Energy Efficiency for Multifamily Buildings | Energy Solutions

Energy Efficiency for Multifamily Buildings

As a multifamily building owner or property manager, you’re continuously juggling building and resident concerns, leaving you limited time or resources to focus on energy efficiency. If you’re a City Light customer, you’re in luck. We offer complimentary assistance and financial incentives to help your business save energy and money.

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Comprehensive, cost-effective upgrades in multifamily buildings can improve efficiency by 15-30%.

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy


Consider the benefits of energy efficiency in your multifamily building:

  • Reduced tenant turnover
  • Improved asset/property value
  • Reduced operating and maintenance costs
  • Improved equipment performance and lifespan
  • Increased building durability
  • Increased resident comfort, health, and safety
  • Competitive advantages in real estate markets from low energy costs and associated green building attributes
  • Preparation for future changes such as economic fluctuations, new building codes

Professional services:

Whether you want advice on equipment replacement, or need end-to-end support for a major renovation, we can provide experience and expertise to help you optimize energy efficiency and maximize results:

  • Opportunity assessment: Interested in improving your energy efficiency, but not sure where to start? Let’s get started with a phone consultation to determine potential energy savings opportunities that align with your unique business needs and goals. We’ll also identify available City Light financial incentives to help offset project costs and speed up payback period.
  • Proposal review: If you have a proposal from a contractor for an energy efficiency project, we’ll review it to make sure that all energy saving opportunities are included, and that it meets eligibility requirements for Seattle City Light financial incentives.

Financial incentives:

  • Direct-install services are energy efficiency improvements made in individual units and building common areas at no cost to owners or occupants. These include installation of energy-efficient lighting (LEDs), and complimentary distribution of low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators.
  • Equipment and product incentives are designed to encourage owners and property managers to purchase and install energy-efficient equipment. Some examples include common area lighting, windows and insulation and other appliances.
  • Comprehensive energy projects take a whole-building approach rather than focusing on individual units or common areas within a building. These typically begin with an energy assessment to identify the most cost-effective strategies and incentive opportunities to maximize energy efficiency and return on investment.

Eligibility requirements:

  • If you are a building owner or manager of a multifamily building with five or more units in our service territory, you qualify! If your building is smaller than five units, be sure to contact us to see if some of our residential rebates or a custom option are right for you.
  • Be sure to get preapproval from us on your contractor’s bid prior to purchasing or installing any equipment. This is a must-do to assure you receive our funding.
  • For weatherization incentives, your building must use permanently installed electric space heat as its primary heat source.

How it works:

Powerful Neighborhoods direct install

  • Request a property qualification and opportunity assessment by contacting, submitting an online form, or calling 877-311-8752.
  • Schedule the installation.
  • Post Opt-In Notice of Entry forms on tenants’ doors 48 hours prior to the scheduled installation.
  • On the day of the installation, allow the program representative to have access to participating units. The installers will identify themselves as Seattle City Light representatives upon arrival. The representative will have a City Light-issued identification card with their name and photograph.
  • After the installation, fill out a program satisfaction survey, and mail, fax or email the survey to the program.

How it works: financial incentives for equipment and comprehensive energy projects

Qualified commercial lighting products are available at discounted prices through participating commercial distributors. These products will not be eligible for additional commercial retrofit incentives. For more information, visit a participating distributor or download our Lighting to Go overview.

Follow these steps for all other energy efficiency initiatives:

  1. Request a consultation and an Energy Advisor will contact you to learn more about your needs, identify opportunities, and provide additional assistance, such as help completing a City Light program application.
  2. Select a contractor and get a project quote. We recommend getting three quotes from three different contractors.
  3. Submit your project quotes and program application.
  4. An analyst will review the application, confirm eligibility, and provide you with an incentive estimate and a Participation Agreement with a notice to proceed.
  5. Proceed with project installation.
  6. Submit invoices for project costs to your assigned analyst.
  7. An analyst will verify equipment was installed as proposed, paid for, and meets eligibility requirements.
  8. City Light pays an incentive to you or your contractor, whichever you prefer.

Escala Condominiums case study

In an effort to reduce energy costs, Escala undertook a project to replace over 1500 lights in common areas with efficient LED bulbs. They also looked to upgrade the lighting system. Seattle City Light helped pay for over 44 percent of the project through our rebate program. The changes reduced energy use by 17 percent.

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Ready to learn more?

Contact an Energy Advisor today for more information or to arrange a consultation.