Monterey Houses receive technology upgrade

Councilman Ritchie Torres announcing technology upgrades for NYCHA’s Monterey Houses.
Photo courtesy of the Office of Council Member Ritchie Torres

The future of home energy systems has now arrived for two Bronx public housing buildings.

On Wednesday, October 29, a ribbon-cutting ceremony unveiling energy monitoring and efficiency upgrades in Monterey Houses, was conducted by Councilman Ritchie Torres, chair of the Committee on Public Housing, Intech21, and the Monterey Houses Tenant Association. Also in attendance were New York Assemblyman Victor Pichardo and Mothers on the Move.

“The partnership between Intech21 and NYCHA demonstrates the benefits of bringing cutting-edge technology to public housing,” explained Torres. “NYCHA spends $589 million dollars a year on utility costs, double the costs from a decade ago. If we are serious about reducing waste and energy emissions in New York City, the Intech21 and NYCHA partnership provides an exceptional opportunity.”

Through the installation of Wireless Energy Modules and Computerized Heating Automated Systems each unit’s energy usage and temperture can be monitored, as well as automatically maintained at a comfortable level.

It is believed that through this implementation, these upgrades will result in a significant reduction of Monterey Houses’ total energy consumption by at least 22%.

An analysis conducted by the Environmental Defense Fund predicts once these technologies are installed throughout NYCHA’s portfolio, The authority could save approximately $31 million in heating costs and $25 million in electric costs annually while avoiding 177,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year.

“Intech 21, a New York-based high tech company, has been working with the New York City Housing Authority for the last 15 years,” George Bilenko, founder and CEO of Intech21, said.

“During this time we have developed for NYCHA the Computerized Heating Automated System. CHAS has been used successfully by NYCHA to centralize all of its boiler plants and heating operations. NYCHA has received several awards for the use of this centralized system. This system was pioneered by Intech21 at the Castle Hill NYCHA Ddvelopment.”

“I’m proud to stand with my colleague Councilman Ritchie Torres and thank him for his leadership on this issue. NYCHA developments in our districts are long overdue for this type of funding. I am glad we have leaders like this in the Council, so we can push NYCHA in the right direction, and I will make sure that the state will do right by our constituents as well,” said Assemblyman Pichardo.

After the announcement, participants at Wednesday’s event were able to see the recently installed WEM inside an apartment rented by Isabel Matias, the tenant association president for the last four years.

“So far it’s working well,” Matias confirmed. “The tenants have adjusted to this new system and they know it’s saving money on heat and electricity here and that money saved will go toward more development where it’s needed. I am in favor of it.”

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