Advanced Energy’s Affordable Housing Programs

By Jonathan Susser | February 20, 2017

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For nearly two decades, we at Advanced Energy have been transforming the affordable housing market by organizing and contributing to programs for new and existing construction. The goal of these programs is to ensure that every home is healthy, safe, comfortable, durable, energy efficient and affordable for the long term.

Through a partnership with the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency (NCHFA), we offer a suite of affordable housing programs for low-income markets. Two of the programs fall under our SystemVision umbrella — SystemVision New Construction and SystemVision Existing Home Retrofit — while the others are Supportive Housing and Home Performance with ENERGY STAR®.

SystemVision New Construction
Our most popular affordable housing program is SystemVision New Construction. This program uses practical solutions and simplified processes to aid developers and builders in designing, constructing and marketing affordable homes. Since the program’s launch in 2001, we have worked on over 5,500 homes in more than half of North Carolina’s counties. Prior research revealed that SystemVision homes are 15% more energy efficient than code-built homes, and SystemVision is the nation’s only affordable housing program that guarantees the energy use and comfort of its homes.

SystemVision Existing Home Retrofit
In 2015, we expanded SystemVision’s offerings and added the Existing Home Retrofit program to work on existing homes. Similar to the New Construction program, Existing Home Retrofit uses a whole-home standard to meet its goals. We work with eligible builders to conduct an assessment and determine what retrofit measures will be installed. When the work is done, the homes are visually inspected and receive performance tests to verify compliance with program standards (e.g., air sealing, duct sealing, moisture management and ventilation). What you get in the end is a high-performance home that will be affordable to someone making less than 80% of the area median income.

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Supportive Housing
We contribute to the NCHFA’s Supportive Housing Development Program, which focuses on projects that support transitional or permanent housing for individuals who are homeless, have disabilities, are in foster care or have other special needs. We add requirements to the standard construction process that focus on health, safety, comfort, durability and energy efficiency. These standards and processes provide a comprehensive approach that also ensure that the building will be affordable to operate. The steps include a plan and load calculation review, a pre-construction meeting and field inspections to verify compliance with required measures.

Home Performance with ENERGY STAR
Our Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (HPwES) program provides a whole-home approach to houses occupied by the elderly, individuals with a disability, veterans or children aged 6 years or younger. HPwES oversees a network of contractors who conduct assessments, make recommendations and perform quality control inspections to ensure that installed measures meet HPwES standards.