NYCHA’s Climate Mitigation Roadmap outlines the Authority’s strategic approach for reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions to meet Local Law 97


NEW YORK – Today, in celebration of Energy Efficiency Day 2020, the New York City Housing Authority released its industry-leading portfolio-wide strategic plan for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from NYCHA operations to meet New York City’s Local Law 97 requirement of a 40 percent reduction by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050. The NYCHA Climate Mitigation Roadmap, the Authority’s most ambitious plan to-date in over 25 years of energy conservation programs, commits NYCHA to electrifying its buildings, the first such commitment among public housing authorities.

“NYCHA is meeting the challenge of climate change head-on by leveraging sustainable technology to significantly reduce GHG emissions across our 2,410 residential buildings,” said NYCHA Chair & CEO Greg Russ. “Replacing costly fossil fuel burning systems with low-carbon, electric systems benefits our residents, our neighborhoods, and our city.”

“NYCHA is using the full weight of its size and buying power to make cutting-edge green technology more accessible for public housing residents, and New Yorkers in general” said NYCHA EVP of Capital Projects Steve Lovci. “The roadmap we’ve developed convenes three years of technical studies and a quarter century’s worth of actionable research on how to adapt the energy infrastructure of aging multifamily residential buildings for the 21st century.”

"New York’s affordable housing developers are at the forefront of implementing energy efficiency initiatives, and NYCHA continues to be an important contributor in advancing green building policies," said Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been. "NYCHA's Climate Mitigation Roadmap exemplifies the multi-pronged approach capable of curbing greenhouse gas emissions while reducing utility costs to residents, creating jobs, and paving the way for a cleaner, healthier environment in our city." 

"To confront climate change and social inequality in tandem, we must actively, and intentionally improve housing, green spaces, and air quality for our most vulnerable residents," said Mark Chambers, Director of Sustainability, City of New York. "The plan NYCHA is unveiling today demonstrates that vision while advancing the highest sustainability standards for the nation’s largest public housing authority." 

“Whether it’s a newly built luxury office or an older residential complex, it is crucial that every building in New York City reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Gina Bocra, Chief Sustainability Officer, Department of Buildings. “We commend NYCHA’s strong commitment to tackle its buildings’ carbon footprints and comply with Local Law 97.

The Climate Mitigation Roadmap outlines the Authority’s 10-year and 30-year plans for achieving near-net-zero carbon emissions through four operational improvement strategies: (1) Reducing energy waste; (2) Moving away from steam heating technology; (3) Improving critical building infrastructures; and (4) Incentivizing residents to reduce in-apartment energy usage.

Starting this year, NYCHA will become the first public housing authority in the nation to adopt beneficial electrification as a policy, where on-site energy consumption is reduced by switching to a low-carbon electrical grid. A 2017 study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) found that beneficial electrification has the potential for reducing nationwide GHG emissions by 40 percent

The Plan is already being implemented. NYCHA is currently in procurement for its first near-net-zero RetrofitNY pilot and its first large-scale electrification project.

Most recently, NYCHA partnered with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to stage the NextGen HVAC Innovation Challenge, which invites HVAC manufacturers to develop 120-volt window-mounted cold-climate air-source heat pumps for the United States, a product that would not only replace outdated steam-based heating at NYCHA, but also meet a pressing need for many multifamily buildings in New York – and possibly much of the country.

Last month, NYCHA worked with one local manufacturer representative to demonstrate a prototype of a similar heat pump unit with some, but not all, of the desired characteristics at Fort Independence Houses in the Bronx.


About the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)

The New York City Housing Authority is the largest public housing authority in North America, housing nearly 400,000 residents. NYCHA’s mission is to increase opportunities for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers by providing safe, affordable housing and facilitating access to social and community services. Over 360,000 New Yorkers reside in NYCHA’s 302 public housing developments and PACT/RAD developments formerly managed by NYCHA around the five boroughs. Over 190,000 receive subsidized rental assistance in private homes through the NYCHA- administered Section 8 Leased Housing Program.