The Deep Energy Retrofit from the Owner’s Perspective – Castle Square was in a great stage of its lifecycle for a Deep Energy Retrofit. Almost 50 years old, the property was scheduled to be renovated anyway. As a result, capital was already available in the form of Low Income Housing Tax Credits (a federal program utilized for renovating and building low income housing), owner equity, additional permanent debt, etc. It is a lot less expensive to piggyback on already scheduled design work, than to start a Deep Energy Retrofit design from scratch.
Some of the costs associated with the Deep Energy Retrofit will be absorbed by work that was already planned as part of the standard renovation. For example, kitchens and baths will be removed and replaced anyway. This provides access for extensive air sealing that is required to achieve Deep Energy Retrofit goals. Similarly, architecture and engineering design work was already planned and funded. Adding Deep Energy Retrofit design does not cost that much more. Likewise, legal, permitting, and financing costs associated with the Deep Energy Retrofit are partially absorbed by transaction costs already associated with renovating the property.
Thus, the full cost of the Deep Energy Retrofit is not experienced as such; some of the cost is absorbed elsewhere. This makes the Castle Square Deep Energy Retrofit much more affordable. Special sources of funds, including American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding from U.S. Housing and Urban Development and Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, and funding from the utilities, also made a huge difference in terms of increasing feasibility. Furthermore, money that will be saved on energy bills, also allowed for more permanent debt to pay for additional work.