While the energy efficiency of commercial buildings, schools, and private homes has received increasing attention, the energy performance of public housing has long been neglected. The high energy usage and resulting utility costs associated with such subsidized houses have added great financial burdens to the government and tenants. Therefore, improving public housing's energy performance becomes an important task. This paper presents a comparative study that mainly investigates the effectiveness of energy efficiency measures (EEMs) recently implemented in the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority's green renovation projects. Whole building energy simulation results show that due to budget constraints, the limited EEMs put into place would only result in a marginal (7.6%) improvement to the renovated building's energy performance prior to renovation. Another 38.5% reduction would be needed, using the performance requirement of the current building energy code as a reference. Based on these findings, this research offers some insights into more cost-effective energy efficiency upgrades that can help reduce public housing's energy consumption and green renovation costs.