60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Energy Benchmarking of Public Housing, 68450-68453 [2016-23978]

Download as PDF 68450 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 192 / Tuesday, October 4, 2016 / Notices RELEVANT PRA INFORMATION COLLECTIONS Energy Star collection (OMB–2060– 0347) eCNA collection TRACS collection (utility allowance component) Multifamily project applications green building program component HUD’s multifamily housing utility allowance submission (OMB–2502– 0505) (OMB–2502– 0204) (OMB–2502– 0029) (OMB 2502– 0352) Benchmarking (new collection) Tasks Leading to Fulfillment of Requirement Tenants submit utility data to owners ........................... Tenants provide release for owner to request data from utility .................................................................. Utilities compile and share data with owners ............... Owners compile/prepare tenant-paid utility data .......... Owners compile/prepare owner-paid utility data .......... Owners enter data into Portfolio Manager .................... .......................... X X .......................... X .......................... .......................... X X X X X (*) (*) (*) (*) X (*) (*) .......................... (*) .......................... .......................... .......................... X (*) X (*) (*) .......................... .......................... .......................... .......................... .......................... .......................... .......................... .......................... .......................... X Direct Requirement Being Proposed Owners generate Portfolio Manager Report and submit to HUD ................................................................. .......................... .......................... .......................... * In conjunction with FHA financing and Utility Allowance processes, a portion of owners are currently compiling utility consumption data and utilizing Portfolio Manager. Effective Date The utility benchmarking requirement described in this notice will apply when executing any covered transaction beginning 90 days after OMB approval of the PRA request, and not sooner than April 15, 2017. The first scheduled submission date for a majority of assisted-housing respondents is estimated to occur in 2019. HUD will alert owners of the effective date for reporting requirements and provide procedural instructions for submitting data through an Office of Housing Notice, issued after OMB issues a Notice of Action approving this PRA collection. mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES III. Information Collection Burden and Solicitation of Comment A. Overview of Information Collection Title of Information Collection: Multifamily Housing Energy Benchmarking. OMB Approval Number: New proposed collection. Type of Request: New proposed collection. Form Number: N/A. Description of the need for the information and proposed use: Please see Section II of this notice. Respondents: Multifamily owners, managing agents and tenants. Estimated Number of Respondents: 17,049. Average Hours per Response: .50. Total Estimated Burden Hours: 8,524.5. Burden hours take into account other existing information collections covering the assembly of utility information by impacted properties and the use of ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, these include: HUD’s VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:01 Oct 03, 2016 Jkt 241001 Multifamily Housing Utility Allowance submission (OMB 2502–0352), HUD’s Tenant Eligibility and Rent Procedures (OMB 2502–0204), CNAe requirements (OMB 2502–0505), HUD’s Multifamily Project Applications Green Building Program component (OMB–2502– 0029)and ENERGY STAR Certification (OMB–2060–0347) by the Environmental Protection Agency. B. Solicitation of Public Comment This notice is soliciting comments from members of the public and affected parties concerning the collection of information described in Section A on the following: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) The accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (3) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond; including through the use of appropriate automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. HUD encourages interested parties to submit comment in response to these questions. Authority: Section 3507 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35. PO 00000 Frm 00053 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Dated: September 28, 2016. Janet M. Golrick, Associate General Deputy Assistant Secretary for Housing—Associate Deputy Federal Housing Commissioner. [FR Doc. 2016–23979 Filed 10–3–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210–67–P DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR–5916–N–17] 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Energy Benchmarking of Public Housing Office the Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing, HUD. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: HUD is seeking approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for the information collection described below. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, HUD is requesting comment from all interested parties on the proposed collection of information. The purpose of this notice is to allow for 60 days of public comment. SUMMARY: Comments Due Date: December 5, 2016. ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments regarding this proposal. Comments should refer to the proposal by name and/or OMB Control Number and should be sent to: Colette Pollard, Reports Management Officer, QDAM, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 4176, Washington, DC 20410–5000; telephone 202–402–3400 (this is not a toll-free number) or email DATES: E:\FR\FM\04OCN1.SGM 04OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 192 / Tuesday, October 4, 2016 / Notices at Colette.Pollard@hud.gov for a copy of the proposed forms or other available information. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the tollfree Federal Relay Service at (800) 877– 8339. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Arlette Mussington, Office of Policy, Programs and Legislative Initiatives, PIH, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., (L’Enfant Plaza, Room 2206), Washington, DC 20410; telephone 202– 402–4109 (this is not a toll-free number). Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this number via TTY by calling the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877–8339. Copies of available documents submitted to OMB may be obtained from Ms. Mussington. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES The President’s Climate Action Plan The President’s Climate Action Plan calls on Federal agencies to increase investments in energy productivity, eliminate energy waste, ramp up efficiency standards, and deploy the tools and technology needed to build a new energy economy. The residential building sector is responsible for approximately 21 percent of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. Utility costs (energy and water) account for approximately 22 percent of public housing operating budgets and in similar proportion across the assisted housing sector. HUD spends an estimated $6.4 billion annually to cover the costs of utilities in its public and assisted housing programs.1 HUD is committed to creating energyefficient, water-efficient, and healthy housing as part of a broader effort to foster the development of inclusive, sustainable, and resilient communities. Investments in energy and waterefficiency pay dividends by improving occupant comfort, reducing tenant turnover, stabilizing operating costs, alleviating taxpayer burden, preserving affordable housing, ensuring disaster resilience, and mitigating climate change. The Harvard Graduate School of Design in 2003 2 and the Government Accountability Office in 2008 3 strongly recommended that HUD require the practice of utility benchmarking across 1 See https://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/ documents/huddoc?id=afrfy13_egyeff.pdf. 2 See http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/ huddoc?id=DOC_9238.pdf. 3 See http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-09-46. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:01 Oct 03, 2016 Jkt 241001 its housing portfolios in order to better manage energy and water consumption. Benchmarking is a valuable tool that compares a building’s utility consumption pattern against similar buildings and helps owners measure and manage energy and water consumption across building portfolios. With utility benchmarking, HUD will better be able to analyze energy and water use patterns to identify and address underperforming buildings in order to reduce energy and water consumption while stabilizing and reducing utility costs. Benchmarking buildings is considered an industry-standard best practice and although some obstacles remain, the process is rapidly becoming quicker, easier, and more automated. A growing number of municipal and state governments across the country are instituting benchmarking requirements to better track and analyze building performance. Most benchmarking requirements utilize the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, which automatically calculates energy performance metrics including a benchmarking score for public housing properties. ENERGY STAR benchmarking scores range from 0–100, and properties that achieve a score of at least 75 points may be eligible for ENERGY STAR certification. It is anticipated that EPA’s ENERGY STAR program will release a similar benchmark score for water consumption in approximately one year. Benchmarking Requirements At this time, HUD is proposing limited requirements for utility benchmarking in order to balance the need to manage the public housing portfolio against the burden on Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) to adopt a new process. Many local benchmarking laws require benchmarking on an annual basis, however HUD is currently proposing benchmarking every three years. Benchmarking laws typically require property owners to utilize whole-building data, however HUD intends to accept sampled tenant-paid utility data where whole building data is not readily available. The three-year requirement will allow building owners to begin utility benchmarking while the market continues to build support, integration, and automation into this practice. HUD will aggregate the collected data and analyze the ranges in order to better understand the overall PHA portfolio. Overtime, HUD will use the benchmarking scores as well as other data and metrics from Portfolio Manager PO 00000 Frm 00054 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 68451 to measure whether energy and water efficiency is increasing, decreasing, or staying the same throughout the public housing portfolio. This information may help guide the development of new policy initiatives, financial incentives, and technical assistance for PHAs. The Process and Benefits of Utility Benchmarking Utility benchmarking helps building owners better understand their buildings’ energy and water performance. Analyzing buildings across a portfolio enables building owners to identify underperforming buildings in order to prioritize capital improvements and plan future budget needs. Based on an analysis of more than 35,000 buildings covered by newly established local energy benchmarking laws, EPA found an average energy use reduction of seven percent between 2008 and 2011 after benchmarking.4 In addition to PHA benefits, the sharing of utility benchmarking data will enable HUD to evaluate utility expenditures and offer better technical assistance. In order to benchmark a building, two types of data must be collected and entered into Portfolio Manager. The first type of data is some basic information on the physical characteristics of a property. This includes items such as building location, square footage, heating system fuel, quantity of buildings for multiple building properties, etc. This information only needs to be entered once unless the property undergoes major construction and/or a renovation. The second type of data needed is at least 12 months of recent utility data. Once all of the required data are entered, Portfolio Manager automatically analyzes the information and calculates a variety of useful metrics including energy use intensity (EUI), water use intensity (WUI), and ENERGY STAR benchmarking scores. In order to assist in the benchmarking process, a growing number of utility companies offer automatic utility data transfers into Portfolio Manager. When this feature is available, HUD highly encourages PHAs to utilize it, as it has the potential to significantly reduce the time burden and likelihood of data entry errors. When automatic digital data transfer is not possible, PHAs should consult their utility provider’s Web site to see if they offer downloads of historical data. In order to fully analyze a building, Portfolio Manager needs utility 4 See http://www.energystar.gov/sites/default/ files/buildings/tools/ DataTrends_Savings_20121002.pdf. E:\FR\FM\04OCN1.SGM 04OCN1 68452 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 192 / Tuesday, October 4, 2016 / Notices consumption for the whole building. HUD expects PHAs to submit whole building data where available. Metrics calculated with less than whole building data are not accepted by EPA for the purposes of Energy Star certification. When a property’s utilities are 100% PHA paid, PHAs should be able to collect and enter all of the required utility data. In properties where tenants pay some or all of the utility bills, PHAs should work with their local utility providers, as many utility providers offer digital data transfers containing whole building data including both owner-paid and tenant-paid accounts. Each utility provider will have unique requirements for releasing the data in order to protect tenant privacy. HUD recommends that PHAs pursue this option where available as it provides more complete and accurate data while minimizing the time burden. When utility companies are not able to provide data for tenant paid accounts, PHAs should collect a sample of tenant-paid utility data. mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES II. Proposed Information Collection Through this notice, HUD proposes that PHAs operating 250 or more public housing units under an Annual Contributions Contract (ACC) use the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager program to benchmark all properties no less than every three years and report the automatically generated metrics to HUD beginning no later than 2018. PHAs are encouraged to voluntarily submit benchmarking data to HUD on an annual basis. Although not required, PHAs operating less than 250 ACC units are encouraged to benchmark and submit the requested metrics. In the future, HUD may expand this collection to PHAs that operate fewer than 250 ACC units and are already required by State and/or local law to benchmark their buildings using whole-building data or for other programs run by the Office of Public and Indian Housing where appropriate. In addition, ACC units in buildings that have or will convert to 100% Project Based Vouchers (PBV) through the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) will also be required to benchmark. At this point, the Energy Star Score for Water is still under development. HUD will not require this data point until at least 120days after this feature is completed and HUD has notified PHAs as such. The next three-year submission after the notification shall include both energy and water data. HUD has identified the following tasks associated with the process for VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:01 Oct 03, 2016 Jkt 241001 obtaining and submitting Portfolio Manager scores. Year 1 1. Enter building data into ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. 2. Connect PHA account with the HUD account and share appropriate property information. 3. Compile and enter owner-paid utility data, where applicable. 4. Compile and enter tenant paid utility data, where applicable. 5. Report automatically generated metrics calculated by Portfolio Manager. Subsequent Years In subsequent years, PHAs will have less work to complete. The data required in step 1 will only need to be updated if the property underwent a major renovation including but not limited to an addition, demolition, or major change to the mechanical system (i.e.: Change in heating fuel, change to the domestic hot water system, etc.). Steps 3, 4, and 5 will need to be updated at the time of the data submission. The required metrics will be considered valid for three years. For example, an ENERGY STAR Score based on the 2016 reporting period would be accepted by HUD for the 2016, 2017, and 2018 reporting years. HUD is seeking feedback on the required submission parts and will finalize the schedule with the issuance of an Office of Public and Indian Housing Notice. Required Format PHAs will be required to enter data into ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager and submit to HUD the automatically generated metrics. HUD anticipates collecting the required data and metrics via a web-based portal, database, or other simplified digital format. In addition to submitting metrics, PHAs may be asked to link their account with the HUD account and share property information to enable further analysis. Once PHAs connect their accounts with the HUD account and share property information, there is no additional time burden on PHAs as the relevant data automatically flows between the accounts. Sampling Protocol In order for Portfolio Manager to analyze a building, PHAs will need to gather and enter utility data for the whole building. This includes both PHA-paid and tenant-paid accounts. PHAs should work with their local utility companies to determine if they are able to provide the PHA with digital PO 00000 Frm 00055 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 transfers of tenant paid accounts. Utility companies that offer this service generally have procedures in place to protect tenant privacy. If PHAs are not able to obtain complete tenant paid account data from the local utility company, or similar entity, PHAs shall collect a sample of tenant-paid utility data. If using a sample of tenant-paid accounts, PHAs must meet or exceed the minimum standards of the sampling protocol outlined below. As a reminder, metrics calculated with less than whole building data are not accepted by EPA for the purposes of ENERGY STAR certification. PHAs have the choice of selecting one of two sampling protocols from existing programs—(a) a robust sampling protocol, appropriate for use in financial estimates; and (b) a lighter sampling protocol, appropriate for general use, which is outlined for use in the Better Buildings Challenge (BBC). PHAs are encouraged to collect as much utility data as possible and to sample from a variety of housing unit sizes and types in order to ensure the accuracy and usefulness of the resulting metrics. In accordance with the BBC Multifamily Sampling Protocol, the minimum number of housing units for which tenant-paid utility data must be collected and included in the referenced metrics is based on the size of the property: Housing units in development 1–4 ........................................ 5–9 ........................................ 10–19 .................................... 21–29 .................................... 30–49 .................................... 50–74 .................................... 75–99 .................................... 100–149 ................................ 150–200 ................................ 201+ ...................................... Minimum sample size 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 At some point HUD may establish a different sampling standard for submittals for the purpose of assisting PHAs in establishment of utility allowances. If HUD decides to pursue that path, HUD will provide sufficient advance notice before changing the sampling standard. HUD will consider requests for additional time to submit benchmarking data from PHAs who experience unexpected delays in obtaining sufficient sample data from utility providers or otherwise encounter unforeseeable technical difficulties. Effective Date The utility benchmarking requirement described in this notice will apply no later than 2018. This will allow HUD E:\FR\FM\04OCN1.SGM 04OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 192 / Tuesday, October 4, 2016 / Notices and PHAs time to implement the protocol. HUD will alert owners of the effective date through an Office of Public and Indian Housing Notice, issued after OMB issues a Notice of Action approving this PRA collection. III. Information Collection Burden and Solicitation of Comment mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES A. Overview of Information Collection Title of Information Collection: Public Housing Energy Benchmarking. OMB Approval Number: New proposed collection. Type of Request: New proposed collection. Form Number: N/A. Description of the Need for the Information and Proposed Use: Please see Section II of this notice. Respondents: Public Housing Agencies and tenants of public housing. Estimated Number of Respondents: 3,089. Estimated Number of Responses (Buildings/Developments): 7,715. Average Hours per Response: 8.5. Total Estimated Burden Hours: 65,578 hours. HUD estimates that the burden requirements associated with these activities is approximately 8.5 hours per development for the first year and 15 minutes in subsequent years. The burden hours take into account another existing information collection covering the use of ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, ENERGY STAR Certification (OMB–2060–0347) by the Environmental Protection Agency. That collection allows for 5.25 hours per year per development for the input of utility consumption data into Portfolio Manager. The Department expects to participate in roundtable discussions with stakeholders on Energy Benchmarking during the comment period, which will provide additional opportunities for receiving feedback on the proposed requirements. B. Solicitation of Public Comment This notice is soliciting comments from members of the public and affected parties concerning the collection of information described in section A on the following: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) The accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (3) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:01 Oct 03, 2016 Jkt 241001 (4) Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond; including through the use of appropriate automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. HUD encourages interested parties to submit written comment in response to these questions. Authority: Section 3507 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. chapter 35. Dated: September 28, 2016. Merrie Nichols-Dixon, Deputy Director, Office of Policy, Programs and Legislative Initiatives. [FR Doc. 2016–23978 Filed 10–3–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210–67–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [17X LLUT030000 L17110000.PH0000 241A] Notice of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Advisory Committee Meeting Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: In accordance with the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (FACA), the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Advisory Committee (GSENMAC) will meet as indicated below. DATES: The GSENM MAC will meet Thursday, November 3 (10 a.m.–6 p.m.) and November 4, 2016, (8 a.m.–1 p.m.) in Kanab, Utah. ADDRESSES: The Committee will meet at the Bureau of Land Management Administrative Headquarters, located at 669 S. Highway 89A, Kanab, Utah. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Larry Crutchfield, Public Affairs Officer, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Bureau of Land Management, 669 South Highway 89A, Kanab, Utah, 84741; phone (435) 644– 1209. SUMMARY: The 15member GSENMAC was appointed by the Secretary of Interior on January 23, 2016, pursuant to the Monument Management Plan, the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA), and the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (FACA). As specified the Committee charter, the GSENMAC may be requested to: (1) SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: PO 00000 Frm 00056 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 68453 Gather and analyze information, conduct studies and field examinations, seek public input or ascertain facts to develop recommendations concerning the use and management of the Monument; (2) review programmatic documents including the annual Monument Manager’s Reports, and Monument Science Plans to provide recommendations on the achievement of the Management Plan objectives; (3) Compile monitoring data and assess and advise the DFO of the extent to which the Plan objectives are being met; (4) Make recommendations on Monument protocols and applicable planning projects to achieve the overall objectives are being met; (5) Review appropriate research proposals and make recommendations on project necessity and validity; (6) Make recommendations regarding allocation of research funds through review of research and project proposals as well as needs identified through the evaluation process; (7) Consult and make recommendations on issues such as protocols for specific projects, e.g., vegetation restoration methods or standards for excavation and curation of artifacts and objects; and/or (8) Prepare an annual report summarizing the Committee’s activities and accomplishments of the past year, and make recommendations for future needs and activities. Topics to be discussed by the GSENMAC during this meeting include the ongoing Livestock Grazing Management Plan Amendment and Associated Environmental Impact Statement (LGMPA/AEIS), GSENM division reports, future meeting dates and other matters as may reasonably come before the GSENMAC. The entire meeting is open to the public. Members of the public are welcome to address the Committee at 5 p.m., local time, on November 3, 2016; and at 12 p.m., local time, on November 4, 2016. Depending on the number of persons wishing to speak, a time limit could be established. Interested persons may make oral statements to the GSENMAC during this time or written statements may be submitted for the GSENMAC’s consideration. Written statements can be sent to: Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Attn.: Larry Crutchfield, 669 South Highway 89A, Kanab, Utah, 84741. Information to be distributed to the GSENMAC is requested 10 days prior to the start of the GSENMAC meeting. All meetings are open to the public; however, transportation, lodging, and E:\FR\FM\04OCN1.SGM 04OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 192 (Tuesday, October 4, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 68450-68453]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-23978]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT

[Docket No. FR-5916-N-17]


60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Energy 
Benchmarking of Public Housing

AGENCY: Office the Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing, 
HUD.

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: HUD is seeking approval from the Office of Management and 
Budget (OMB) for the information collection described below. In 
accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, HUD is requesting comment 
from all interested parties on the proposed collection of information. 
The purpose of this notice is to allow for 60 days of public comment.

DATES: Comments Due Date: December 5, 2016.

ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments regarding 
this proposal. Comments should refer to the proposal by name and/or OMB 
Control Number and should be sent to: Colette Pollard, Reports 
Management Officer, QDAM, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 
451 7th Street SW., Room 4176, Washington, DC 20410-5000; telephone 
202-402-3400 (this is not a toll-free number) or email

[[Page 68451]]

at Colette.Pollard@hud.gov for a copy of the proposed forms or other 
available information. Persons with hearing or speech impairments may 
access this number through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay 
Service at (800) 877-8339.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Arlette Mussington, Office of Policy, 
Programs and Legislative Initiatives, PIH, Department of Housing and 
Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., (L'Enfant Plaza, Room 2206), 
Washington, DC 20410; telephone 202-402-4109 (this is not a toll-free 
number). Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access this 
number via TTY by calling the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. 
Copies of available documents submitted to OMB may be obtained from Ms. 
Mussington.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

The President's Climate Action Plan

    The President's Climate Action Plan calls on Federal agencies to 
increase investments in energy productivity, eliminate energy waste, 
ramp up efficiency standards, and deploy the tools and technology 
needed to build a new energy economy. The residential building sector 
is responsible for approximately 21 percent of the nation's greenhouse 
gas emissions. Utility costs (energy and water) account for 
approximately 22 percent of public housing operating budgets and in 
similar proportion across the assisted housing sector. HUD spends an 
estimated $6.4 billion annually to cover the costs of utilities in its 
public and assisted housing programs.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ See https://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=afrfy13_egyeff.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    HUD is committed to creating energy-efficient, water-efficient, and 
healthy housing as part of a broader effort to foster the development 
of inclusive, sustainable, and resilient communities. Investments in 
energy and water-efficiency pay dividends by improving occupant 
comfort, reducing tenant turnover, stabilizing operating costs, 
alleviating taxpayer burden, preserving affordable housing, ensuring 
disaster resilience, and mitigating climate change.
    The Harvard Graduate School of Design in 2003 \2\ and the 
Government Accountability Office in 2008 \3\ strongly recommended that 
HUD require the practice of utility benchmarking across its housing 
portfolios in order to better manage energy and water consumption. 
Benchmarking is a valuable tool that compares a building's utility 
consumption pattern against similar buildings and helps owners measure 
and manage energy and water consumption across building portfolios. 
With utility benchmarking, HUD will better be able to analyze energy 
and water use patterns to identify and address underperforming 
buildings in order to reduce energy and water consumption while 
stabilizing and reducing utility costs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ See http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=DOC_9238.pdf.
    \3\ See http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-09-46.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Benchmarking buildings is considered an industry-standard best 
practice and although some obstacles remain, the process is rapidly 
becoming quicker, easier, and more automated. A growing number of 
municipal and state governments across the country are instituting 
benchmarking requirements to better track and analyze building 
performance. Most benchmarking requirements utilize the Environmental 
Protection Agency's (EPA) ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, which 
automatically calculates energy performance metrics including a 
benchmarking score for public housing properties. ENERGY STAR 
benchmarking scores range from 0-100, and properties that achieve a 
score of at least 75 points may be eligible for ENERGY STAR 
certification. It is anticipated that EPA's ENERGY STAR program will 
release a similar benchmark score for water consumption in 
approximately one year.
Benchmarking Requirements
    At this time, HUD is proposing limited requirements for utility 
benchmarking in order to balance the need to manage the public housing 
portfolio against the burden on Public Housing Agencies (PHAs) to adopt 
a new process. Many local benchmarking laws require benchmarking on an 
annual basis, however HUD is currently proposing benchmarking every 
three years. Benchmarking laws typically require property owners to 
utilize whole-building data, however HUD intends to accept sampled 
tenant-paid utility data where whole building data is not readily 
available. The three-year requirement will allow building owners to 
begin utility benchmarking while the market continues to build support, 
integration, and automation into this practice.
    HUD will aggregate the collected data and analyze the ranges in 
order to better understand the overall PHA portfolio. Overtime, HUD 
will use the benchmarking scores as well as other data and metrics from 
Portfolio Manager to measure whether energy and water efficiency is 
increasing, decreasing, or staying the same throughout the public 
housing portfolio. This information may help guide the development of 
new policy initiatives, financial incentives, and technical assistance 
for PHAs.

The Process and Benefits of Utility Benchmarking

    Utility benchmarking helps building owners better understand their 
buildings' energy and water performance. Analyzing buildings across a 
portfolio enables building owners to identify underperforming buildings 
in order to prioritize capital improvements and plan future budget 
needs. Based on an analysis of more than 35,000 buildings covered by 
newly established local energy benchmarking laws, EPA found an average 
energy use reduction of seven percent between 2008 and 2011 after 
benchmarking.\4\ In addition to PHA benefits, the sharing of utility 
benchmarking data will enable HUD to evaluate utility expenditures and 
offer better technical assistance.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ See http://www.energystar.gov/sites/default/files/buildings/tools/DataTrends_Savings_20121002.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In order to benchmark a building, two types of data must be 
collected and entered into Portfolio Manager. The first type of data is 
some basic information on the physical characteristics of a property. 
This includes items such as building location, square footage, heating 
system fuel, quantity of buildings for multiple building properties, 
etc. This information only needs to be entered once unless the property 
undergoes major construction and/or a renovation. The second type of 
data needed is at least 12 months of recent utility data. Once all of 
the required data are entered, Portfolio Manager automatically analyzes 
the information and calculates a variety of useful metrics including 
energy use intensity (EUI), water use intensity (WUI), and ENERGY STAR 
benchmarking scores.
    In order to assist in the benchmarking process, a growing number of 
utility companies offer automatic utility data transfers into Portfolio 
Manager. When this feature is available, HUD highly encourages PHAs to 
utilize it, as it has the potential to significantly reduce the time 
burden and likelihood of data entry errors. When automatic digital data 
transfer is not possible, PHAs should consult their utility provider's 
Web site to see if they offer downloads of historical data.
    In order to fully analyze a building, Portfolio Manager needs 
utility

[[Page 68452]]

consumption for the whole building. HUD expects PHAs to submit whole 
building data where available. Metrics calculated with less than whole 
building data are not accepted by EPA for the purposes of Energy Star 
certification.
    When a property's utilities are 100% PHA paid, PHAs should be able 
to collect and enter all of the required utility data. In properties 
where tenants pay some or all of the utility bills, PHAs should work 
with their local utility providers, as many utility providers offer 
digital data transfers containing whole building data including both 
owner-paid and tenant-paid accounts. Each utility provider will have 
unique requirements for releasing the data in order to protect tenant 
privacy. HUD recommends that PHAs pursue this option where available as 
it provides more complete and accurate data while minimizing the time 
burden. When utility companies are not able to provide data for tenant 
paid accounts, PHAs should collect a sample of tenant-paid utility 
data.

II. Proposed Information Collection

    Through this notice, HUD proposes that PHAs operating 250 or more 
public housing units under an Annual Contributions Contract (ACC) use 
the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager program to benchmark all properties 
no less than every three years and report the automatically generated 
metrics to HUD beginning no later than 2018. PHAs are encouraged to 
voluntarily submit benchmarking data to HUD on an annual basis. 
Although not required, PHAs operating less than 250 ACC units are 
encouraged to benchmark and submit the requested metrics. In the 
future, HUD may expand this collection to PHAs that operate fewer than 
250 ACC units and are already required by State and/or local law to 
benchmark their buildings using whole-building data or for other 
programs run by the Office of Public and Indian Housing where 
appropriate. In addition, ACC units in buildings that have or will 
convert to 100% Project Based Vouchers (PBV) through the Rental 
Assistance Demonstration (RAD) will also be required to benchmark. At 
this point, the Energy Star Score for Water is still under development. 
HUD will not require this data point until at least 120-days after this 
feature is completed and HUD has notified PHAs as such. The next three-
year submission after the notification shall include both energy and 
water data.
    HUD has identified the following tasks associated with the process 
for obtaining and submitting Portfolio Manager scores.

Year 1

    1. Enter building data into ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.
    2. Connect PHA account with the HUD account and share appropriate 
property information.
    3. Compile and enter owner-paid utility data, where applicable.
    4. Compile and enter tenant paid utility data, where applicable.
    5. Report automatically generated metrics calculated by Portfolio 
Manager.

Subsequent Years

    In subsequent years, PHAs will have less work to complete. The data 
required in step 1 will only need to be updated if the property 
underwent a major renovation including but not limited to an addition, 
demolition, or major change to the mechanical system (i.e.: Change in 
heating fuel, change to the domestic hot water system, etc.). Steps 3, 
4, and 5 will need to be updated at the time of the data submission.
    The required metrics will be considered valid for three years. For 
example, an ENERGY STAR Score based on the 2016 reporting period would 
be accepted by HUD for the 2016, 2017, and 2018 reporting years.
    HUD is seeking feedback on the required submission parts and will 
finalize the schedule with the issuance of an Office of Public and 
Indian Housing Notice.
Required Format
    PHAs will be required to enter data into ENERGY STAR Portfolio 
Manager and submit to HUD the automatically generated metrics. HUD 
anticipates collecting the required data and metrics via a web-based 
portal, database, or other simplified digital format. In addition to 
submitting metrics, PHAs may be asked to link their account with the 
HUD account and share property information to enable further analysis. 
Once PHAs connect their accounts with the HUD account and share 
property information, there is no additional time burden on PHAs as the 
relevant data automatically flows between the accounts.
Sampling Protocol
    In order for Portfolio Manager to analyze a building, PHAs will 
need to gather and enter utility data for the whole building. This 
includes both PHA-paid and tenant-paid accounts. PHAs should work with 
their local utility companies to determine if they are able to provide 
the PHA with digital transfers of tenant paid accounts. Utility 
companies that offer this service generally have procedures in place to 
protect tenant privacy. If PHAs are not able to obtain complete tenant 
paid account data from the local utility company, or similar entity, 
PHAs shall collect a sample of tenant-paid utility data. If using a 
sample of tenant-paid accounts, PHAs must meet or exceed the minimum 
standards of the sampling protocol outlined below. As a reminder, 
metrics calculated with less than whole building data are not accepted 
by EPA for the purposes of ENERGY STAR certification.
    PHAs have the choice of selecting one of two sampling protocols 
from existing programs--(a) a robust sampling protocol, appropriate for 
use in financial estimates; and (b) a lighter sampling protocol, 
appropriate for general use, which is outlined for use in the Better 
Buildings Challenge (BBC). PHAs are encouraged to collect as much 
utility data as possible and to sample from a variety of housing unit 
sizes and types in order to ensure the accuracy and usefulness of the 
resulting metrics.
    In accordance with the BBC Multifamily Sampling Protocol, the 
minimum number of housing units for which tenant-paid utility data must 
be collected and included in the referenced metrics is based on the 
size of the property:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                          Minimum sample
              Housing units in development                     size
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-4.....................................................               1
5-9.....................................................               2
10-19...................................................               3
21-29...................................................               4
30-49...................................................               5
50-74...................................................               6
75-99...................................................               7
100-149.................................................               8
150-200.................................................               9
201+....................................................              10
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    At some point HUD may establish a different sampling standard for 
submittals for the purpose of assisting PHAs in establishment of 
utility allowances. If HUD decides to pursue that path, HUD will 
provide sufficient advance notice before changing the sampling 
standard. HUD will consider requests for additional time to submit 
benchmarking data from PHAs who experience unexpected delays in 
obtaining sufficient sample data from utility providers or otherwise 
encounter unforeseeable technical difficulties.

Effective Date

    The utility benchmarking requirement described in this notice will 
apply no later than 2018. This will allow HUD

[[Page 68453]]

and PHAs time to implement the protocol. HUD will alert owners of the 
effective date through an Office of Public and Indian Housing Notice, 
issued after OMB issues a Notice of Action approving this PRA 
collection.

III. Information Collection Burden and Solicitation of Comment

A. Overview of Information Collection

    Title of Information Collection: Public Housing Energy 
Benchmarking.
    OMB Approval Number: New proposed collection.
    Type of Request: New proposed collection.
    Form Number: N/A.
    Description of the Need for the Information and Proposed Use: 
Please see Section II of this notice.
    Respondents: Public Housing Agencies and tenants of public housing.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 3,089.
    Estimated Number of Responses (Buildings/Developments): 7,715.
    Average Hours per Response: 8.5.
    Total Estimated Burden Hours: 65,578 hours.
    HUD estimates that the burden requirements associated with these 
activities is approximately 8.5 hours per development for the first 
year and 15 minutes in subsequent years. The burden hours take into 
account another existing information collection covering the use of 
ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, ENERGY STAR Certification (OMB-2060-
0347) by the Environmental Protection Agency. That collection allows 
for 5.25 hours per year per development for the input of utility 
consumption data into Portfolio Manager.
    The Department expects to participate in roundtable discussions 
with stakeholders on Energy Benchmarking during the comment period, 
which will provide additional opportunities for receiving feedback on 
the proposed requirements.

B. Solicitation of Public Comment

    This notice is soliciting comments from members of the public and 
affected parties concerning the collection of information described in 
section A on the following:
    (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for 
the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including 
whether the information will have practical utility;
    (2) The accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the 
proposed collection of information;
    (3) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the 
information to be collected; and
    (4) Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on 
those who are to respond; including through the use of appropriate 
automated collection techniques or other forms of information 
technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.
    HUD encourages interested parties to submit written comment in 
response to these questions.

    Authority: Section 3507 of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 
44 U.S.C. chapter 35.

    Dated: September 28, 2016.
Merrie Nichols-Dixon,
Deputy Director, Office of Policy, Programs and Legislative 
Initiatives.
[FR Doc. 2016-23978 Filed 10-3-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4210-67-P