Foundation Communities

At a Glance


Real Estate

Project Type

Commercial Energy Efficiency




Austin, TX


Reuben Jaffe Goldstein conducted a benchmark analysis to compare Foundation Communities' energy performance against the national multifamily averages and created a tool to track solar energy production.


Foundation Communities, one of the largest providers of affordable housing in Austin, Texas, is committed to energy efficiency projects and wants to document its sustainability accomplishments and benchmark their energy performance. Having already implemented sustainability projects, such as upgrades to existing buildings and implementing deep green building standards in new construction, the organization enlisted EDF Climate Corps fellow, Reuben Jaffe Goldstein, to help capture its efficiency efforts. 


Filling the gaps in the utility data among Foundation Communities’ multifamily properties, Reuben worked with internal and external stakeholders on a benchmark analysis to compare its energy performance against the national multifamily averages. In collaboration with FC staff and local utilities, Reuben helped to compile the aggregate tenant data. He then consulted with organizations such as the Better Buildings Challenge to learn more about benchmarking standards. His analysis showed that FC and its residents currently share savings of over $900,000 per year compared to the average multifamily property.

Reuben also focused his attention on other projects that would advance the organization’s sustainability efforts: a tool to track solar panel actual energy production and a training manual on how to optimize EcoBee thermostat in FC’s communal spaces. The manual not only provides staff with a “how to” guide on the thermostat’s operation, but also details which set-points will yield the most energy efficiency results. 

Potential Impact

The solar panel tracking tool will help track solar energy production as well as identify outages earlier, requiring less electricity to be purchased from the grid. The Better Buildings analysis provides a framework for Foundations Communities to make, and achieve, long-term energy reduction goals. 

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