Boston Housing Authority

Case study

Charting the course to clean transportation at the Boston Housing Authority

The Boston Housing Authority (BHA) fosters sustainable communities by providing quality affordable housing, bringing stability, opportunity, and peace of mind to thousands of low and moderate-income families and individuals across Boston. Understanding that the population it services is disproportionately impacted by climate change and air pollution, BHA strives to advance environmental justice and sustainability through all its operations. While known for its physical presence in Boston neighborhoods, the Authority has an operational footprint across Boston and Eastern Massachusetts through its public housing and voucher programs.

With a fleet of vehicles to operate, fuel, and maintain, and to help meet the City of Boston’s climate action plan, BHA began to investigate the viability of electrifying its vehicles. The BHA sought to determine the cost, infrastructure needs, and timelines for conversion of a fleet that ranges from hybrid vehicles to Bobcats and box trucks. Most importantly, where should BHA start?

Right Place, Right Time

A PowerOptions Member since 2007, BHA already purchases its electricity and natural gas supply through our programs. So when PowerOptions reached out to BHA to promote our fleet assessment services, it was a matter of “right place, right time.” BHA found a trusted resource to examine its situation and provide guidance on if and how to proceed. PowerOptions conducted a full fleet assessment, looking at existing vehicles, replacement schedules, maintenance and fuel costs, and usage data for the fleet. We delivered a Fleet Electrification Roadmap (FER) to BHA, detailing EV purchase costs, ongoing operational expenses, carbon reductions, cost savings, and available incentives, all on a timeline that integrates its existing vehicle replacement schedule and keeps BHA fully operational.

Roadmap to Making it Happen

BHA now has an actionable strategy that fully and cost-effectively electrifies its fleet by 2030. The FER demonstrates annual cost savings of $36,000 due to lower ownership costs, less frequent maintenance requirements, and lower overall fuel costs, and by incorporating MOR-EV incentives and federal tax credits into vehicle costs. The report also outlines charging infrastructure costs, including MassEVIP incentives for EV charger costs. And as a result in addition to cost savings, BHA will lower its fleet’s emissions by 74%, improving air quality and contributing to improved health for residents, employees, and citizens of Boston.

An estimated $36,000 annual savings and 74% lower fleet emissions, improving air quality for the Boston community.

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Joel Wool, Deputy Administrator for Sustainability and Capital Transformation

"Boston Housing Authority is known for its buildings and communities, but our vehicle fleet is a critical tool for daily operations, from delivering supplies like stoves and refrigerators to conducting unit inspections to visiting sites and scoping construction plans. The clean transportation team at PowerOptions assessed our situation and developed a roadmap that allows us to operate while cost-effectively transitioning to a fully electrified fleet, and we’re now thrilled to be working with PowerOptions on deploying our first EV charging stations."

Joel Wool, Deputy Administrator for Sustainability and Capital Transformation Boston Housing Authority
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