New York City Housing Authority
At a Glance
Public Housing Authority
New York, NY
Richa Yadav created a tool that allows NYCHA to capture steam savings, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy use intensity.
The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), the nation's largest public housing authority, hired EDF Climate Corps fellow Richa Yadav to help identify building energy efficiency measures in heating systems as part of its NextGeneration NYCHA Sustainability Agenda. NYCHA is currently using large-scale Energy Performance Contracts (EPC) to implement energy efficiency programs, but was interested in exploring Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs) for district steam sites which have a payback period under 20 years and could be packaged as self-managed EPCs.
After conducting a detailed literature review of NYCHA's steam heating systems, Yadav identified best practices and ECMs relevant to NYCHA developments. She determined that improving maintenance and control in central steam plants and recovering waste heat were promising opportunities to reduce steam demand. The main challenge in estimating steam savings was finding calculation methods that use data available within NYCHA database and audit reports. So, after interviewing various consultants and assessing past audits, Yadav built a tool with 8 ECMs that captures steam savings, GHG emission reduction, energy use intensity reduction and simple payback at district steam sites. Since these ECM's were applicable to natural gas sites as well, she broadened her scope and incorporated gas saving calculations for each ECM.
The tool developed is applicable to any development, and can therefore be used to help the Energy and Sustainability Department assess economic feasibility and monitor NYCHA's climate action goals. In the future, the tool can be further expanded to assess ECMs in both the steam distribution system and building envelope of NYCHA properties. Additionally, it can be used to assess ECMs for seven developments where NYCHA is currently implementing a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) pilot program.