July 18, 2019

Media Contact: Kyrie Perry

Innovative Public-Private Partnership Seeks to Develop Energy Efficient Housing for Rhode Islanders

Multi-Agency Funding Available to Create Replicable Models for Sustainability


Providence, RI –

RIHousing and the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (OER) announced today the release of a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Zero Energy for the Ocean State (ZEOS) Demonstration Project. The pilot program offers a grant of up to $250,000 to design and construct affordable, energy efficient housing to serve low- and moderate-income Rhode Islanders.

This new program is the result of a public-private partnership between RIHousing, OER and National Grid to stimulate innovative, replicable solutions to utilize cost saving clean energy technologies in homes. Program partners are seeking proposals from qualified teams to design and construct affordable, energy efficient Zero Energy Buildings (ZEBs).

“We’re excited about this collaboration and committed to developing affordable, well designed and sustainable homes and communities for Rhode Islanders,” said Carol Ventura, Interim Executive Director at RIHousing. “Energy efficient buildings translate into savings for residents and help reduce the collective carbon footprint of the state.”

ZEBs are defined as any energy-efficient building with zero net energy consumption, meaning the total amount of energy used by a building on an annual basis is roughly equal to the amount of renewable energy created on the site.

The ZEOS project is in response to the recommendations included in the Rhode Island Zero Energy Task Force’s Zero Energy Building Pathway to 2035 white paper. The white paper established a goal to create ZEB demonstration projects across building sectors.

“Rhode Island continues to lead the nation in developing energy efficient programs and resources. The ZEOS project builds upon the momentum of recent successes in growing our green energy economy,” said State Energy Commissioner Carol Grant. “We are thrilled to see the creativity and innovation RFP applicants bring to the effort.”

The proposal deadline is Wednesday, August 14 at 5:00 pm. The total award will not exceed $250,000. The units may be new construction and/or renovation projects in single or multifamily homes. Buildings must meet ZEB standards and participate in National Grid’s Residential New Construction Program.

Chris Porter, Director of Customer Energy Management with National Grid said, “We look forward to seeing how developers can utilize high-quality materials, the smart deployment of technology, and the use of thoughtful design, to develop the net zero housing Rhode Islanders want and deserve. This new type of housing will demonstrate how we can limit incremental demands on our natural resources, and offer families an option to live in a home that meets all of their energy requirements through the use of new innovations in efficient building design and the integration of high efficiency mechanical systems, all powered by on-site renewable energy production.”

While individual homeowners are not eligible to receive direct funding under this grant, individual organizations or teams composed of a lead organization and partner organizations are welcome to apply. Complete details on the program and RFP can be found online at: and

About RIHousing

RIHousing works to ensure that all people who live in Rhode Island can afford a healthy, attractive home that meets their needs. RIHousing provides loans, grants, education and assistance to help Rhode Islanders find, rent, buy, build and keep a good home. Created by the General Assembly in 1973, RIHousing is a self-sustaining corporation and receives no state funding for operations. For more information regarding RIHousing, visit or follow us @RIHousing on Facebook and Twitter.

About the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources

The Office of Energy Resources (OER) is Rhode Island’s lead state agency on energy policy and programs. The mission of OER is to lead Rhode Island to a secure, cost-effective, and sustainable energy future. OER works closely with private and public stakeholders to increase the reliability and security of our energy supply, reduce energy costs and mitigate price volatility, and improve environmental quality.