As the push to retrofit and improve affordable housing continues, one element that cannot be overlooked in plans is promoting energy efficiency.

If building owners, municipalities, and even the federal government focus on programs to encourage, fund, and promote energy efficiency improvements alongside other practical improvements to affordable housing, a wealth of benefits is possible.

Here are 3 important ways focusing on energy efficiency when retrofitting affordable housing can benefit the United States:

Reduce Energy Bills & Emissions

Making energy efficiency improvements in affordable housing will have the same benefits of reducing energy bills and decreasing harmful emissions as in other situations.

However, because many affordable housing complexes have been left to years of neglect and disrepair, making these improvements may prove even more beneficial than making them in a typical single-family home. Old lighting fixtures, outdated appliances, and improper insulation can drive up costs for already cash-strapped tenants.

The bonus to making improvements in how much energy is used is that the amount of harmful emissions that are released decreases. This reduces the nation’s climate impact.

Creates Jobs

All these improvements and retrofitting projects require a lot of man hours. Undertaking these large-scale projects will mean that contracting firms will need to hire new workers, creating more jobs.

Additionally, when new needs are seen, such as the need to better insulate entire buildings or to install green energy infrastructure, entrepreneurs can build new businesses. These new businesses, in turn, need workers, thereby creating more jobs.

Improving Quality of Life

It’s no secret that a lot of places considered “affordable” aren’t exactly in the best condition. But for people who don’t have many options, even an apartment that’s drafty, full of mold, or has leaking pipes is better than nothing.

Completing whole retrofits of affordable housing complexes, however, will improve the conditions of these buildings and their inhabitants.

This improves the quality of life for some of the nation’s most vulnerable citizens, helping them lead more secure, healthier lives.

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