The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) seeks one or more technical solutions to implement pilot projects that will reduce energy loads from heat and hot water and produce utility cost savings in 16 housing developments that are connected to Consolidated Edison (ConEd) district steam heat

More than 400,000 New Yorkers reside in NYCHA's 328 public housing developments throughout the five boroughs. In New York City, where average winter temperatures are around 32°F, heat and hot water are lifelines that landlords in master-metered buildings must provide to residents. As a landlord, NYCHA supplies and pays for heating and hot water for all 178,000 units within its portfolio at an annual cost of $200 million.

While most NYCHA apartments are heated through 2-pipe steam systems generated from on-site boilers, two-percent of the units, located in 16 developments, are heated through ConEd’s district steam heat system. This system, while offering greater efficiencies in operations and maintenance by eliminating the need for on-site low pressure boilers, provides steam that is on average twice the cost of steam generated on site in boiler rooms. In addition to the high cost of operation, NYCHA’s median heating energy use intensity for these buildings is 78 kBtu per square foot, approximately 80 percent higher than that of the 2-pipe steam systems used in other NYCHA developments and in many of New York City’s multi-family dwellings. In 2015, the 16 Manhattan NYCHA developments included in this challenge consumed nearly 294 thousand pounds of steam for a total cost of $7.8 million.

NYCHA aims to reduce utility costs and receive resulting financial benefits by reducing the heat and hot water loads at the 16 developments. To-date, NYCHA has piloted a ground source heat pump project in 2013 at Strauss Houses, located at 344 East 28th Street. Installation included a ground-source heat pump system (GSHP) for the production of domestic hot water; upgrades to the steam heating control system, including orifice balancing valve in radiators; steam trap replacements throughout; and temperature sensor in each apartment to enable the heating system to respond to indoor temperatures. The installation successfully reduced the hot water load by over 60%, representing 30,000 Mlbs of steam.

NYCHA has also implemented in-unit temperature sensors—which allow the temperature to be adjusted based on indoor instead of outdoor temperatures—to help reduce the heating load, and thus utility cost, by reducing the amount of heat being supplied to the building. One of the 16 ConEd steam heated developments currently has indoor temperature sensors installed. It is NYCHA’s plan to deploy them throughout its portfolio.

How to Get Involved:

To expand upon current efforts to achieve load reductions ConEd district steam heated buildings, NYCHA is looking for one or more technical solutions that produce load reductions, reduce utility cost, and ideally generate additional financial benefits and can be piloted in one or more of the 16 developments. Potential solutions should address load reduction at one or more levels:

  • SOURCE LEVEL: within the steam reduction station

  • DISTRIBUTION LEVEL: within the existing distribution system, which may be, a standalone building or multi-building campus 2-pipe vacuum heating distribution system and steam fired hot water heaters

  • UNIT LEVEL: within the apartment, excluding in-unit solutions addressing electricity load

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Solutions at the unit level should be scalable portfolio-wide, while solutions at the building and distribution level may be site-specific, though scalable solutions at these levels are also highly desired as NYCHA envisions converting other developments heated by on-site boilers to ConEd district steam system if the solution proves to be successful.
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Assumptions for the solutions must be rigorous and provable. Expected energy savings resulting from new system/equipment installation must be measurable and solutions should pay for themselves with the savings they generate. Submissions should include information that can be used to model the financial and operational feasibility of implementing the solution.

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While cost savings or financial benefits to NYCHA via load reductions is the number one priority, NYCHA is also actively engaged in enhancing resiliency features in the developments. Solutions that are multi-functional and can reduce the overall load while also enhancing resiliency (such as generating back up energy to power hallway lighting, elevators, security systems, etc.) are highly desired.

Key Dates:

  • October 18 - November 23: Entry Period
    Applicants sign up to participate and submit all required forms.
  • November 25 - December 21: Judging period
    Approved participants will have their submissions reviewed by the evaluation panel.
  • December 22: Finalists announced
    Finalists will be announced and requested to submit technical specifications for their proposed pilot solutions by January 15, 2017.
  • January 16 - February 28: Second Round of Judging
    Technical specifications will be reviewed by NYCHA.
  • March 1 - Winners Announced
    The participants selected for pilot engagements will be announced.

The application we are asking you to submit consists of a variety of multiple choice questions with a few open-ended questions requesting 300-500 word responses about your proposed solution. You will not need to prepare or submit a separate proposal. You can save your application and return to it if you wish— feel free to click through the application to see what questions we are asking of you before you submit.

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