Innovative project to benefit renters and building efficiency

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CSP Board Member Lee Lucas with Fresh Energy’s Ben Passer

Everyone benefits when rental property is efficient, comfortable, affordable, and healthy. Through the Saint Paul Tenant-Landlord Energy Project, Fresh Energy and Community Stabilization Project (CSP) are working toward inclusive community solutions to spur investment in energy efficiency in rental property, and prevent large and unpredictable energy costs for tenants.

  • In Saint Paul, over half of all housing units are rental units, and 27 percent of renters indicate that their rent is more than 50 percent of their income.
  • Renters are especially susceptible to high energy costs because though they pay their own energy bills, they have less control over energy efficiency improvements that may make their home more efficient and healthy.
  • Tenants rarely have information about energy costs before signing a lease, and landlords currently have little reason to highlight efficiency as they market rental opportunities.

Through the Saint Paul Tenant-Landlord Energy Project, Fresh Energy and CSP are seeking to build a network of renters, landlords, and other critical stakeholders in the city to advance policies, provide education on energy-related issues, and support implementation of collaboratively developed solutions. CSP and Fresh Energy initiated this partnership through more than three years of working together in the Minnesota Multifamily Affordable Housing Energy Network. The project is based on a desire to reach both tenants and landlords in rental properties of all types throughout Saint Paul.

The Bigelow and Saint Paul Foundation provided key support to the project, which received a big boost when it won a 2017 Bush Foundation Community Innovation Grant.

CSP’s mission is to inform, educate, advocate, and organize stakeholders in an inclusive process that helps socially and economically disadvantaged tenants and people of color take action to achieve tenant stability in the Twin Cities. CSP focuses specifically on building tenant-landlord relationships and connecting those relationships with broader interests and leaders to build community stability.

This exciting partnership  builds on Fresh Energy’s work improving energy efficiency programs and expanding access to clean energy for low-income renters.

Watch the short interview below with Lee Lucas, CSP Board Member, on how energy costs impact multifamily tenants.