Housing Authority of Indiana County

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Public Housing Authority

Project Types

Clean and Renewable Energy, Data Analysis




Indiana, PA

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Michael Cakmes designed and conducted a benchmarking analysis for two Public Housing Authorities in Pennsylvania.


The Housing Authority of Indiana County faced an information challenge: it wanted to track the energy performance of its buildings in order to better identify areas for improvement, but had no processes in place. EDF Climate Corps fellow Michael Cakmes was brought in to improve energy management practices through benchmarking. 


Cakmes created a benchmarking toolkit to meet the organizations’ energy management goals. Energy Star’s Portfolio Manager was selected as the software program based on its ease-of-use and sharing capabilities. Moving on to data analysis, Cakmes encountered some issues with validating information and acquiring sensitive tenant-paid utility bills. But, by working with utility companies, he was able to create supporting documents as well as restructure the meter codes.

Putting the toolkit to use, Cakmes conducted a benchmarking study to uncover the weakest performing buildings. Each housing authority was equipped with energy use intensity data that can be used to prioritize future energy improvement projects. He also made suggestions on how to reduce energy use in the immediate, such as through a water meter reduction project and a reduction in the size of meters. Finally, Cakmes submitted requests for proposals to solar companies in an effort to implement a renewable energy project. 

Potential Impact

Cakmes provided the housing authorities with enhanced visibility and energy information for future projects. The water meter reduction project has the potential to save $900 annually, and by reducing the size of the meter, the housing authority would be billed at a lower monthly base rate. With the instillation of a 61 kW solar project, the McKeesport Housing Authority would save 50 metric tons of C02 and $7,226 annually.

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