Competitive Funding Programs

Expenses for Conservation and Efficiency Leadership (ExCEL) Program

DEM launched the "Expenses for Conservation and Efficiency Leadership" (ExCEL) program to support City agency facility operators in their energy reduction efforts. The competitive program provides expense funding for energy efficiency projects in six categories:
  1. Expense-funded retrofits;
  2. Operations and maintenance measures;
  3. Energy studies;
  4. Diagnostic tools and equipment;
  5. Training; and
  6. Communications and outreach initiatives.

To date DEM has funded 363 project requests for a total of $35.68 million dollars at 23 of the largest agencies. These projects are estimated to reduce more than 27,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and result in about $10.4 million in estimated annual avoided energy costs. Additional rounds of funding are planned to continue to support these efforts.

Sample projects include LED lighting upgrades, steam trap replacements, boiler testing and tune ups, the purchase of diagnostic equipment, condenser coil retrofits, substation maintenance and controls, and HVAC system optimization.


Project Highlights

Brooklyn Botanic Garden LED Retrofits

      Brooklyn Museum        Steam Trap Insulation

Health and Lefkowitz Building Steam Trap Replacements


Accelerated Conservation and Efficiency Program (ACE)

Launched in June 2013 by DCAS Energy Management, the Accelerated Conservation and Efficiency program (ACE) streamlines funding for energy capital projects that are independently identified, managed, and implemented by partner City agencies. ACE encourages agency staff to identify key energy-saving projects based on their understanding of building needs. Through ACE, DCAS solicits proposals from agencies and reviews them on the basis of energy and cost savings, greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions, and other benefits for the City. Capital funding is then allocated for selected projects.

ACE is a critical component of the City’s strategy to reduce GHG emissions. Through six rounds of solicitations, ACE has allocated approximately $358 million to 16 City agencies for projects in more than 650 buildings. These projects are expected to result in GHG reductions of nearly 125,000 metric tons and reduce the City’s annual energy costs by more than $49 million.

ACE GHG Reduction
ACE Avoided Energy Costs

ACE’s sixth and most recent round awarded over $33 million for projects, funded in whole or in part, across 12 agencies. The awarded projects for this round will generate approximately $3.5 million in annual energy cost savings – with an average payback of 10 years – and will yield nearly 10,900 metric tons of GHG reductions. The seventh round of ACE project proposals will be awarded in 2017.

Projects currently funded through ACE include:

  • Boiler control upgrades at over 70 schools;
  • Chiller retrofit at the Queens Museum, in partnership with the Department of Cultural Affairs;
  • Co-funding LED upgrades at street lighting fixtures in all five boroughs;
  • Lighting upgrades at health centers, police precincts and fire stations;
  • Co-funding construction of DEP’s North River cogeneration facility and design of DEP’s Cannonsville hydroelectric generation facility;
  • Comprehensive energy upgrades at three hospitals and one diagnostic center.

To ensure the projected savings are realized, the ACE program requires measurement and verification (M&V) pre- and post-implementation. The M&V process allows DEM to validate the GHG reductions and avoided energy costs, forecast the energy savings potential of future work, and refine our strategy to achieve the City’s GHG reduction targets.

Consultant Study of Energy Savings Potential of the ACE Program

To propel the growth of the ACE program, DEM commissioned a consultant to conduct an analysis of the energy savings potential of energy conservation measures (ECMs) for City buildings eligible under the ACE Program 1. The consultant developed a list of 26 ECMs that are broadly applicable and have significant GHG reduction and energy saving potential. In the study, buildings were classified into 20 building types according to their “primary use” designation in the EPA Portfolio Manager. Employing advanced energy analysis techniques, the avoided energy costs, implementation costs, and GHG reductions were calculated and extrapolated to the building portfolio of the participating agencies. The 26 identified ECMs are:

  1. Bi-Polar Ionization
  2. Building Management System Installation
  3. Boiler Controls Upgrade
  4. Boiler Replacement
  5. Chiller Replacement
  6. Demand Controlled Ventilation (Indoor)
  7. Domestic Hot Water Replacement
  8. Energy Recovery Ventilation
  9. Garage Demand Controlled Ventilation
  10. Lighting Controls
  11. Lighting Upgrades (includes fixture replacements)
  12. Low Flow Aerators for Plumbing Fixtures
  13. Nighttime Setback of Supply Air Temperature Setpoint
  14. Packaged Airside Equipment Replacement
  15. Personal Computer (PC) Power Management
  16. Premium Efficiency Motors
  17. Pipe Insulation
  18. Pool Covers
  19. Rapid Roll Up Garage Door
  20. Seal Holes in Elevator Shafts
  21. Solar Photovoltaic Rooftops
  22. Steam Heat Recovery
  23. Steam Trap Replacement
  24. Thermostatic Radiator Valves
  25. Variable Frequency Drives
  26. Waterside Economizers


This data was used to develop an ECM calculation tool that allows agencies’ energy and facility staff to customize building parameters and to identify opportunities for energy and cost savings. By enabling energy staff to easily sift through a variety of pre-vetted ECMs and select the most appropriate, the ECM tool serves as a useful first step for ACE project proposal planning. An accompanying report offers energy staff helpful information on the technical analysis, use of the ECM tool, and interpretation of the results.



1 As of the fifth round of the ACE solicitation released in December 2015, 20 city agencies participated in the ACE Program.