Save on Heat

Fresh Meadows, N.Y.—Devices created by U.S. Energy Group, an energy services company headquartered here, helped area apartment investor Metropolitan Property Management (MPM) cut the fuel it uses to heat hundreds of apartments by more than 25 percent.

MPM compared the eff ectiveness of traditional heat timers to U.S. Energy Group's USE Controller energy management system in its portfolio of 22 apartment and condominium buildings, ranging in size from 16 to 132 units, over the course of two frigid, Northeastern winters.

Heat timers, common in older apartment buildings, typically use a single exterior temperature sensor to control the cycling of the heating system, often a steam heat system with a boiler.

Computerized energy management technology, such as the USE Controller, uses multiple temperature sensors both outdoors and inside the apartments.

The 10 buildings in which MPM installed energy management systems used an average of only 440 gallons of fuel per unit per year. That's 26 percent less than the average 595 gallons per unit per year in MPM's 12 buildings equipped with heat timers.

It typically costs between $10,000 and $12,000 to install an energy management system in a 60- to 80-unit apartment building. A system like that could pay for itself in less than two years, according to Warren Zaretsky, vice president for U.S. Energy.