Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the City Council speaker, Christine C. Quinn, presented an initiative on April 22, 2009, stating “Making Buildings Energy Efficient is the Single Biggest Step New York Can Take to Go Green.” However, this announcement failed to address the fact that the City has not updated J-51 legislation, which would support EMS technology, the single most cost-effective way of reducing oil and gas consumption and carbon emissions in large existing buildings.
In response, Jerry Pindus, CEO of U.S. Energy Group, has announced a practical approach for buildings in New York City to reduce fuel use over the next 15 years – in the amount of 2.4 billion gallons. PlanUSE, which has been shared with city officials, is the continuation of public policy discourse over PlaNYC that the company has had with members of City Council and City agency officials. U.S. Energy Group already works closely with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) Multi-Family Performance Program.
The central focus of the PlanUSE is to reduce the ‘open windows effect,’ wherein many New York City residents open their windows in the middle of winter due to over-heated buildings – literally throwing fuel, carbon-emissions and money out the window. The goal is to promote greater fuel efficiency, building control and energy monitoring. Pindus has noted, “In order to prevent the ‘open windows effect,’ we must end the overheating of buildings in New York City.”
PlanUSE involves a legislative recommendation for the City to revise J-51 legislation to make the EMS incentives offered through that program current. The plan also has an educational component, which would encourage the development of general guidelines for the maximum indoor temperature of a building. The idea is to empower property managers to monitor and then manage their buildings’ indoor temperatures within a very specific range.
The boiler control technology to manage building temperatures within a very specific range exists and is called an energy management system. By measuring both indoor and outdoor temperature to cycle the boiler more efficiently, energy management systems (EMS) are a heat monitor, preventing buildings from being overheated. By monitoring boiler information, they provide greater heat control. All of the building’s data is accessible through the Internet and can be monitored closely and controlled remotely for maintenance and compliance. Tenants are more comfortable and do not need to open their windows. It is an inexpensive way to retrofit a building, and is currently being installed in many buildings under the NYSERDA sponsored Multifamily Performance Program. EMS systems generally feature a savings of 15-30% on heating oil and gas consumption, with a very fast payback; typically under two years.
If the average size apartment or office building uses 20,000 gallons of oil each year; there are 40,000 buildings that could benefit from energy management systems (EMS) in New York City; the typical fuel savings from an EMS is 20% -- Over 15 years, buildings in New York City could reduce fuel use by 2.4 billion gallons of heating oil.
U.S. Energy has already demonstrated the success of this plan through research into its customer base. U.S. Energy Group’s EMS are currently used in over 3,000 buildings, which each would have used an average of 20,000 gallons of oil each year, or 60 million gallons annually. However, these buildings have saved 20% on average, which equals a savings of 12 million gallons of fuel annually and projects to a savings of 180 million gallons over the next 15 years. Additionally, an independent study last spring, by Metropolitan Property Services, showed that its 25 building portfolio saved on average 26% on fuel-use through an application of U.S. Energy Group’s EMS, indicating that the PlanUSE numbers are conservative estimates. If this rate of savings is projected to New York City’s 40,000 buildings that would benefit from an EMS, fuel use would be reduced by 2.4 billion gallons (or gas equivalent).
For more information on PlanUSE or U.S. Energy Group, visit www.use-group.com or go to www.google.com and enter a search for “U.S. Energy Group” and “energy management system.” Demonstrations and individual building estimates can be scheduled by contacting Tom Scali or Steve Guerrero at (718) 380-1004. With 30 years in the industry, the company offers personalized customer support and provides a one-year parts & labor warranty.
Founded in 1978 by CEO Jerry Pindus, U.S. Energy Group is a metro-New York based firm, which develops and integrates energy control, monitoring and analysis systems for large residential properties. With the slogan “Building Efficiency Through Information Management,” the company’s three flagship products include: USE Manager™, an internet-based building management service which provides information to keep buildings running safely and cost-efficiently; USE Controller™ Energy Management System (EMS), which controls and monitors energy and fuel use and provides proven savings of 15%-40% on fuel consumption, while returning investment in less than two years; and USE Verifier®, a patented advanced ultrasonic measurement system which enables building owners and managers to verify the amount of oil they receive, as well as control their inventory and budget. With U.S. Energy Group’s products and services, building owners save money, conserve energy and enhance residents’ comfort.