San Francisco Department of the Environment

Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation

Since its founding in 1981, the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation (TNDC), a community-based non-profit, has been committed to serving the lower-income individuals in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood by providing the most basic foundation for prosperity: a place to call home.

 
Today TNDC is a $10 million organization that operates 30 affordable housing buildings serving 3,000 tenants, including low-income seniors, people with disabilities, emancipated youth, working families, and formerly homeless individuals. In addition to developing and managing housing, TNDC supports the Tenderloin community with social work services, an after-school program, and community organizing projects including an effort to provide greater access to healthy food.
 

Strengthening Operations through Reduced Utility Expenses

Every non-profit knows that a dollar saved on overhead is a dollar gained for programs and services. Fortunately for TNDC, its management team has figured out that improving the energy efficiency of their buildings is a fantastic way to trim costs. Thus, when the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing approached TNDC to participate in their Green Retrofit Initiative, a program designed to improve the energy performance of San Francisco’s affordable housing stock, TNDC jumped at the opportunity. Through the program TNDC accessed federal, state and local funding to make comprehensive energy efficiency improvements to three buildings. The program allowed TNDC to install high-efficiency boilers, new efficient lighting and occupancy sensors, and new water efficient toilets and fixtures.
 
In addition to those energy efficiency improvements, TNDC decided to take advantage of nearly $86,000 in California Solar Initiative Thermal incentives administered by Pacific Gas and Electric Company to install solar water heating systems on two of the three properties. TNDC also benefited from one-time funding from the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar America Cities program. TNDC’s 64 solar collectors now preheat water for showers, washing machines, sinks and other onsite needs for more than 260 residents. TNDC estimates the solar heating systems will save them up to $6,900 each year on natural gas bills. In addition, the solar water heating installations are eliminating 81,000 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions annually2 and reducing local air pollution.
 
“Solar water heating simply makes sense for multi-tenant buildings such as ours. Our solar water heating systems generate cost savings that we pass directly on to our tenants in the form of lower rents.  In addition, the system is helping our organization be more financially secure, both by saving money on our current utility bills and by reducing the impact of energy price fluctuations down the line.  Projects like this are an investment in the future of affordable housing, and the environment” – Don Falk, Executive Director, TNDC