New York City Tests New Digital Thermostat Technology

NEW YORK — Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) Commissioner Lisette Camilo announced the 50th installation of Wireless Pneumatic Thermostats, a sustainable thermostat technology that will save time, money and energy in older buildings. As part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s goal to transform New York City’s municipal buildings for a low-carbon future, as outlined in One City, Built to Last, the DCAS has identified, tested and vetted this new innovative wireless digital thermostat.

The Wireless Pneumatic Thermostats, or WPT, technology is from San Jose-Calif.-headquartered Cypress Envirosystems and can be installed in a fraction of the time and cost compared to conventional methods, which entail ripping out obsolete HVAC equipment, according to a statement. The new WPT devices also enable building operators to take advantage of programmable energy-saving strategies in older buildings.

“DCAS is committed to making investments in innovative technologies as part of finding practical, cost-effective solutions to increase the energy efficiencies of our aging building stock,” said DCAS Commissioner Lisette Camilo in a statement. “The new programmable thermostats are one of many solutions DCAS is examining in order for the city to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 35 percent by 2025.”

The city has a diverse portfolio of more than 4,000 municipal buildings. The WPT thermostats were tested as part of DCAS’ IDEA Program, Innovative Demonstrations for Energy Adaptability, which seeks to find new solutions to reduce the city’s carbon footprint. As part of the initial stage of the program, a high school in Queens had the WPT tested, and it showed a reduction of its heating fuel by 20 percent, according to a statement.

“The WPT is a non-invasive technology to upgrade inefficient pneumatic thermostats to digital programmable thermostats in existing buildings. It enables HVAC energy savings and greenhouse gas reduction of 20 to 30 percent, improves the comfort of occupants, and reduces the maintenance labor required. Because of the unique non-invasive nature of the solution, it can be installed in about 10 minutes compared with hours for conventional technology,” said Harry Sim, CEO of Cypress Envirosystems, in a statement.

The latest installation was completed on Aug. 17 at 100 Centre Street. So far more than 6,500 WPT thermostats have been installed in 50 municipal buildings covering approximately 6.5 million square feet of space. This equates to a total energy savings of 78,167 million BTU’s per year and 797,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas, which is equivalent to removing more than 617,295 cars off the road, according to a statement.