24 CFR 965.505 - Standards for allowances for utilities.
(a) The objective of a PHA in designing methods of establishing utility allowances for each dwelling unit category and unit size shall be to approximate a reasonable consumption of utilities by an energy-conservative household of modest circumstances consistent with the requirements of a safe, sanitary, and healthful living environment.
(b) Allowances for both PHA-furnished and resident-purchased utilities shall be designed to include such reasonable consumption for major equipment or for utility functions furnished by the PHA for all residents (e.g., heating furnace, hot water heater), for essential equipment whether or not furnished by the PHA (e.g., range and refrigerator), and for minor items of equipment (such as toasters and radios) furnished by residents.
(c) The complexity and elaborateness of the methods chosen by the PHA, in its discretion, to achieve the foregoing objective will depend upon the nature of the housing stock, data available to the PHA and the extent of the administrative resources reasonably available to the PHA to be devoted to the collection of such data, the formulation of methods of calculation, and actual calculation and monitoring of the allowances.
(d) In establishing allowances, the PHA shall take into account relevant factors affecting consumption requirements, including:
(1) The equipment and functions intended to be covered by the allowance for which the utility will be used. For instance, natural gas may be used for cooking, heating domestic water, or space heating, or any combination of the three;
(2) The climatic location of the housing projects;
(3) The size of the dwelling units and the number of occupants per dwelling unit;
(4) Type of construction and design of the housing project;
(5) The energy efficiency of PHA-supplied appliances and equipment;
(6) The utility consumption requirements of appliances and equipment whose reasonable consumption is intended to be covered by the total resident payment;
(7) The physical condition, including insulation and weatherization, of the housing project;
(8) Temperature levels intended to be maintained in the unit during the day and at night, and in cold and warm weather; and
(9) Temperature of domestic hot water.
(e) If a PHA installs air conditioning, it shall provide, to the maximum extent economically feasible, systems that give residents the option of choosing to use air conditioning in their units. The design of systems that offer each resident the option to choose air conditioning shall include retail meters or checkmeters, and residents shall pay for the energy used in its operation. For systems that offer residents the option to choose air conditioning, the PHA shall not include air conditioning in the utility allowances. For systems that offer residents the option to choose air conditioning but cannot be checkmetered, residents are to be surcharged in accordance with § 965.506. If an air conditioning system does not provide for resident option, residents are not to be charged, and these systems should be avoided whenever possible.