Most of the 1,200 apartments in the Clinton Hill Co-op have three radiators. To attack the chronic problem of imbalanced heat, the co-op board decided to install a Radiator Cozy on each radiator. The Cozy, the invention of Brooklyn-based Radiator Labs, uses insulation, a small fan and computer-regulated controls to keep too much steam out of hot apartments while sending more to cold ones. Each one has to be custom-made and installed, at a cost of $650 to $850. So the Clinton Hill board was looking at an outlay of about $3 million.
“But there are some NYSERDA [New York State Energy Research and Development Authority] grants and rebates that we’re dealing with,” says the co-op’s property manager, Steve Greenbaum of Charles H. Greenthal. “We’re also doing an RTEM [Real-Time Energy Management] program, which should get us back about close to $900,000.”
The RTEM incentive is obviously a key piece of this puzzle. What is it? It means that a system – in this case, Clinton Hill’s steam-heat system – feeds continuous performance data from sensors and meters into a cloud-based or onsite computer program. That data can be analyzed to optimize a building’s energy usage. So real-time energy management is being able to “see” your building’s operations and react quickly to any problems.
“NYSERDA sets the standards for the frequency of which the vendor must collect data,” says Samantha Pearce, director of energy management service for Bright Power, the co-op’s energy consultant. “They require us to submit, every six months, the raw data.” During this yearlong monitoring phase, she adds, “NYSERDA’s role is strictly data collection to prove that the work took place and the points are being monitored.”
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