rebate amount varies based on the appliance, building, and existing systems in the building. Depending on the account structure with DTE, property owners might need to work with tenants who are the account holder to access the rebates.
The DTE Multifamily Program is an energy efficiency initiative designed to help multifamily buildings, defined as a property with three or more units under one roof, reduce energy usage and cost. Property owners can request a free energy assessment to determine which energy-saving options are applicable and get assistance in selecting upgrades. Properties are eligible for $100,000 in total incentives per property per year, with increased incentives for properties that are income qualified.
The Investment Tax Credit reduces the federal income tax liability for a percentage of the cost of a solar or geothermal system that is installed during the tax year. Installed systems are eligible for a 30% tax credit if the project meets labor requirements and are eligible for an additional 10% for projects that meet a domestic content minimum, 10% if the project is located in an energy community, 10% if the project is located in a low-income community, and 20% if the project is on a qualified low-income residential building or qualified low-income economic benefit project. Note, projects can either qualify for the Investment Tax Credit OR the
Production Tax Credit, so it is important to review which option works best for your project. In general, the U.S. Department of Energy says smaller-scale solar projects receive more value utilizing the Investment Tax Credit. However, this can change over time and be dependent on the system being installed.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Market-to-Market program preserves affordability and availability of low-income rental multifamily properties with federally insured program by restructuring debts to levels supportable by reduced rents. The program also includes a Green Initiative to assist owners in rehabilitating their properties in the most sustainable way feasible. To participate, property owners must have four or more dwelling units covered in whole or in part by a project-based Section 8 rental housing assistance contract among other similar requirements.
Michigan Saves is Michigan's green bank and provides affordable financing for energy efficiency, renewable energy, diversification, and carbon reduction projects for both residential homes and commercial buildings. Michigan Saves partners with lenders to negotiate the best rates for projects while also connecting projects to qualified contractors ready to take on the work.
PACE is a financing tool that enables cash flow positive investments in comprehensive energy efficiency, water efficiency and renewable energy projects. Through PACE financing, property owners can eliminate the need for upfront capital and spread the costs over a period up to 25 years, allowing the savings generated from the project to cover the loan repayment with the excess savings resulting in an immediate positive cash flow.
Lean and Green Michigan is the administrator for PACE in Michigan.
The Production Tax Credit is a per kilowatt-hour tax credit for electricity generated by solar and other qualifying technologies for the first 10 years of a system's operation. Installed systems are eligible for 2.75 ¢/kWh if they meet project labor requirements and are eligible for an additional 0.3 ¢/kWh for projects that meet a domestic content minimum and 0.3 ¢/kWh if the project is located in an energy community. Note, projects can either qualify for the
Investment Tax Credit OR the Production Tax Credit, so it is important to review which option works best for your project. In general, the U.S. Department of Energy says smaller-scale solar projects receive more value utilizing the Investment Tax Credit. However, this can change over time and be dependent on the system being installed.
The 179D energy efficiency tax deduction enables building owners to claim a tax deduction for installing qualifying systems in buildings. Previously, multifamily buildings did not qualify for this deduction, but under the Inflation Reduction Act, multifamily buildings that are at least four stories tall are now eligible both for new builds and retrofits. The deduction is the lesser of the cost of the installed property or the savings per foot calculated as $0.50 per square foot for a building with 25% energy savings, plus $0.02 per square foot for each percentage point of energy savings above 25% up to a maximum of $1 per square foot for a building with 50% energy savings. If local prevailing wages are paid and apprenticeship requirements are met, an increased maximum deduction applies, with the maximum amount increasing to five times the savings per square foot amount.
The 45L tax credit provides a tax credit for eligible new or substantially reconstructed homes that meet applicable ENERGY STAR home program or DOE Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) program requirements. The 45L credit is $5,000 for dwelling units that are part of a building eligible to participate in the ENERGY STAR Multifamily New Construction Program, are certified to applicable ZERH program requirements, and meet prevailing wage requirements. If prevailing wage requirements are not met the credit is $1,000 per dwelling unit.
The Weatherization Assistance Program helps reduce energy costs for low-income households by increasing the energy efficiency of their homes, while ensuring their health and safety and safety. Multifamily and rental properties can qualify for this program if at least 66 percent, or 50 percent for duplexes and four-unit buildings, of the tenants qualify as low-income.
The Better Buildings Financing Navigator is an online tool that helps property owners and organizations find financing solutions for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. The navigator helps users explore a wider array of financial choices and identify relevant financing options for their energy projects. The navigator also provides information for anyone who wants to learn more about the energy marketplace in general. Note that the navigator does not specifically cover financing for single-family residential projects.
The Building Upgrade Value Calculator allows users to analyze the financial value of efficiency-related capital investments in commercial real estate. By evaluating the expected change in tenant contributions for recoverable owner expenses under a variety of lease types, this tool allows users to calculate the costs and benefits of base building energy efficiency measures for both the owner and each tenant. The results are presented in both summary outputs and customized letters to enable owners and tenants to overcome the traditional “split incentive" barrier, whereby the owner pays the capital expenses for energy efficiency upgrades, while the tenants receive the energy savings benefits through a reduction in their proportionate share of the base building operating expenses.
The Energy Saver Guide offers tips for saving money and energy in homes. The guide provides information on energy saving, efficient technologies as well as providing tips for using clean, renewable energy to power a property. From simple DIY tips to more advanced strategies to financing and incentive tips, this guide has something for everyone.
The ENERGY STAR multifamily housing program helps property managers measure their building's energy use and provides resources to save energy in their properties. This includes resources for benchmarking properties to measure, track, and compare energy usage, options for financing upgrades based on the benchmarking process, and tenant engagement, among others.
The Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) provides multiple resources for property managers considering adding electric vehicle chargers at their multifamily property. The resources can help assess the need for charging stations, identify incentives to help with the installation cost, and see case studies showing how properties have installed chargers.
ENERGY STAR provides guidance on how organizations can finance energy efficiency projects. This guide goes through various financing methods and what to consider when deciding on how to decide which financing option(s) makes the most sense for a project.
The Multifamily Portfolio Carbon Emissions Calculator from the Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future (SAHF) allows multifamily portfolio owners to calculate their annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in CO2 equivalent. The calculator allows multifamily portfolio owners to understand their carbon emissions baseline based on actual and estimated data, providing them with the first step of the journey to measurable carbon reductions.
The Multifamily Portfolio Carbon Emissions Roadmap Tool from the Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future (SAHF) is a free tool designed for the multifamily sector. It allows national multifamily portfolio owners to use the results from the
SAHF Multifamily Portfolio Carbon Emissions Calculator
to set portfolio targets for decarbonization, and then develop a list of prioritized portfolio segments and decarbonization strategies.
The National Multifamily Housing Council conducts research and provides information on energy and sustainability efforts in multifamily housing properties. The resources include information on energy efficiency standards, green building codes, sustainable operations, tax incentives, and more.
The Retrofit Decision Tool quickly and easily analyzes buildings and provides simple package upgrade recommendations to achieve zero carbon status. Users can enter basic characteristics of their building and the tool will identify a recommended upgrade package, links to installation instructions, and connect to a collaborator that can assist with purchasing the materials.
This guide from the Department of Energy breaks down many of the available tax credits, rebates, and incentives that are available from various federal funding sources.
The Toolkit for Tenant Engagement from the Ann Arbor 2030 District provides recommendations that can be used as a working directory of tools building owners can use to engage tenants in meeting energy efficiency goals.
DSIRE compiles policies and incentives from federal, state, and local governments to help plan and finance energy efficiency and renewable energy work.
Energy Saver provides financial incentives and assistance for energy efficient and renewable energy products and improvements in the form of rebates, tax credits, and financing programs.
The ENERGY STAR Rebate Finder searches by zip code to find rebates and special offers on ENEGRY STAR certified products.
The ENERGY STAR Utility Rebate Finder searches for rebates on commercial building equipment within product categories where ENRGY STAR certification is not available, including commercial HVAC equipment, commercial lighting, commercial building automation, and electric commercial vehicles.
IncentiFind is specifically geared towards developers, property owners, and tenants to find funding for real-estate and home improvement projects.
This guide from OSI contains resources and case studies local to Ann Arbor on how to bring solar and electric vehicle charging to multi-unit buildings.
The Ann Arbor 2030 District is a private-public partnership that brings together property owners, local governments, businesses, and community stakeholders to work towards a common goal of reducing the environmental impact from building construction and operations. Members receive resources, technical assistance, and working groups focused on the business case for sustainability.
The City of Ann Arbor adopted the Energy and Water Benchmarking Ordinance (City Code 104) in October 2021. The ordinance requires that building owners and managers of buildings greater than 20,000 square feet benchmark - or track - their building's energy and water use. This data is reported annually to the City of Ann Arbor through the EPA's ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool.
The Ann Arbor 2030 District, in collaboration with the City's Office of Sustainability and Innovations (OSI), has launched a new program designed to help commercial properties in Ann Arbor and throughout the County access the benefits of clean, renewable energy. The program provides one-on-one assistance to screen properties for solar potential, assistance with designing and releasing a Request for Proposals to install a renewable system, support reviewing proposal responses, and reviewing of post-installation energy bills.
Michigan Saves has developed a tool that can be used to find qualified contractors based on the services they provide. As part of this tool, Michigan Saves has an electrification badge to identify contractors who have undergone training on electrification technologies and are experienced with their installation.