Puerto Rico Public Housing Administration
At a Glance
Public Housing Authority
Data Analysis, Sustainability and Energy Management Strategy
San Juan, PR
Fernando Castro-Alvarez implemented a benchmarking policy outlining the processes needed for the Public Housing Authority of Puerto Rico to save energy and water.
The Public Housing Authority of Puerto Rico administers the second largest public housing portfolio in the U.S., providing homes for roughly 53,000 low income families. Its tenants have lowest average per capita income and the second highest electricity rates of the country. And, in part due to wastes in the system, safe water availability in the island is being compromised. The Public Housing Authority enlisted EDF Climate Corps fellow Fernando Castro-Alvarez to devise energy and water conservation strategies to reduce waste.
Castro-Alvarez, driven by the principle “you cannot manage what you don’t measure”, designed and implemented a portfolio-wide energy and water benchmarking policy. As part of the process, data sharing collaboration agreements with key stakeholders, such as the government-owned water and energy utilities, were put in place and excel-based energy and water use estimation tools were developed.
Focusing his attention on the management piece, Castro-Alvarez established an energy management group and a portfolio-wide energy and water conservation goal. An administrative order from the Secretary of Housing formalized the group and approved the goal of achieving a 20% reduction in energy and water consumption by the year 2027.
The benchmarking policy allows the housing authority to estimate portfolio-wide energy and water use for the first time ever. This analysis provided the foundation for establishing the energy and water conservation goal, which is set to be achieved under the leadership efforts of the new energy management group. The group is already underway to formalizing the housing authority’s partnership with the Better Buildings Challenge, and will explore the implementation of a portfolio-wide energy performance contract to achieve its goal while improving the quality of life of its tenants.