New York City Public Housing Gets Green Lighting, Heating

NEW YORK, New York, December 10, 2007 (ENS) – New York public housing buildings are getting new, green upgrades for lighting, heating and hot water services at a special low price under the first sustainability partnership between the city of New York, the federal government and the Clinton Climate Initiative.

On Friday, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former President Bill Clinton, and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, HUD, Secretary Alphonso Jackson announced the new partnership at the Eastchester Community Center in the Bronx.

They were joined by Tino Hernandez, who chairs the New York City Housing Authority, NYCHA, the nation’s largest public housing authority with 2,691 residential buildings and more than 180,000 apartments.

“The New York City Housing Authority is home to more than 408,000 low and moderate income residents throughout the five boroughs,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “These energy saving measures will help the Authority save money, and the environmental impact of these measures will result in cleaner, healthier air for the residents living in public housing.”

The Clinton Climate Initiative works to reduce greenhouse gas emissions around the world and in New York City, where Clinton maintains an office in Harlem.
From left: HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson, former President Bill Clinton, Housing Authority head Tino Hernandez, and Mayor Mike Bloomberg (Photo courtesy Office of the Mayor)
“This is a step in the right direction in the fight against climate change that will reduce New York City’s carbon footprint, while saving money for taxpayers and residents at the same time,” Clinton said.

By participating in the partnership, the Housing Authority will be able to buy energy-saving technology and resources at lower prices through a purchasing consortium that the Clinton Climate Initiative has established. The Housing Authority also will receive help with program development to curb the output of greenhouse gas emissions.

New technology and equipment for the residences includes a computerized heating automated system is a software application that allows for the remote monitoring and hands-on management of NYCHA’s 210 large, central heating plants from any Internet-equipped personal computer.

Under the instantaneous hot water heater program, the Housing Authority is replacing aging domestic hot water tanks with energy-efficient instantaneous-steam water heater devices at developments throughout the city. The new heaters reduce fuel consumption, simplify maintenance, and provide safer and more reliable hot water service to residents.

The Housing Authority has been performing lighting upgrades in its buildings with the goal of reducing its overall electricity consumption by 15 percent.

Now, an average of seven light fixtures per dwelling unit will receive energy-efficient compact fluorescent lamps to replace incandescent light bulbs. CFLs use less than one-fourth the amount of electricity as traditional domestic incandescent bulbs and last eight to 10 times longer.

This program also includes common-area lighting upgrades that consist of exchanging magnetic ballasts with state-of-the-art electronic ones and replacing T-12 fluorescent bulbs with super-efficient T-8 technology.

“The partnership that begins today affects the way in which we will look at all aspects of what we do and how we can protect the environment,” said Margarita López, NYCHA environmental coordinator and commissioner. “It allows us to contribute to the greening of our city, making it a healthier place for our residents while yielding savings of much needed funds for the future of public housing.”

“This is a great opportunity for NYCHA to contribute to Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC sustainability goals,” said NYCHA Chairman Hernandez. “We are working together to take an important step in promoting the environmental health of our City while continuing to preserve public housing.”

“Working with the New York City Housing Authority, we’ve been able to replace aging hot water tanks and boilers and install energy efficient light bulbs in hundreds of buildings across the city,” said HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson. “We’re making great progress and NYCHA and Mayor Bloomberg have been great partners.

“Now we must step it up,” Jackson said. “We are not just retrofitting buildings for today, we are writing new blueprints for tomorrow.”

In addition to meeting NYCHA’s own challenges, the programs will serve as the public housing component of the Mayor’s PlaNYC 2030 agenda, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in New York City to ensure a sustainable quality of life for all New Yorkers.

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