SOURCE: Danfoss


October 03, 2011 14:16 ET

Danfoss, Alliance to Save Energy Event Showcases Energy Efficiency Strategies and Available Technologies for NYC

Case Study: Thermostatic Radiator Valves Could Save City's Residents $100 Million Annually

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Oct 3, 2011) - On September 15, Danfoss, in conjunction with the Alliance to Save Energy, co-sponsored a briefing and reception in New York City titled "Energy Efficiency: The Path to NYC's Residential Transformation."

In the absence of national energy policy, state and local programs are addressing energy efficiency and the untapped savings potential. New York-based consulting engineers, property and facility managers and representatives from cooperative housing units gathered at the briefing to explore the goals and challenges facing New York City and share information regarding actual energy savings results from a recent heating technology installation in two NYC multifamily residential buildings.

Specifically, the event addressed federal and local policy, building codes, research in energy and environment, as well as strategies for applying available energy-efficient technologies. Remarks and presentations were given by the following distinguished speakers:

  • Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY), U.S. House of Representatives
  • Francis Murray, president and CEO, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)
  • Kateri Callahan, president, Alliance to Save Energy
  • Deborah Taylor, chief sustainability officer, NYC Department of Buildings
  • Tom Sahagian, green codes fellow, NYC Mayor's Office of Long-Term Planning & Sustainability

The Energy Challenge
As Robert Wilkins, vice president public affairs, Danfoss, mentioned in his opening address, buildings account for 40 percent of the energy used in the United States today -- primarily for heating and cooling.

"We -- as building owners, operators, engineers and manufacturers -- have a tremendous opportunity to help move the needle in terms of reducing energy use, decreasing tenant costs, improving comfort and putting our buildings on the path to a more sustainable future -- not to mention increasing the value of buildings in terms of rental or resale value," he said.

Taylor, who presented information from NYC's Greener, Greater Buildings Plan, which is part of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's PlaNYC initiative, elaborated further, highlighting the breakdown of the city's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Of the 49.3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) measured in 2009, 35 percent are produced by residential buildings alone.

Steps Forward
As Callahan discussed, policy is helping to build a more energy-efficient future through financing, such as Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Bonds, programs like President Obama's Better Buildings Initiative, which aims for a 20 percent improvement in energy efficiency in existing commercial buildings by 2020, and improved building codes.

Implementation of the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007 statewide in 2011 could save $178 million annually by 2020 and $360 million annually by 2030 in avoided energy costs. The code could also help New York State avoid 30.6 trillion Btu and annual emissions of more than 2.14 metric tons of CO2 by 2030.

Furthermore, the improvement of building energy codes in the residential sector and ensuring homeowners have the resources available to make the necessary energy upgrades can help make average cost-of-living values more acceptable, given an average U.S. home energy bill currently totals around $2,175 annually.

Taking steps of its own, Taylor described the efforts New York City has been pursuing, including the recent requirement of building owners to submit benchmarking data annually on a facility's number of occupants and operating hours, as well as on both energy and water consumption.

City authorities have also encouraged energy audits to evaluate existing systems, such as building envelopes, HVAC, hot water, lighting, power, elevators, escalators, etc., to identify potential energy upgrades, including estimates of initial costs and annual energy savings.

Available Technologies Present Solutions
As New York's authority on energy, NYSERDA is dedicated to helping the state reach its energy goals by reducing consumption, promoting the use of renewable energy sources and protecting the environment. Murray described the past successes and present efforts of NYSERDA to advance the way in which technology is developed, used and deployed in New York. Afterwards, Sahagian presented a current case study of the effect of thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) in NYC's multifamily residential cooperatives.

The 1.7 million multifamily housing units in NYC account for more than half of the city's total occupied housing units -- and most were built without individual thermostat controls. Therefore, it's commonplace, when an apartment becomes too warm, for tenants to open windows to control temperature -- creating a large source of energy waste.

TRVs are easily installed on steam and hot water radiators and convectors and provide fully automatic room temperature control. A TRV allows only the required amount of steam or hot water to enter the radiator and/or convector to match the changing heating requirements throughout the day. For example, on a typical fall or winter day, rooms receiving sunlight may not require any additional heat while those in the shade require extra heat. TRVs balance the entire heating system continuously as the demand changes. And, because TRVs can be installed on each radiator in an apartment, tenants have better control of individual room temperatures resulting in improved comfort and energy savings.

Before joining the mayor's office, Sahagian participated in a Danfoss-sponsored project with Power Concepts LLC to install the valves in two NYC co-ops on Manhattan's Upper West Side to test the effectiveness on building energy use and tenant comfort.

  • Building 1: 36 units, 9 stories, 1-pipe steam system heating system, built 1923
    • 101 total radiators; installed 72 thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs)
  • Building 2: 92 units, 17 stories, 2-pipe steam heating system, built 1928
    • 344 total radiators (some already shut off or removed to control temperature); installed 197 thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs)

In both installations, the return on investment for the technology is as short as three years, whereas other energy efficiency upgrades such as replacing windows to conserve energy could take 15 to 20 years to produce similar results. Though tenant education is required to change current habits of opening windows to control the heat, the TRV study proved that if every multifamily building in NYC installed TRVs, the total energy cost savings could soar to approximately $100 million annually.

Congressman Tonko emphatically stated that energy efficiency is a matter of national security and economic growth. There are technologies available today to affect and radically improve the efficiencies of U.S. buildings and homes, and the country needs to continue investing in technologies of the future. According to Tonko, when it comes to pursuing a clean technology economy, Americans need to think "outside the barrel."

To learn more about thermostatic radiator valves, please visit

About Danfoss:
Danfoss is one of the world's leading manufacturers of high efficiency electronic and mechanical components and controls for air-conditioning, heating, refrigeration and motion systems. We operate in more than 100 countries, employ 25,740 people, and hold more than 1,800 patents on a wide range of products. Our innovative, reliable products are backed by local sales and support to help our customers solve their greatest challenges. With its visionary and committed employees, Danfoss meets the needs of its customers through its EnVisioneering(SM)partnerships. EnVisioneering focuses on developing new technologies for sustainable business growth through engineering innovation, energy efficiency and environmental responsibility. For more information about Danfoss, visit: For more information about EnVisioneering, visit:

Related Links

Alliance to Save Energy

Greener, Greater Buildings Plan


Thermostatic radiator valves

Power Concepts, L.L.C.

Contact Information

  • For More Information Contact:
    Rebecca DeNicco
    Godfrey PR
    (717) 393-3831, ext. 203