Amy Kochanowsky and Harrison Thomas spent their summers as EDF Climate Corps fellows at the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), the largest public housing authority in the United States. Established in 1934, it provides affordable housing in safe environments for low- and moderate-income residents. The fellows worked with NYCHA’s Energy Department, which promotes and implements energy efficiency measures through data analysis, capital improvements, regulatory compliance, and preventative maintenance.
Video: New York City Housing Authority discusses the scale of this project
Over 10 weeks, Kochanowsky and Thomas assessed energy usage and equipment throughout NYCHA's 334 developments to identify energy conservation opportunities. The fellows proposed three main projects: install LED exit signs, improve boiler plant management and invest in wireless energy modules. Kochanowsky and Thomas analyzed NYCHA's contract with a third-party maintenance contractor and recommended expansion to additional facilities in New York City. This would require zero capital cost and could save 2 million therms per year, equivalent to 58.6 million kWh.
Overall, if the fellows' projects are implemented, NYCHA could save $58 million in annual energy costs, reduce annual electricity use by 193,000,000 kWh, and cut 180,000 metric tons of carbon emissions per year.