New York City Health and Hospitals

At a Glance


Health Care

Project Types

Commercial Energy Efficiency, Engagement and Behavior Change




New York, NY

Savings icon

Annual kWh Savings:

2,500,000 kWh

Reductions icon

Annual CO2 Reductions:

15,500 metric tons


Grace McGinnis identified potential energy savings from repairing faulty steam traps and recommended additional energy-saving measures for the New York City public healthcare system.


At NYC Health + Hospitals, EDF Climate Corps fellows Talik Watson, Grace McGinnis and Laura Tajima identified low-cost energy savings for 15 facilities. The team also was asked to identify additional areas for potential energy savings during their site visits.


Watson, McGinnis and Tajima collected and analyzed steam loss data from steam traps at 15 facilities across the NYC Health + Hospitals network and interviewed the facilities managers, engineers and tradespersons. They determined that significant energy expenditure could be averted by repairing and replacing defective steam traps.

Steam traps remove condensate from the steam system, which allows the condensate to travel back to the boiler to become steam again. When steam traps fail, they often result in blowing steam away from the steam system, losing energy and money in fuel costs. A faulty steam trap can lead to thousands of dollars of wasted steam and energy.

The team found that staffing, age of equipment, age the buildings and other budget constraints significantly contributes to many NYC Health +Hospitals facilities having faulty steam traps. The team recommended pursuing a full steam trap survey with an external consultant, followed by developing an in-house, year-round preventative steam trap maintenance program.

While conducting site visits, the fellows noted additional opportunities for energy reductions common to most of the facilities they visited. Watson, McGinnis and Tajima selected four of these issues: lighting, computers, window air conditioning units and cooling towers. The team analyzed these four areas at NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem, as a case study, which could be replicable at other facilities. Additionally, the fellows recommended ways to improve communication and information sharing between the individual facilities and the Energy Management Team at the centralized corporate offices with respect to energy-related issues.

Potential Impact

For the steam traps project, the fellows calculated that identification and replacement of existing faulty traps as well as the implementation of a preventative steam trap maintenance program could result in substantial savings. Annually, NYC Health + Hospitals could save nearly $2.9 million in energy costs and avoid over 15,500 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

For the other recommended efficiency projects, the fellows calculated that, at NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem the recommended energy efficiency measures could reduce annual electricity consumption by 2.5 million kilowatt hours, an approximate annual savings of $326,500.

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