Accelerating Efficiency in Affordable Housing

November 2022


Photo Credit: Still from BBC StoryWorks

A building owner has many reasons to improve the energy efficiency of their building. Among them are cost savings, reduced pollution, and increased appeal to potential tenants. With the recent implementation of the District’s Building Energy Performance Standards (BEPS), some buildings will now have to reduce their energy usage. And since buildings account for nearly three-quarters of the District's greenhouse gas emissions, BEPS will be a key way to meet the energy and climate goals in Mayor Bowser’s Sustainable DC 2.0 Plan.

You may be wondering how buildings with limited resources can comply with BEPS. That’s where the Affordable Housing Retrofit Accelerator comes in. Recently featured in a BBC StoryWorks short film, the Accelerator offers a suite of services to help owners of qualifying affordable multifamily buildings that do not meet BEPS to identify and address efficiency opportunities. These services include finding incentives to pay for upgrades, free building audits, and training to understand BEPS requirements and options for compliance.

Residents of affordable housing buildings deserve all the benefits that come with increased efficiency. And as the short film shows, efficiency improvements have real advantages in the form of improved comfort, health, and performance.


District Sustainability Awards Applications Open Soon

The annual District Sustainability Awards highlight businesses, individuals, and organizations that are working towards a more sustainable DC. Awardees’ projects and programs support the Mayor’s Sustainable DC 2.0 Plan, which aims to make the District the nation’s healthiest, greenest, most livable city for all residents. Do you have suggestions for a suitable applicant? Keep an eye out for updates on the District Sustainability Awards webpage and note the application period opens January 2, 2023 and closes February 10, 2023.

DC Commission on Climate Change and Resiliency Releases Report to Mayor and Council Chairman

The Commission on Climate Change and Resiliency was created in 2016 and is an independent body, charged to assess the District’s actions to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Through quarterly meetings, the Commission reviews plans, policies, and programs and advises the Mayor and Council. The Commission recently released its second report, which affirms the substantial progress made by the District to both mitigate and adapt to climate change and identifies new opportunities for future action. To view the report, which was transmitted to Mayor Bowser and Council Chairman Mendelson on November 17, please visit

District Makes CDP’s A List

CDP is an international nonprofit organization that runs the global disclosure system for investors, companies, cities, states, and regions to manage their environmental impacts. Cities that make CDP’s “A List” are recognized as leaders in environmental action and transparency. For 2022, the District was one of 122 cities globally and only 35 U.S. cities to make the A List! A List cities are taking three times as many mitigation and adaptation measures as non-A List cities. To learn more about the District’s climate initiatives, please visit


sdc opportunities


Three Sustainability Grant Opportunities

The Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) has partnered with the Chesapeake Bay Trust to administer three sustainability grants:

• The Ditch the Disposables grant program aims to reduce foodware waste by financially supporting transitions from disposable to reusable foodware at District restaurants and food-serving entities. Funds can be used for establishing dishwashing capacity and implementing reusable foodware and containers. Applications are due Thursday, December 8, 2022. More information and a link to the application can be found at

  • The Donation and Reuse grant program is designed to increase diversion of reusable material from landfills and incinerators through programs, services, outreach, and education. Applications are due Thursday, December 8, 2022. Learn more at

  • The Urban Agriculture grant program offers funding to increase urban agriculture in the District through infrastructure and operations support for District farms, particularly for socially disadvantaged farmers, and through technical assistance to residences for home garden installation and management. Applications are due Thursday, December 8, 2022. Learn more at

Food Waste Innovation Grants

The Department of Small and Local Business Development is now soliciting applications for the Fiscal Year 2023 Food Waste Innovation Grants. These grants will provide support for restaurants, food manufacturers, shared commercial kitchens, and commercial corridors like Main Streets and Business Improvement Districts to minimize their food waste going to landfills and minimize urban rat populations. This will help businesses meet the goals of Sustainable DC 2.0 and the future requirements of the Zero Waste Omnibus Amendment Act while reducing costs in both food purchasing and waste disposal . Applications are due December 22. For more information, please visit



Casey Trees – Tree Planting Crew

Casey Trees is a District-based nonprofit committed to restoring, enhancing, and protecting the tree canopy of the nation’s capital. The organization is looking for staff for its Tree Planting Crew, which performs a variety of field operations for all tree planting, care and related activities. Casey Trees is currently accepting applications and interested candidates should apply though this webpage.

Office of Planning – Food Policy Analyst

The DC Office of Planning Food Policy Division is hiring a Policy Analyst to conduct research, data analysis, and policy development and analysis, centering their work on resident input and racial equity best practices. This position will include public speaking and presentations, organizing public forums, and interagency and intra-agency collaboration, with a heavy emphasis on relationship and trust building. The deadline to apply is December 21. For more information, visit this webpage and search for the role using job ID 19809.

Public Participation

Department of Public Works Seeks Final Public Input on Upcoming Zero Waste DC Plan

The Department of Public Works (DPW) Office of Waste Diversion recently released the latest draft of the upcoming Zero Waste DC Plan in pursuit of the Mayor’s Zero Waste goal of diverting 80 percent of the District’s waste away from landfills and incineration by 2032. DPW is now soliciting feedback from the public for the last time, through a 45-day comment period that ends December 30, 2022. Community members across the city are invited to voice their concerns, share their ideas, and help build a zero waste future. To learn more about the Zero Waste DC Plan and see how to provide feedback, visit zero


Public Comment Period Open for District’s First Racial Equity Action Plan

On November 16, the initial draft of the District's first-ever Racial Equity Action Plan was released and opened for public comment. Led by the Office of Racial Equity, the action plan is a three-year roadmap outlining actions that the District will take to close racial equity gaps and measure progress toward a more equitable DC. Written comments can be submitted online, via email, by mail, or at DC library locations. To view the Racial Equity Action Plan and learn how to submit comments, visit Comments are being accepted until January 2, 2023.



Public Hearing: Weatherization Assistance & Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

On Friday December 2 from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m., DOEE is hosting a public hearing focused on updates to the Weatherization Assistance Program based on the additional Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding the District will receive. The program, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provides low-income residents technical and financial assistance to help reduce their energy bills by making their homes more energy efficient. To learn more and reserve your spot for the meeting, please visit the Eventbrite page.


eCYCLE Collection Events

By recycling used electronics, individuals can help recover valuable resources and properly manage potentially hazardous materials. eCYCLE DC, through manufacturers’ collection and recycling plans, is bringing District residents more options for recycling their electronics.

The following items are banned from the trash and are collected at the eCYCLE DC collection events: computers and monitors, tablets, e-readers, mice, keyboards, DVD or VCR players, printers, televisions, game consoles, and portable music players. For more information, check out this fact sheet.

  • Saturday, December 3, 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. Near 115 Atlantic St SW (Ward 8, Near Bellevue [William O. Lockridge] Neighborhood Library)

  • Saturday, December 3, 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. Near 2500 Georgia Ave NW (Ward 1, Near Banneker Community Center)

Please visit the eCYCLE DC website to check for any updates closer to the event date.


Swapping for the Holidays

Help close the circle on waste around holiday gift-giving by swapping clothes you love but no longer use for new items. Climate Classes DC is hosting the swap event on Saturday December 17 from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m., in collaboration with several partners. Quality, well-maintained clothes and accessories will be accepted. To learn more about this and other reuse events, visit the Reuse DC events page.




The District is fortunate to have organizations and individuals doing outstanding work on sustainability. Each month for the next few months, we will highlight one of the winners of the 2022 District Sustainability Awards. This month we are featuring FishScale, a gourmet burger bistro that specializes in offering local, organic food, including wild caught fish. FishScale was awarded the title of a Smart Catch Leader (the highest recognition) of the James Beard Smart Catch program and was recognized and featured as an "Ocean Friendly Restaurant" by the Surfrider Foundation.

The restaurant, located in a historically underutilized business zone at 637 Florida Avenue NW, is dedicated to hiring individuals of diverse backgrounds with barriers to employment such as returning citizens and participants of workforce development programs. Congrats to FishScale for being a 2022 District Sustainability Award Winner!

To learn more about all the winners, check out this short film.


Beautiful Autumn Walks Along Our River, The Anacostia: Take in fresh fall air, get some exercise, and absorb some history through these recommended walks along the Anacostia River.

District Department of Transportation Funds for Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure: See where the District Department of Transportation will focus on building up electric vehicle charging infrastructure first and how equity is built into the electrification plan.