Low Income Housing Tax Credits & Energy Efficiency in Iowa,2019

Iowa's 2019 Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP) requires an energy audit for existing structures, and incentivizes other energy efficiency measures. 

Energy Audit

Existing Structures: An energy audit conducted by a certified home energy rater or firm specializing in energy efficiency that is acceptable to IFA, shall be provided on each building prior to the preparation of the final work rehabilitation order. Prior to the start of construction, IFA requires an engineer or architect to certify that the architect has met and coordinated the design with the energy consultant and owner and that the design meets the 2015 IECC, and any additional scoring elections made. The review shall be documented with a letter from the engineer or architect to IFA indicating whether the proposed construction meets the IECC. The contract for the determination of the energy audit shall be between the certified rater and the Ownership Entity. If upon completion, a Project does not verify that the Project has met the specified energy improvements, additional steps shall be taken by the Ownership Entity prior to the issuance of the IRS Form 8609.

 

Iowa Finance Authority’s (IFA) 2018 Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP) includes points for energy efficiency and consideration of impact on the environment. IFA has separate energy efficiency criteria for new construction developments and existing structures.

 

Environmental Site Assessment - 1 point

Projects shall submit a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) that has been performed and was conducted consistent with the procedures included in ASTM E 1527-13, Standard for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process with the Application.

 

Impact on the Environment - 0 to 8 points

·         Implement and enforce a “no smoking” policy in all common and individual living areas of all buildings. The common area does not include the public areas of the exterior grounds of the building for this “no smoking” policy. - 2 points

·         Water conserving measures: Toilets are high efficiency WaterSense toilets that use 1.28 gallons per flush or less; faucet aerators use 1.5 gallons per minute (gpm) or less in kitchens and 1.0 gpm or less in bathrooms; showerheads use 1.5 gpm or less. (dual flush toilets do not qualify) - 2 points

·         Passive (New Construction) or Active (rehab/reuse) Radon System

·         Radon-reducing features (including a drain tile loop for new construction), below the building slab along with vertical vent pipe(s) and junction box(es) following requirements in Appendix F, “Radon Control Methods” in the 2012 International Residential Code. - 2 points

·         In unit water heaters that have a minimum energy factor (EF) of 0.61 for tank type gas, 0.93 for tank-type electric, or .96 for tankless water heaters. - 2 points

·         High efficiency central boilers (serving entire building) with a minimum 90 AFUE - 1 point

·         Central Water Heaters (serving entire building) – with a ninety (90%) Thermal Efficiency rating - 1 point

 

Energy Efficiency

New Construction (3 stories or less, or 4 stories or more with each Unit having its own heating, A/C and water heating):

·         Home Energy Rating Systems (HERS) Index of 62 or less - 8 points

New Construction (4 stories or more without each Unit having its own heating, A/C and water heating):

·         Exceed ASHRAE 90.1-10 by ten percent (10%) - 8 points

Existing Structures (Acq/rehab and adaptive reuse):

·         2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) exceeded by eight percent (8%) or more. (not available to Projects utilizing Historic Tax Credits) - 8 points

**For Projects that include new construction and existing structures to receive the full 8 points both indexes shall be met. Refer to Appendix 1–Threshold Requirements for Building, Construction, Site and Rehabilitation, G-25. A new construction Project that elects a lower HERS index shall submit prior to construction, an initial energy report, by an IFA approved energy consultant, that demonstrates the proposed design will meet the lower HERS index. An Energy Star certification and a final energy report that verifies the lower HERS index shall be submitted prior to the issuance of an IRS Form 8609.

For existing structures (acq/rehab and adaptive reuse), an energy audit conducted by a certified home energy rater shall be provided on each building prior to the preparation of the final work rehabilitation order. At the completion of the rehabilitation and prior to the issuance of an IRS Form 8609, an energy audit by a certified energy rater is required to verify that the rehabilitation work on each building exceeds the standards of IECC as noted for the above score.

IFA requires an energy consultant as part of the Qualified Development Team. The Applicant is required to engage the energy consultant prior to submitting the Application. Refer to the minimum energy efficiency standards in Appendix 1, G-25.

New construction developments with three stories of residential space or less, and buildings with four or five stories above-grade (wherein each Unit has its own heating, cooling, and hot water systems, separate from other units) and where dwelling units occupy 80% or more of the occupiable square footage of the building, in addition to meeting Iowa State Code and the IECC, shall meet or exceed Energy Star 3.0 prescriptive standards and receive a Home Energy Rating Systems (HERS) Index of 70 or less from a certified rater in Iowa. A home energy rating performed by a certified HERS rater is required on each building after it is completed to verify that actual construction meets the above listed requirements. Five Units with different floor plans and orientations for complexes of less than 50 Units and ten percent (10%) of Units, up to a maximum of 10 Units in complexes of 50 or more Units shall be rated. The contract for the determination of the HERS index shall be between the certified rater and the Ownership Entity. If upon completion, a Project does not meet the HERS index of 70 or less, additional steps shall be taken by the Ownership Entity to obtain the HERS index of 70 prior to issuance of the IRS Form 8609.

New construction developments with four stories or more without each Unit having its own heating, A/C and water heating shall meet ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2010. Supporting documentation verifying compliance shall be provided by an independent licensed engineer. If upon completion, a Project does not meet ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2010, additional steps shall be taken by the Ownership Entity to meet the standard prior to issuance of IRS Form 8609.

For existing structures that receive a Tax Credit Reservation, an energy audit conducted by a certified home energy rater or firm specializing in energy efficiency that is acceptable to IFA, shall be provided on each building prior to the preparation of the final work rehabilitation order. Prior to the start of construction, IFA requires an engineer or architect to certify that the design meets the 2015 IECC. The review shall be documented with a letter from the engineer or architect to IFA indicating whether the proposed construction meets the IECC. In the event that the proposed construction does not meet the code requirements, the engineer or architect will provide suggestions for corrections to plans and specifications that will ensure that IECCwill be met. At the completion of the rehabilitation, an energy audit by a certified energy rater is required to verify that the rehabilitation work on each building meets the standards of IECC. The contract for the determination of the energy audit shall be between the certified rater and the Ownership Entity. If upon completion, a Project does not verify that the Project has met the specified energy improvements, additional steps shall be taken by the Ownership Entity prior to the issuance of the IRS Form 8609

 

Contributed By: 
National Housing Trust

Other Items of Interest