New York City Department of Education

At a Glance


School or School District

Project Types

Clean and Renewable Energy, Commercial Energy Efficiency, Data Analysis, Sustainability and Energy Management Strategy




Long Island City, NY


Cole Ashman identified ways for the NYC Department of Education to track and manage real time energy use to improve energy management.


The New York City Department of Education is both the largest school district in the US and the largest energy consumer among city agencies. Responsible for roughly a quarter of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by city-owned facilities, NYC DOE has a key role to play in meeting the City’s ambitious 80x50 goals. As part of their demand response initiative, the agency installed real-time electric meters in around 15% of its facilities and is continually adding more. But, these insights into its building operations have gone un-utilized. EDF Climate Corps fellow Cole Ashman was enlisted to improve the current demand response program and make the case for integrating advanced energy information system (EIS). 


Ashman set off to show that by implementing an EIS, NYC DOE could better target projects, improve measurement and verification of retrofits and optimize operations. He focused his attention on quantifying savings opportunities by reducing high overnight base load and summertime drift. His data-driven analysis assessed the feasibility of repairing building automation systems in several facilities and optimizing equipment scheduling in a number of others. Working with building managers to understand energy use at the facility level, Ashman evaluated the viability of several strategies for control technologies that target window air conditioning units, ventilation equipment and plug loads for buildings not equipped with building automation systems.  

Potential Impact

Improving control of baseload drift would result in a 3-7% yearly kWh reduction and a 1-3% reduction in GHG portfolio-wide (7,000 metric tons CO2e). Ashman’s recommendations for integrating specific data analytics tools will help drive the ongoing efforts by NYC DOE towards an efficient, focused approach to energy management initiatives, as well an increase engagement and coordination between stakeholders needed to achieve the agency’s GHG reduction goals. 

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