New digital thermostat technology saves NYC time, cost, energy

New York City has finished its 50th installation of wireless pneumatic thermostats, a sustainable technology that officials say 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, the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) identified, tested and vetted the new technology.

Wireless pneumatic thermostats, or WPTs, can be installed in a fraction of the time and cost compared to conventional methods that entail ripping out obsolete HVAC equipment, according to a press release. The new 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,” DCAS Commissioner Lisette Camilo said. “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.”

New York City has 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.

"The WPT is a non-invasive technology to upgrade inefficient pneumatic thermostats to digital programmable thermostats in existing buildings,” said Harry Sim, CEO, Cypress Envirosystems, which produced the technology. “It enables HVAC energy savings and greenhouse gas reduction of 20-30 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.” 

The latest installation was completed earlier this month at 100 Centre St. 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. 

To see a video of a WPT installation, visit

Topics: Architectural Firms, Automation and Controls, Brick - All Applications, Energy Saving Products, Engineering Firms, Government Buildings - Federal / State / Local, Great Commercial Buildings, Healthy & Comfortable Buildings, HVAC - Heating, Cooling, and Ventilation, Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), Interiors, Office Buildings, Sustainable Communities, Technology, Urban Planning and Design

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