60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Energy Benchmarking, 68446-68450 [2016-23979]

Download as PDF 68446 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 192 / Tuesday, October 4, 2016 / Notices Overview of This Information Collection (1) Type of Information Collection: Revision of a Currently Approved Collection. (2) Title of the Form/Collection: Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status. (3) Agency form number, if any, and the applicable component of the DHS sponsoring the collection: I–829; USCIS. (4) Affected public who will be asked or required to respond, as well as a brief abstract: Primary: Individuals or households. Alien entrepreneurs admitted to the United States under section 203(b)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) are required to petition for removal of the conditional residence status imposed on them and their accompanying spouse and children, within a 90-day period before the second anniversary of their conditional residence under section 216A of the INA. (5) An estimate of the total number of respondents and the amount of time estimated for an average respondent to respond: The estimated total number of respondents for the information collection I–829 is 3,829 and the estimated hour burden per response is 3 hours. (6) An estimate of the total public burden (in hours) associated with the collection: The total estimated annual hour burden associated with this collection is 15,967 hours. (7) An estimate of the total public burden (in cost) associated with the collection: The estimated total annual cost burden associated with this collection of information is 469,053. Dated: September 27, 2016. Samantha Deshommes, Chief, Regulatory Coordination Division, Office of Policy and Strategy, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security. [FR Doc. 2016–23981 Filed 10–3–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111–97–P DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES [Docket No. FR–5913–N–27] 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Energy Benchmarking Office of the Assistant Secretary for Housing—Federal Housing Commissioner, HUD. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: HUD is seeking approval from the Office of Management and Budget SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:01 Oct 03, 2016 Jkt 241001 (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: Comment Due Date: December 5, 2016. Interested persons are invited to submit comments regarding this proposal. Comments should refer to the proposal by name 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 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. Electronic Submission of Comments. Interested persons may submit comments electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov. HUD strongly encourages commenters to submit comments electronically. Electronic submission of comments allows the commenter maximum time to prepare and submit a comment, ensures timely receipt by HUD, and enables HUD to make them immediately available to the public. Comments submitted electronically through the www.regulations.gov Web site can be viewed by other commenters and interested members of the public. Commenters should follow the instructions provided on that site to submit comments electronically. ADDRESSES: Note: To receive consideration as public comments, comments must be submitted through one of the two methods specified above. Again, all submissions must refer to the docket number and title of the notice. No Facsimile Comments. Facsimile (fax) comments are not acceptable. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stan Houle, Office of Multifamily Housing Programs, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 6182, Washington, DC 20410, telephone 202–708–2572. (This is not a toll-free number.) Persons with hearing or speech impairments may access these numbers through TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at 800– 877–8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: PO 00000 Frm 00049 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 I. Background The President’s Climate Action Plan The President’s Climate Action Plan calls on Federal agencies to rapidly 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 fully 21 percent of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. Utility costs (energy and water) account for around 22 percent of public housing operating budgets and a similar share in 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-efficiency and water-efficiency pay dividends by improving occupant comfort, stabilizing operating costs, alleviating taxpayer burden, preserving affordable housing, ensuring disaster resilience, and mitigating climate change. As such, the Office of Multifamily Housing Programs in HUD’s Office of Housing has taken several steps to encourage greater energy and water efficiency in multifamily housing, including: • Updating and standardizing the utility allowance methodology for assisted properties that must submit annual documentation of utility allowances (estimated 70 percent of portfolio); 2 (See Section ‘‘Other PRA Collections that Impact this Submission’’ for more information on how other previously approved PRA collections relate to Energy Benchmarking). • Offering incentives to multifamily owners and management agents who have joined the Better Buildings Challenge, set a goal of reducing energy and/or water use by 20 percent within 10 years, and established themselves as leaders in the field with respect to energy and/or water efficiency; 3 • Providing access to capital to make energy improvements by implementing changes to the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) underwriting standards in the Multifamily Accelerated Processing Guide (MAP Guide) to allow greater loan proceeds 1 See https://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/ documents/huddoc?id=afrfy13_egyeff.pdf. 2 See http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/ huddoc?id=15-04hsgn.pdf. 3 See https://www4.eere.energy.gov/challenge/ home. E:\FR\FM\04OCN1.SGM 04OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 192 / Tuesday, October 4, 2016 / Notices mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES from standard offerings, supporting products such as the Fannie Mae Green Preservation Plus loan, and affirming how owners may use reserve for replacement funds to make energy and/or water improvements; 4 (See Section ‘‘Other PRA Collections that Impact this Submission’’ for more information on how other previously approved PRA collections relate to Energy Benchmarking.) • Lowering annual multifamily mortgage insurance premiums for energy-efficient properties (those committed to achieving an industryrecognized green building standard and to maintaining energy performance in the top 25 percent of multifamily buildings nationwide); • Developing and implementing a standardized Capital Needs Assessment suite of online tools (CNA e-Tool) available (later in 2016) for free to assist borrowers with submitting standard information to HUD, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and others; 5 • Developing a ‘‘pay for success’’ demonstration program under which the Department will execute budget-neutral, performance-based agreements that result in a reduction in energy or water costs. Recent legislation authorized HUD to implement this pilot in up to 20,000 units of multifamily buildings participating in the Sec. 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance, Sec. 202 and Sec. 811 programs; and • Publishing guidance on utilizing Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing with HUD-assisted and FHAinsured properties. Accounting for Energy and Water Usage While HUD has a vested interest in eliminating energy and water waste in the assisted housing stock and stabilizing operating costs in both the insured and assisted housing stocks, to ensure that taxpayer investments in multifamily housing are viable for the long-term, the Office of Multifamily Housing Programs is currently unable to effectively analyze the portfolio-wide energy and water use patterns, improvement potential, and investment needs of properties in the assisted and insured portfolios. Though the Department currently collects utility cost data through its utility allowance and annual project financial statement requirements, the collection of information on utility consumption associated with those costs has been limited to small subsets of the portfolio, 4 See http://www.fanniemae.com/portal/about-us/ media/corporate-news/2014/6117.html. 5 See Form HUD–9001a–ORCF at http:// portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_ offices/administration/hudclips/forms/hud9. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:01 Oct 03, 2016 Jkt 241001 such as properties participating in the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge. In 2003 and 2008, the Harvard Graduate School of Design 6 and the Government Accountability Office,7 respectively, strongly recommended that HUD require the practice of utility benchmarking across its housing portfolios. Utility benchmarking involves tracking the utility consumption of a development on an on-going basis, calculating the energy and water efficiency of the development, and comparing its efficiency to similar developments. It is a valuable tool in the strategic management of building portfolios. As such, a growing number of municipal and state governments across the country are instituting utility benchmarking requirements across the country so that government policymakers, funding providers, and building owners alike can make datadriven decisions. Though obstacles remain, utility benchmarking is rapidly becoming quicker, easier, more automated, and more integrated as it becomes an industry-standard best practice. In September 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed a new feature for its free, web-based tool called ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, which allows users to calculate an energy-efficiency rating or ‘‘benchmarking score’’ for most multifamily developments. Benchmarking scores developed through ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager are officially known as ENERGY STAR Scores. These scores are available for multifamily housing properties of 21 units or more. A score of 50 indicates energy performance consistent with the national median, while 100 represents a top performer, and a score of at least 75 may make buildings eligible for ENERGY STAR certification.8 The EPA will release a similar benchmark score for water usage in approximately a year. With these advancements, building owners across the country now have access to a free tool for utility benchmarking that can be 6 See http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/ huddoc?id=DOC_9238.pdf. 7 See http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-09-46. 8 See http://www.energystar.gov/buildings/ facility-owners-and-managers/existing-buildings/ use-portfolio-manager. See also former HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan’s July 17, 2014, letter to Property Owners and Operators participating in HUD programs encouraging the use of EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager at http:// portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/ huddoc?id=SOHUDSignedLetterPHAsMFH.pdf. PO 00000 Frm 00050 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 68447 used without the need to hire a building professional. A Deeper Look at Utility Benchmarking Utility benchmarking helps building owners to understand their buildings’ energy and water performance, allowing them to detect malfunctioning equipment and billing errors, prioritize operational and capital improvements, verify the return on those investments, and plan future budget needs. Indeed, the practice of utility benchmarking can lead to significant improvements in building performance. Based on 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 2011.9 In addition to potential benefits to building owners, the sharing of utility benchmarking data allows government policymakers and funding providers (in this case, HUD acts as both) to account for utility expenditures, plan future budget needs, develop efficiency incentive programs, offer targeted technical assistance, and verify the return on these investments. For over 30 years, HUD has been promoting energyand water-efficiency work in the public and assisted housing stocks through financial incentives, technical assistance, and pledge programs. However, portfolio-wide utility benchmarking and data sharing will significantly enhance HUD’s ability to use robust information to direct those financial incentives, technical assistance, and pledge programs to the areas of greatest need, opportunity, and success. Utility consumption and cost tracking by a building owner is the first step of utility benchmarking, and multiple approaches to this are available. The most direct method is to request wholebuilding utility data directly from the utility provider(s), covering the sum of owner-paid and tenant-paid accounts. When that is not possible, building owners may collect utility data for owner-paid accounts simply by compiling the information from their electronic or paper utility bills into a spreadsheet or web-based tool like ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. Some utility providers offer easy downloads of this information directly from their Web sites. Building owners may then collect utility data for tenantpaid accounts either by requesting the information directly from tenants in accordance with existing lease 9 See http://www.energystar.gov/sites/default/ files/buildings/tools/DataTrends_Savings_ 20121002.pdf. E:\FR\FM\04OCN1.SGM 04OCN1 mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES 68448 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 192 / Tuesday, October 4, 2016 / Notices provisions, or, in some cases, by submitting individual tenant-data release forms to the utility provider. Once received, this utility data should be added to the spreadsheet or webbased tool to offer a complete picture of the whole-building utility consumption and cost. If using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager (OMB 2060–0347), as is required by this information collection request, the software will then automatically calculate a variety of useful metrics, such as the Site and Source Energy Use Intensity (EUI), Site Water Use Intensity (WUI), ENERGY STAR Score for Energy, and ENERGY STAR Score for Water. With this information, building owners are empowered to make more strategic decisions. Cities across the country have enacted utility benchmarking and data sharing ordinances that ask commercial and multifamily building owners to track and disclose energy and/or water usage. Each program has unique building size requirements and different disclosure procedures. At this time and with this notice, HUD is proposing limited requirements for utility benchmarking and data sharing, in order to balance the need to institute contemporary best practices and strategically manage the housing portfolio with the burden presented to building owners of adopting a new reporting requirement. Whereas an increasing number of state and local laws require utility benchmarking on an annual basis, HUD is proposing ‘‘spotcheck’’ utility benchmarking on a less frequent basis. And whereas state and local benchmarking laws generally require utility benchmarking based on whole-building data, HUD intends to accept metrics developed with sampled tenant-paid utility data when whole building data are not available. Together, this will allow building owners to begin practicing utility benchmarking while the market continues to build support for more integration and automation of this best practice. Over time, the Department will use the scores, along with EUI and WUI metrics, to see if energy and water efficiency is increasing, decreasing, or staying the same in the multifamily portfolio. The Office of Multifamily Housing Programs will use the information to assess energy and/or water efficiency needs and opportunities in the portfolio. Benchmarking data may also be used to inform the development of new policy initiatives, financial incentives, technical assistance, and pledge programs. Energy benchmarking will VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:01 Oct 03, 2016 Jkt 241001 become more valuable over time as multiple years of energy consumption data are available. II. Proposed Information Collection To build a foundation of awareness and data concerning the current building performance of the multifamily building stock, as well as to inform and spur energy- and water-efficiency investments in multifamily housing, HUD proposes, through this notice, to require owners of covered property types to provide HUD’s Office of Multifamily Housing Programs with the following utility consumption metrics for each property when completing several types of property transactions: Site and Source Energy Use Intensities (EUI), Site Water Use Intensity (WUI), and the ENERGY STAR Score for Energy, and—when available from EPA—the Energy Star Score for Water. The Portfolio Manager software—which must be used to meet HUD benchmarking requirements—calculates and reports these metrics in a standardized report format. This report may also include property identifiers (such as address and HUD contract number), building characteristics and other summary-level data underlying the benchmarking score calculations. The ENERGY STAR Score for Water is currently pending release by EPA, and so it will not be required until it is available. HUD will provide at least 90 days advance notice before a requirement to submit water efficiency data goes into effect. Site EUI represents a property’s energy use per square foot of gross floor area, expressed in thousand British thermal units per square foot (kBTU/ ft 2), a standardized measure of thermal power consumption regardless of fuel source. Source EUI includes an adjustment to reflect how the energy was produced and transmitted, and this metric is calculated by ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager and used as the basis for the ENERGY SSTAR Score for Energy. Site WUI represents a property’s water use per square foot of gross floor area, expressed in gallons per square foot (gal/ft 2). The Energy Star Score for Energy and Water each serve as a ranking of a property’s Source EUI and Site WUI, respectively, compared to similar properties. There are a few exceptions to the stated information collection requirements. Only properties that have been in existence for at least 12 months and that include 21 housing units or more are eligible to receive an Energy Star Score for Energy or Water, and so these two metrics will not be required for ineligible properties. Properties with PO 00000 Frm 00051 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 less than 21 units are encouraged to submit EUI and WUI data, but will not be required to submit this analysis to HUD. Additionally, for the purposes of this basic information collection effort, the Office of Multifamily Housing Programs will accept metrics calculated using either whole building data or a combination of whole owner-paid utility data and sampled tenant-paid utility data. It is important to understand, however, that metrics calculated with less than whole building data are not accepted by EPA for the purposes of Energy Star certification. If choosing to use sampled tenant-paid utility data, owners must meet or exceed the standards outlined in this document. Finally, for the Department’s purposes, the required metrics will be considered valid for three years beyond the 12-month period upon which they are based. For example, an ENERGY STAR Score based on 2015 calendaryear utility data and generated in 2016 will be accepted by HUD for any required reporting under this notice in 2016, 2017, and 2018. An ENERGY STAR Score based on 2013 calendaryear data and generated in 2016 will be accepted by HUD for any required reporting under this notice in 2016, but not in 2017. At this point, the owner would need to provide more recent data. The frequency is intended to align benchmarking with information collection efforts undertaken by HUDassisted properties in preparing their utility allowance. Covered property types include: • Section 202 Project Rental Assistance Contracts (PRAC),10 • Section 811 PRAC and Project Rental Assistance (PRA) contracts,11 • Section 202/162 Project Assistance Contracts (PAC),12 • Section 202 Senior Preservation Rental Assistance Contracts (SPRAC),13 10 Under HUD’s regulations for the Section 202 and Section 811 programs at 24 CFR 891.400(d)(2) Owners are required to submit ‘‘statements regarding project operation, financial conditions and occupancy as HUD may require to administer the PRAC and to monitor project operations 11 Id. 12 Under HUD regulations for the Section 202 PAC program at 24 CFR 891.740(d), HUD may require owners to submit other statements regarding project operations, financial conditions, and occupancy, as HUD may require to administer the contracts and monitor project operations. 13 In the SPRAC contract between HUD and the owner, Section 2.11 Financial Requirements subsection (a)(ii) provides that the owner must submit to the contract administrator other statements as to project operations, financial conditions, and occupancy as HUD may require pertinent to the administration of the SPRAC and monitoring of project operations. E:\FR\FM\04OCN1.SGM 04OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 192 / Tuesday, October 4, 2016 / Notices • Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contracts,14 • Multifamily Housing properties insured under Sections 223(a)(7), 223(f), 221(d)(3), 221(d)(4), 220, 231, 236, and 241(a)).15 HUD will evaluate properties insured under the FHA Risk Share programs— Section 542(b): Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Small Building Risk Share, and Section 542(c): Housing Finance Agencies—to determine feasibility and timeframes for applying energy benchmarking requirements to those properties in the future. Owners of covered properties are encouraged to voluntarily submit water and energy benchmarking data to HUD on an annual basis. HUD will require that owners submit benchmarking information on the following schedule, subject to revision: • For HUD-assisted properties with a utility allowance, at the time of a triennial utility allowance baseline calculation; • For HUD-assisted properties where there is no utility allowance, every third year at the time of financial statement submission; • Prior to issuance of new FHA mortgage insurance under Sections 223(a)(7), 223(f), and 241(a)); • With a Capital Needs Assessment submission required by the Office of Asset Management and Portfolio Oversight in HUD’s Office of Multifamily Housing Programs on a 10year cycle; • With a Capital Needs Assessment submission required as part of any enforcement action. HUD is seeking feedback on the required submission points and will finalize the schedule with the issuance of an Office of Housing Notice. Note that these submission requirements are a minimum schedule and do not mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES 14 Under HUD’s Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA) program, owners must submit an analysis of the project’s utility allowances in connection with annual rent adjustments and ‘‘. . . provide to HUD on an annual basis, such financial information as required by HUD . . .’’. See HUD regulations at 24 CFR 880.610, (applied to parts 881 and 883 by cross-reference), 24 CFR 884.220, 24 CFR 886.126, 24 CFR 891.645, and 24 CFR part 5 Subpart H. 15 Under HUD’s regulations at 24 CFR 200.78, insured properties ‘‘shall provide cost effective energy conservation in accordance with requirements established by’’ HUD. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:01 Oct 03, 2016 Jkt 241001 supersede more frequent reporting required for properties participating in certain other Multifamily Housing programs, such as the Better Buildings Challenge, FHA green buildings financing, or Multifamily PACE. Required Format As noted above, owners seeking a covered property transaction will be required to enter data into ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager and electronically submit to HUD the referenced metrics created by the free web tool. ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager has the ability to automatically generate reports from user data and offers a variety of standard formats. Prior to the requirements’ effective date, HUD will specify a machine-readable report format in Portfolio Manager that HUD owners must use in preparing their benchmarking submissions. The format of the report may be modified over time but content will remain consistent with the scope of this Notice. Requirements for Underlying Utility Data Use of whole building data, including owner-paid utilities, plus all tenant paid utilities (even if aggregated), is highly preferable when completing utility benchmarking analysis, as it will give the most accurate snapshot of a building’s performance. However, to calculate the referenced metrics in Portfolio Manager, some owners may need to or choose to use a combination of whole owner-paid utility data and a sample of tenant-paid utility data as an alternative to using all of the above. Please be reminded that metrics calculated with less than whole building data are not accepted by EPA for the purposes of ENERGY STAR certification. If choosing to use sampled tenant-paid utility data, owners must meet or exceed the minimum sampling standards associated with existing Office of Multifamily Housing Programs’ utility data reporting requirements (see table of related PRA collections below). Accepting the sampling already in use by anticipated respondents will significantly minimize the additional administrative burden benchmarking requirements impose on those respondents. When completed in conjunction with a HUD utility allowance baseline PO 00000 Frm 00052 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 68449 analysis, the benchmarking analysis should generally include (or exceed) the number of units sampled for the utility allowance (see Notice H 2015–14 16). In other instances, the Department will accept analysis using sampled tenant data that meets or exceeds the lighter sampling protocol adopted by the Better Buildings Challenge.17 HUD may establish a different standard for submittals associated with Capital Needs Assessments (CNA) or FHA green building financing programs. In all cases, owners are encouraged to collect as much utility data as possible and to sample from a variety of housing unit sizes and types within each development in order to improve the accuracy and usefulness of the resultant metrics. Owners must certify that the submitted Portfolio Manager data meets or exceeds the required minimum sample. HUD will consider requests for additional time to submit benchmarking data from owners who experience unexpected delays in obtaining sufficient sample data from utility providers or encounter unforeseeable technical difficulties. Other PRA Collections That Impact This Submission The Department has identified eight discrete tasks associated with the process for obtaining and submitting Portfolio Manager scores, which are listed in the matrix below. Based on a review of other Paperwork Reduction Act submissions, the Department believes that the PRA requirements for seven of those eight tasks are addressed in other submissions, also identified in the matrix below. Burden hours calculated for the proposed Information Collection reflect only the time associated with generating a report in Portfolio Manager and submission to HUD. While the Department recognizes that respondents may spend significant time on preparatory activities in order to submit the data requested under this collection, the burden hours for those tasks are already accounted for under other approved collections. 16 https://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/ huddoc?id=15-04hsgn.pdf. 17 See Appendix C of the BBC Data Tracking Manual. www.hudexchange.info/programs/utilitybenchmarking. E:\FR\FM\04OCN1.SGM 04OCN1 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

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 192 (Tuesday, October 4, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 68446-68450]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-23979]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT

[Docket No. FR-5913-N-27]


60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Energy 
Benchmarking

AGENCY: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Housing--Federal Housing 
Commissioner, HUD.

ACTION: Notice.

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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: Comment 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 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 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.
    Electronic Submission of Comments. Interested persons may submit 
comments electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at 
www.regulations.gov. HUD strongly encourages commenters to submit 
comments electronically. Electronic submission of comments allows the 
commenter maximum time to prepare and submit a comment, ensures timely 
receipt by HUD, and enables HUD to make them immediately available to 
the public. Comments submitted electronically through the 
www.regulations.gov Web site can be viewed by other commenters and 
interested members of the public. Commenters should follow the 
instructions provided on that site to submit comments electronically.

    Note: To receive consideration as public comments, comments must 
be submitted through one of the two methods specified above. Again, 
all submissions must refer to the docket number and title of the 
notice.

    No Facsimile Comments. Facsimile (fax) comments are not acceptable.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stan Houle, Office of Multifamily 
Housing Programs, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th 
Street SW., Room 6182, Washington, DC 20410, telephone 202-708-2572. 
(This is not a toll-free number.) Persons with hearing or speech 
impairments may access these numbers through TTY by calling the toll-
free Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Background

The President's Climate Action Plan

    The President's Climate Action Plan calls on Federal agencies to 
rapidly 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 fully 21 percent of the nation's 
greenhouse gas emissions. Utility costs (energy and water) account for 
around 22 percent of public housing operating budgets and a similar 
share in 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\
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    \1\ See https://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=afrfy13_egyeff.pdf.
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    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-efficiency and water-efficiency pay dividends by improving 
occupant comfort, stabilizing operating costs, alleviating taxpayer 
burden, preserving affordable housing, ensuring disaster resilience, 
and mitigating climate change. As such, the Office of Multifamily 
Housing Programs in HUD's Office of Housing has taken several steps to 
encourage greater energy and water efficiency in multifamily housing, 
including:
     Updating and standardizing the utility allowance 
methodology for assisted properties that must submit annual 
documentation of utility allowances (estimated 70 percent of 
portfolio); \2\ (See Section ``Other PRA Collections that Impact this 
Submission'' for more information on how other previously approved PRA 
collections relate to Energy Benchmarking).
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    \2\ See http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=15-04hsgn.pdf.
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     Offering incentives to multifamily owners and management 
agents who have joined the Better Buildings Challenge, set a goal of 
reducing energy and/or water use by 20 percent within 10 years, and 
established themselves as leaders in the field with respect to energy 
and/or water efficiency; \3\
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    \3\ See https://www4.eere.energy.gov/challenge/home.
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     Providing access to capital to make energy improvements by 
implementing changes to the Federal Housing Administration's (FHA) 
underwriting standards in the Multifamily Accelerated Processing Guide 
(MAP Guide) to allow greater loan proceeds

[[Page 68447]]

from standard offerings, supporting products such as the Fannie Mae 
Green Preservation Plus loan, and affirming how owners may use reserve 
for replacement funds to make energy and/or water improvements; \4\ 
(See Section ``Other PRA Collections that Impact this Submission'' for 
more information on how other previously approved PRA collections 
relate to Energy Benchmarking.)
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    \4\ See http://www.fanniemae.com/portal/about-us/media/corporate-news/2014/6117.html.
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     Lowering annual multifamily mortgage insurance premiums 
for energy-efficient properties (those committed to achieving an 
industry-recognized green building standard and to maintaining energy 
performance in the top 25 percent of multifamily buildings nationwide);
     Developing and implementing a standardized Capital Needs 
Assessment suite of online tools (CNA e-Tool) available (later in 2016) 
for free to assist borrowers with submitting standard information to 
HUD, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and others; \5\
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    \5\ See Form HUD-9001a-ORCF at http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/administration/hudclips/forms/hud9.
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     Developing a ``pay for success'' demonstration program 
under which the Department will execute budget-neutral, performance-
based agreements that result in a reduction in energy or water costs. 
Recent legislation authorized HUD to implement this pilot in up to 
20,000 units of multifamily buildings participating in the Sec. 8 
Project-Based Rental Assistance, Sec. 202 and Sec. 811 programs; and
     Publishing guidance on utilizing Property Assessed Clean 
Energy (PACE) financing with HUD-assisted and FHA-insured properties.

Accounting for Energy and Water Usage

    While HUD has a vested interest in eliminating energy and water 
waste in the assisted housing stock and stabilizing operating costs in 
both the insured and assisted housing stocks, to ensure that taxpayer 
investments in multifamily housing are viable for the long-term, the 
Office of Multifamily Housing Programs is currently unable to 
effectively analyze the portfolio-wide energy and water use patterns, 
improvement potential, and investment needs of properties in the 
assisted and insured portfolios. Though the Department currently 
collects utility cost data through its utility allowance and annual 
project financial statement requirements, the collection of information 
on utility consumption associated with those costs has been limited to 
small subsets of the portfolio, such as properties participating in the 
Department of Energy's Better Buildings Challenge.
    In 2003 and 2008, the Harvard Graduate School of Design \6\ and the 
Government Accountability Office,\7\ respectively, strongly recommended 
that HUD require the practice of utility benchmarking across its 
housing portfolios. Utility benchmarking involves tracking the utility 
consumption of a development on an on-going basis, calculating the 
energy and water efficiency of the development, and comparing its 
efficiency to similar developments. It is a valuable tool in the 
strategic management of building portfolios. As such, a growing number 
of municipal and state governments across the country are instituting 
utility benchmarking requirements across the country so that government 
policymakers, funding providers, and building owners alike can make 
data-driven decisions.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ See http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=DOC_9238.pdf.
    \7\ See http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-09-46.
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    Though obstacles remain, utility benchmarking is rapidly becoming 
quicker, easier, more automated, and more integrated as it becomes an 
industry-standard best practice. In September 2014, the U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed a new feature for its 
free, web-based tool called ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, which allows 
users to calculate an energy-efficiency rating or ``benchmarking 
score'' for most multifamily developments. Benchmarking scores 
developed through ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager are officially known as 
ENERGY STAR Scores. These scores are available for multifamily housing 
properties of 21 units or more. A score of 50 indicates energy 
performance consistent with the national median, while 100 represents a 
top performer, and a score of at least 75 may make buildings eligible 
for ENERGY STAR certification.\8\ The EPA will release a similar 
benchmark score for water usage in approximately a year. With these 
advancements, building owners across the country now have access to a 
free tool for utility benchmarking that can be used without the need to 
hire a building professional.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \8\ See http://www.energystar.gov/buildings/facility-owners-and-managers/existing-buildings/use-portfolio-manager. See also former 
HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan's July 17, 2014, letter to Property 
Owners and Operators participating in HUD programs encouraging the 
use of EPA's ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager at http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=SOHUDSignedLetterPHAsMFH.pdf.
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A Deeper Look at Utility Benchmarking

    Utility benchmarking helps building owners to understand their 
buildings' energy and water performance, allowing them to detect 
malfunctioning equipment and billing errors, prioritize operational and 
capital improvements, verify the return on those investments, and plan 
future budget needs. Indeed, the practice of utility benchmarking can 
lead to significant improvements in building performance. Based on 
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.\9\
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    \9\ See http://www.energystar.gov/sites/default/files/buildings/tools/DataTrends_Savings_20121002.pdf.
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    In addition to potential benefits to building owners, the sharing 
of utility benchmarking data allows government policymakers and funding 
providers (in this case, HUD acts as both) to account for utility 
expenditures, plan future budget needs, develop efficiency incentive 
programs, offer targeted technical assistance, and verify the return on 
these investments. For over 30 years, HUD has been promoting energy- 
and water-efficiency work in the public and assisted housing stocks 
through financial incentives, technical assistance, and pledge 
programs. However, portfolio-wide utility benchmarking and data sharing 
will significantly enhance HUD's ability to use robust information to 
direct those financial incentives, technical assistance, and pledge 
programs to the areas of greatest need, opportunity, and success.
    Utility consumption and cost tracking by a building owner is the 
first step of utility benchmarking, and multiple approaches to this are 
available. The most direct method is to request whole-building utility 
data directly from the utility provider(s), covering the sum of owner-
paid and tenant-paid accounts. When that is not possible, building 
owners may collect utility data for owner-paid accounts simply by 
compiling the information from their electronic or paper utility bills 
into a spreadsheet or web-based tool like ENERGY STAR Portfolio 
Manager. Some utility providers offer easy downloads of this 
information directly from their Web sites. Building owners may then 
collect utility data for tenant-paid accounts either by requesting the 
information directly from tenants in accordance with existing lease

[[Page 68448]]

provisions, or, in some cases, by submitting individual tenant-data 
release forms to the utility provider. Once received, this utility data 
should be added to the spreadsheet or web-based tool to offer a 
complete picture of the whole-building utility consumption and cost. If 
using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager (OMB 2060-0347), as is required by 
this information collection request, the software will then 
automatically calculate a variety of useful metrics, such as the Site 
and Source Energy Use Intensity (EUI), Site Water Use Intensity (WUI), 
ENERGY STAR Score for Energy, and ENERGY STAR Score for Water. With 
this information, building owners are empowered to make more strategic 
decisions.
    Cities across the country have enacted utility benchmarking and 
data sharing ordinances that ask commercial and multifamily building 
owners to track and disclose energy and/or water usage. Each program 
has unique building size requirements and different disclosure 
procedures.
    At this time and with this notice, HUD is proposing limited 
requirements for utility benchmarking and data sharing, in order to 
balance the need to institute contemporary best practices and 
strategically manage the housing portfolio with the burden presented to 
building owners of adopting a new reporting requirement. Whereas an 
increasing number of state and local laws require utility benchmarking 
on an annual basis, HUD is proposing ``spot-check'' utility 
benchmarking on a less frequent basis. And whereas state and local 
benchmarking laws generally require utility benchmarking based on 
whole-building data, HUD intends to accept metrics developed with 
sampled tenant-paid utility data when whole building data are not 
available. Together, this will allow building owners to begin 
practicing utility benchmarking while the market continues to build 
support for more integration and automation of this best practice.
    Over time, the Department will use the scores, along with EUI and 
WUI metrics, to see if energy and water efficiency is increasing, 
decreasing, or staying the same in the multifamily portfolio. The 
Office of Multifamily Housing Programs will use the information to 
assess energy and/or water efficiency needs and opportunities in the 
portfolio. Benchmarking data may also be used to inform the development 
of new policy initiatives, financial incentives, technical assistance, 
and pledge programs. Energy benchmarking will become more valuable over 
time as multiple years of energy consumption data are available.

II. Proposed Information Collection

    To build a foundation of awareness and data concerning the current 
building performance of the multifamily building stock, as well as to 
inform and spur energy- and water-efficiency investments in multifamily 
housing, HUD proposes, through this notice, to require owners of 
covered property types to provide HUD's Office of Multifamily Housing 
Programs with the following utility consumption metrics for each 
property when completing several types of property transactions: Site 
and Source Energy Use Intensities (EUI), Site Water Use Intensity 
(WUI), and the ENERGY STAR Score for Energy, and--when available from 
EPA--the Energy Star Score for Water. The Portfolio Manager software--
which must be used to meet HUD benchmarking requirements--calculates 
and reports these metrics in a standardized report format. This report 
may also include property identifiers (such as address and HUD contract 
number), building characteristics and other summary-level data 
underlying the benchmarking score calculations. The ENERGY STAR Score 
for Water is currently pending release by EPA, and so it will not be 
required until it is available. HUD will provide at least 90 days 
advance notice before a requirement to submit water efficiency data 
goes into effect.
    Site EUI represents a property's energy use per square foot of 
gross floor area, expressed in thousand British thermal units per 
square foot (kBTU/ft \2\), a standardized measure of thermal power 
consumption regardless of fuel source. Source EUI includes an 
adjustment to reflect how the energy was produced and transmitted, and 
this metric is calculated by ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager and used as 
the basis for the ENERGY SSTAR Score for Energy. Site WUI represents a 
property's water use per square foot of gross floor area, expressed in 
gallons per square foot (gal/ft \2\). The Energy Star Score for Energy 
and Water each serve as a ranking of a property's Source EUI and Site 
WUI, respectively, compared to similar properties.
    There are a few exceptions to the stated information collection 
requirements. Only properties that have been in existence for at least 
12 months and that include 21 housing units or more are eligible to 
receive an Energy Star Score for Energy or Water, and so these two 
metrics will not be required for ineligible properties. Properties with 
less than 21 units are encouraged to submit EUI and WUI data, but will 
not be required to submit this analysis to HUD.
    Additionally, for the purposes of this basic information collection 
effort, the Office of Multifamily Housing Programs will accept metrics 
calculated using either whole building data or a combination of whole 
owner-paid utility data and sampled tenant-paid utility data. It is 
important to understand, however, that metrics calculated with less 
than whole building data are not accepted by EPA for the purposes of 
Energy Star certification. If choosing to use sampled tenant-paid 
utility data, owners must meet or exceed the standards outlined in this 
document.
    Finally, for the Department's purposes, the required metrics will 
be considered valid for three years beyond the 12-month period upon 
which they are based. For example, an ENERGY STAR Score based on 2015 
calendar-year utility data and generated in 2016 will be accepted by 
HUD for any required reporting under this notice in 2016, 2017, and 
2018. An ENERGY STAR Score based on 2013 calendar-year data and 
generated in 2016 will be accepted by HUD for any required reporting 
under this notice in 2016, but not in 2017. At this point, the owner 
would need to provide more recent data. The frequency is intended to 
align benchmarking with information collection efforts undertaken by 
HUD-assisted properties in preparing their utility allowance.
    Covered property types include:
     Section 202 Project Rental Assistance Contracts 
(PRAC),\10\
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    \10\ Under HUD's regulations for the Section 202 and Section 811 
programs at 24 CFR 891.400(d)(2) Owners are required to submit 
``statements regarding project operation, financial conditions and 
occupancy as HUD may require to administer the PRAC and to monitor 
project operations
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     Section 811 PRAC and Project Rental Assistance (PRA) 
contracts,\11\
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    \11\ Id.
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     Section 202/162 Project Assistance Contracts (PAC),\12\
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    \12\ Under HUD regulations for the Section 202 PAC program at 24 
CFR 891.740(d), HUD may require owners to submit other statements 
regarding project operations, financial conditions, and occupancy, 
as HUD may require to administer the contracts and monitor project 
operations.
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     Section 202 Senior Preservation Rental Assistance 
Contracts (SPRAC),\13\
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    \13\ In the SPRAC contract between HUD and the owner, Section 
2.11 Financial Requirements subsection (a)(ii) provides that the 
owner must submit to the contract administrator other statements as 
to project operations, financial conditions, and occupancy as HUD 
may require pertinent to the administration of the SPRAC and 
monitoring of project operations.

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[[Page 68449]]

     Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) contracts,\14\
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    \14\ Under HUD's Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance 
(PBRA) program, owners must submit an analysis of the project's 
utility allowances in connection with annual rent adjustments and 
``. . . provide to HUD on an annual basis, such financial 
information as required by HUD . . .''. See HUD regulations at 24 
CFR 880.610, (applied to parts 881 and 883 by cross-reference), 24 
CFR 884.220, 24 CFR 886.126, 24 CFR 891.645, and 24 CFR part 5 
Subpart H.
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     Multifamily Housing properties insured under Sections 
223(a)(7), 223(f), 221(d)(3), 221(d)(4), 220, 231, 236, and 
241(a)).\15\
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    \15\ Under HUD's regulations at 24 CFR 200.78, insured 
properties ``shall provide cost effective energy conservation in 
accordance with requirements established by'' HUD.
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    HUD will evaluate properties insured under the FHA Risk Share 
programs--Section 542(b): Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Small Building 
Risk Share, and Section 542(c): Housing Finance Agencies--to determine 
feasibility and timeframes for applying energy benchmarking 
requirements to those properties in the future.
    Owners of covered properties are encouraged to voluntarily submit 
water and energy benchmarking data to HUD on an annual basis. HUD will 
require that owners submit benchmarking information on the following 
schedule, subject to revision:
     For HUD-assisted properties with a utility allowance, at 
the time of a triennial utility allowance baseline calculation;
     For HUD-assisted properties where there is no utility 
allowance, every third year at the time of financial statement 
submission;
     Prior to issuance of new FHA mortgage insurance under 
Sections 223(a)(7), 223(f), and 241(a));
     With a Capital Needs Assessment submission required by the 
Office of Asset Management and Portfolio Oversight in HUD's Office of 
Multifamily Housing Programs on a 10-year cycle;
     With a Capital Needs Assessment submission required as 
part of any enforcement action.

HUD is seeking feedback on the required submission points and will 
finalize the schedule with the issuance of an Office of Housing Notice. 
Note that these submission requirements are a minimum schedule and do 
not supersede more frequent reporting required for properties 
participating in certain other Multifamily Housing programs, such as 
the Better Buildings Challenge, FHA green buildings financing, or 
Multifamily PACE.

Required Format

    As noted above, owners seeking a covered property transaction will 
be required to enter data into ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager and 
electronically submit to HUD the referenced metrics created by the free 
web tool. ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager has the ability to 
automatically generate reports from user data and offers a variety of 
standard formats. Prior to the requirements' effective date, HUD will 
specify a machine-readable report format in Portfolio Manager that HUD 
owners must use in preparing their benchmarking submissions. The format 
of the report may be modified over time but content will remain 
consistent with the scope of this Notice.

Requirements for Underlying Utility Data

    Use of whole building data, including owner-paid utilities, plus 
all tenant paid utilities (even if aggregated), is highly preferable 
when completing utility benchmarking analysis, as it will give the most 
accurate snapshot of a building's performance. However, to calculate 
the referenced metrics in Portfolio Manager, some owners may need to or 
choose to use a combination of whole owner-paid utility data and a 
sample of tenant-paid utility data as an alternative to using all of 
the above. Please be reminded that metrics calculated with less than 
whole building data are not accepted by EPA for the purposes of ENERGY 
STAR certification. If choosing to use sampled tenant-paid utility 
data, owners must meet or exceed the minimum sampling standards 
associated with existing Office of Multifamily Housing Programs' 
utility data reporting requirements (see table of related PRA 
collections below). Accepting the sampling already in use by 
anticipated respondents will significantly minimize the additional 
administrative burden benchmarking requirements impose on those 
respondents.
    When completed in conjunction with a HUD utility allowance baseline 
analysis, the benchmarking analysis should generally include (or 
exceed) the number of units sampled for the utility allowance (see 
Notice H 2015-14 \16\). In other instances, the Department will accept 
analysis using sampled tenant data that meets or exceeds the lighter 
sampling protocol adopted by the Better Buildings Challenge.\17\ HUD 
may establish a different standard for submittals associated with 
Capital Needs Assessments (CNA) or FHA green building financing 
programs. In all cases, owners are encouraged to collect as much 
utility data as possible and to sample from a variety of housing unit 
sizes and types within each development in order to improve the 
accuracy and usefulness of the resultant metrics. Owners must certify 
that the submitted Portfolio Manager data meets or exceeds the required 
minimum sample.
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    \16\ https://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=15-04hsgn.pdf.
    \17\ See Appendix C of the BBC Data Tracking Manual. 
www.hudexchange.info/programs/utility-benchmarking.
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    HUD will consider requests for additional time to submit 
benchmarking data from owners who experience unexpected delays in 
obtaining sufficient sample data from utility providers or encounter 
unforeseeable technical difficulties.

Other PRA Collections That Impact This Submission

    The Department has identified eight discrete tasks associated with 
the process for obtaining and submitting Portfolio Manager scores, 
which are listed in the matrix below. Based on a review of other 
Paperwork Reduction Act submissions, the Department believes that the 
PRA requirements for seven of those eight tasks are addressed in other 
submissions, also identified in the matrix below. Burden hours 
calculated for the proposed Information Collection reflect only the 
time associated with generating a report in Portfolio Manager and 
submission to HUD. While the Department recognizes that respondents may 
spend significant time on preparatory activities in order to submit the 
data requested under this collection, the burden hours for those tasks 
are already accounted for under other approved collections.

[[Page 68450]]



                                                          Relevant PRA Information Collections
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                                                                                                       Multifamily
                                                                                        TRACS            project            HUD's
                                                 Energy Star                         collection       applications       multifamily      Benchmarking
                                                 collection      eCNA collection      (utility       green building    housing utility  (new collection)
                                                                                      allowance          program          allowance
                                                                                     component)         component        submission
                                              (OMB-2060-0347)   (OMB-2502-0505)   (OMB-2502-0204)   (OMB-2502-0029)   (OMB 2502-0352)   ................
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       Tasks Leading to Fulfillment of Requirement
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tenants submit utility data to owners.......  ................                X                 X   ................                X   ................
Tenants provide release for owner to request  ................                X                 X   ................                X   ................
 data from utility..........................
Utilities compile and share data with owners                X               (*)               (*)   ................              (*)   ................
Owners compile/prepare tenant-paid utility                  X               (*)               (*)   ................              (*)   ................
 data.......................................
Owners compile/prepare owner-paid utility                   X               (*)   ................                X   ................  ................
 data.......................................
Owners enter data into Portfolio Manager....                X               (*)               (*)               (*)   ................  ................
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            Direct Requirement Being Proposed
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Owners generate Portfolio Manager Report and  ................  ................  ................  ................  ................                X
 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.

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 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.

    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