Answer the Call: NYC Wants You to Make It More Efficient

New York City has just issued two Calls for Innovation: the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and the Mayor’s Office of Technology and Innovation (MOTI) wants your help. Specifically, the city needs ideas on how to reduce the demand for and costs of electricity and heat in their public housing. And anyone from around the world is welcome to pitch in their idea.

Heat and Electric

The goal of each call for innovation is to reduce costs for the city’s housing authority buildings. Here’s more info on the heat-related call:

“The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) seeks one or more technical solutions to implement pilot projects that will reduce energy loads from heat and hot water and produce utility cost savings in 16 housing developments that are connected to Consolidated Edison (ConEd) district steam heat”

And here’s the electricity call, a area that constitutes an operating expense of $180 million yearly for NYCHA:

“The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) seeks solutions that will reduce electrical demand in developments that are master-metered for electricity.”

Since the heating and hot water bill is $200 million, these two calls for innovation cover a $380 million annual total.

A Search for Entrepreneurs

As Citymart Partner Julia Haselmayer said in a press release:

“We are excited to partner with the Mayor’s Office of Technology and Innovation and with the New York City Housing Authority on these two Challenges open to the world’s citizens and entrepreneurs to help NYCHA reduce its environmental footprint and increase its operational efficiencies when it comes to heating and energy.”

And Jeff Merritt, Director of Innovation with the Mayor’s Office of Technology and Innovation, further clarified the opportunities available:

“New technologies and innovative approaches are critical to our efforts to curb the impacts of climate change and build more sustainable communities. These calls for innovation represent a tremendous opportunity for companies of all sizes to partner with the City of New York, showcase their ideas and innovations, and help establish a new global standard for healthy and energy-efficient public housing.”

One or more solutions for each call for innovation will be turned into pilot projects at a NYCHA development. If any of these pilots is successful “both economically and technically,” NYCHA states, they “may announce an open procurement process soliciting bids for further deploying the technology.” covers their terms and details their timeline in the release, but the relevant deadline now is the entry period: from October 18 until November 23. The final winner selected for pilot programs will be announced on March 1, 2017.

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Adam is a writer at and has worked as a tech writer, blogger and copy editor for more than a decade. He was a Forbes Contributor on the publishing industry, for which he was named a Digital Book World 2018 award finalist. His work has appeared in publications including Popular Mechanics and IDG Connect, and his art history book on 1970s sci-fi, 'Worlds Beyond Time,' is out from Abrams Books in July 2023. In the meantime, he's hunting down the latest news on VPNs, POS systems, and the future of tech.
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