Demystifying Steam takes a close look at steam heat systems and how they can be improved to save money and energy, including cost-effective solutions that can reduce heating and hot water expenses by up to 20 percent. It also explores the future role of steam in NYC buildings. In particular, the report:
- Identifies key steam system problems and outlines cost effective improvements;
- Discusses how experts improve common steam systems;
- Suggests best practices and policies the city and/or state could pursue to capture most or all of the savings from improving steam heat;
- Analyzes the costs, as well as carbon and fuel savings, from improving steam heat in New York City and State.
For New York City to continue to reduce building emissions, improvements to steam heat must be implemented now. Our research found that retrofitting steam systems in New York City buildings larger than 5,000 square feet would cut that sector’s carbon emissions by 26 percent.
In the long run steam improvements alone are not sufficient to achieve New York City's 80x50 carbon reduction goals, but they’re a critical interim solution.