New York City Housing Authority
At a Glance
Public Housing Authority
New York, NY
Ouafaa Hmaddi helped the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) explore the supporting systems and policies necessary for making its energy data fully available to the public by creating a NYCHA Open Energy Data strategy.
As part of its NextGeneration NYCHA Sustainability Agenda, the Housing Authority has committed to voluntarily join the NYC Open Data movement by releasing all utility consumption and cost information. EDF Climate Corps fellow Ouafaa Hmaddi was enlisted to help with exploring the systems and internal policies necessary to make energy and sustainability data fully available to the public. Ouafaa was tasked with looking at the rationale behind the industry’s need for data and the benefits of transparency, as well as developing a strategy for data sharing and communication.
Ouafaa examined over 100 case studies on cross-sector data sharing, focusing on energy and environmental projects. Based on her findings, she put together the case for a NYCHA Open Energy Data strategy, pointing to energy efficiency, innovation, data-driven policies, transparency and reputation, as well as potential paybacks. After conducting interviews with internal and external stakeholders, Ouafaa identified seven prospective users of NYCHA Energy Open Data. For each user group, she outlined the possible benefits that could be gained from having access to the information.
Ouafaa worked with Energy and Sustainability staff to roll out NYCHA’s first Open Energy Data. The result was a representation of six years (2010-2015) of energy use and cost information. Ouafaa also identified the need for a detailed guideline on how to open up NYCHA’s data; she included four key rules for each release process and outlined NYCHA’s organizational strategy for pursuing its data-sharing goals.
NYCHA’s Energy Open Data will:
• reduce the number of Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests NYCHA receives and the time spent responding to them;
• improve access to NYCHA data for other NYC agencies and facilitate policy simulations, considering NYCHA’s population of 400,000 residents;
• enable energy service companies to perform energy data analyses and gain more insight into their energy-efficiency projects;
• allow New Yorkers, especially NYCHA residents, to better understand NYCHA’s challenges and achievements in promoting sustainability;
• help improve the agency’s public image; and
• allow developers to launch new ventures with new capital if these datasets are combined with weather forecasts and other data related to energy saving.