Top Multifamily Green Questions Asked (Part 2)
In Part I of our blog series on multi-family green financing, Kaustubh Chabukswar, addressed questions about why green financing is red hot, greenwashing, and more. In part II, we look at differences between the various green financing programs; dig deeper into Form 4099.H; and discuss what could throw a green financing transaction off-course.
Question: How has Form 4099.H improved the process?
Kaustubh: The new Fannie Mae Form 4099.H enables lenders to do their own reviews. It includes a plumbing calculator that will standardize water / sewer savings and reduce the number of errors. The new guidance related to Form 4099.H also includes updated scoring requirements. When consultants achieve a score of 1 at least 5 times, they can pre-qualify for fast-tracking of report reviews.
We appreciate the new development, knowing that simplification of the process was to attract more consultants to perform these audits, and at the same time decrease the review time. While Fannie Mae and its new Form 4099.H are working to simplify the process of green financing, we realize that it is daunting for many of lenders and borrowers. We have developed a “welcome package” that baby steps our clients through the process of green financing. I believe that this package, as well as our deep technical knowledge of green financing, helps to set us apart.
Question: What is your message to borrowers who have green financing in the back of their minds but haven’t acted?
Kaustubh: Hesitant green financing borrowers should request a complimentary virtual meeting with our Green Financing Team. We’ll talk through key aspects of the property, discuss the process, and provide a lot of guidance upfront. If the borrower decides to move forward, we will support them throughout the entire process.
Question: Can you describe the top issues that you commonly see that can derail a green financing project?
Kaustubh: Utility bills! To develop a baseline consumption, we need tenant and common area utility bills. The borrower typically knows limited information about the property and is reliant upon the seller/property manager to share critical details. For example, a borrower may tell us there are 10 utility gas meters on the property, but we get on-site and find only four. When there is an information gap, the energy audit takes much longer, and it makes the process less efficient.
We have been involved in energy studies and audits for over 12 years and has a streamlined process flow. Once engaged, we provide the borrower with step-by-step guidance on how to procure the right information so as to ensure successful and timely completion of the energy report.
Question: Once the borrower starts the process, how can they best prepare for the energy audit?
Kaustubh: We have a comprehensive “welcome package” for every new green financing client. It includes check lists that help to ensure the process runs smoothly. We invite potential borrowers and lenders to download one of our checklists for free.
Question: What are the top three places that we find the energy savings that are needed to meet the 20% reduction requirement?
Kaustubh: Plumbing is the number one area needed for energy savings, followed by lighting, and insulation.
Have more questions about green financing? Feel free to contact Kaustubh Chabukswar directly at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions and download our free Checklist to gain an understanding of how to prepare for an energy audit.