For nearly two decades, Advanced Energy has been transforming the affordable housing market by organizing and contributing to affordable housing 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), Advanced Energy offers a suite of four affordable housing programs for low-income markets. Two of the programs fall under Advanced Energy’s 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
Advanced Energy’s 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. The program began in 2001 and has worked on nearly 5,000 homes in more than half of North Carolina’s counties. A 2008 study revealed that, compared to code-built homes, SystemVision homes are 15 percent more energy efficient. Once completed, every SystemVision home also receives two 2-year guarantees.
SystemVision Existing Home Retrofit
In 2015, SystemVision expanded its offerings and added the Existing Home Retrofit program to work on existing homes. Similar to the New Construction program, this program uses a whole-house standard to meet its goals. Advanced Energy works with eligible builders to conduct an assessment and determine what retrofit measures will be installed. Once the work is completed, 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 percent of the area median income.
Advanced Energy contributes to the NCHFA’s Supportive Housing Development Program, which focuses on new construction projects that support transitional or permanent housing for individuals who are homeless, have disabilities, are in foster care or have other special needs. Specifically, Advanced Energy adds 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, pre-construction meeting and field inspections to verify compliance with required measures.
Home Performance with ENERGY STAR
Advanced Energy’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (HPwES) program provides a whole-house approach to houses occupied by the elderly, individuals with a disability, veterans or children six 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 the HPwES standards.