For the Housing Energy Program (HEP), SEI works with Southern California Edison to aggregate small affordable housing properties into larger "buyer groups" to obtain better pricing on energy efficiency services. The program also provides energy audits, engineering review, finance strategies, administrative oversight, construction and procurement support, bulk purchasing, measurement and verification.
Often, owners or managers of less than 500 units cannot access the financing needed for major energy retrofits. By aggregating units among multiple owners, HEP provides access to financial strategies, such as energy performance contracts, and allows owners to benefit from bulk purchasing or other asset-pooling strategies. Since 2006, the HEP program has been able to make almost 25,000 affordable housing units in Southern California more energy efficient, saving almost 16,5 million kWh in electricity, more than 350,000 therms in gas, and almost 7 million gallons of water--along with corresponding savings for low-income renters. The key to the program is the aggregation of providers into pools of 500 units or more to leverage combined assets for projects or obtain services from an energy services company, which brings independent financing and installation of measures.