Assessing the benefits of heating controls

October 07, 2013 - Design / Build

Marc Karell, Climate Change & Environmental Services, LLC

Climate Change & Environmental Services (CCES) assessed the potential feasibility and financial benefits of a heating control project at a large apartment complex in N.YC. East River Housing (ERH) Corp. manages four large buildings providing heat and hot water to about 1,800 apartment units. None of the units operates a thermostat or any other type of heating control. To minimize the number of complaints, ERH has historically provided more than sufficient heat - so much so, that some residents need to open their windows in the winter to counteract overheating! Having successfully implemented a boiler house modernization program, ERH decided the time was right to begin to install and use modern, programmable thermostats on at least representative apartments.
CCES evaluated several options, such as installing thermostats on all apartment units at once or potentially only on representative ones, such as a couple of apartment units in a column. Temperature data from the thermostat can feed back to the valves controlling hot water flow to the column of apartments. CCES also researched the literature in terms of what other multifamily buildings have achieved in terms of reduced fuel combustion based on operating thermostats, and current incentives offered by the utility and NYS for applicable programs.
CCES determined that operating thermostats in selected units feeding back to the system can reduce ERH fuel combustion by about $300,000 to $350,000 per year (15-20%). CCES calculated that based on probable equipment and installation costs and likely incentives from NYS, the project payback would be about three years.
CCES has technical experts experienced in advising you on the proper use of controls to save you fuel use of your combustion system or electricity of a rooftop or similar HVAC system to save you money and maintain proper comfort. Contact us today.
Marc Karell, P.E., CEM, is the president of Climate Change & Environmental Services, LLC, Mamaroneck, N.Y.


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