The St. Tropez Condominium, a 301-unit property located at 340 East 64th Street, is currently undergoing major upgrades to improve its overall efficiency, sustainability and resilience. The project scope includes replacing boilers and absorption chillers, and installing two CHP (or cogeneration) units and a hot water fired chiller.
By providing project oversight and expert guidance on available incentives, FirstService Residential and FirstService Energy, the company’s energy advisory subsidiary, helped the St. Tropez realize an incredible return on investment.
This project has been in the making for over a year. “The Board of Managers had planned to replace the boilers and chillers since several engineering studies revealed the equipment was at the end of its useful life,” explains Property Manager Rovena Haxhiaj. “What the Board did not plan for was the installation of the two CHP units.”
That idea was proposed after the former Board President attended a CHP presentation by industry experts hosted by FirstService Residential during its 2013 Sustainability Expo. A subsequent feasibility study revealed the St. Tropez would benefit greatly from a CHP system.
“The heat generated will be utilized to run the hot water fired chiller in the summer  and to supplement space heating in the winter  for the residents which will result in significant energy savings,” says Rovena. “The electricity generated will be used on-site and can also serve as back-up power during outages.”
Seeing the potential for future savings and with space available to house the new equipment, the Board voted easily to move forward. Following several months of concerted efforts by the Board, management and the engineering team, Unit Owners approved the project and work commenced in June 2014.

$451,000 Obtained through NYSERDA

NYSERDA’s Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Acceleration Program provides incentives for the installation of qualified CHP systems. CHP burns natural gas to generate heat and electricity in a single, highly efficient process. This contrasts with conventional ways of generating electricity where vast amounts of heat is simply wasted. 
The St. Tropez is installing two 100kW CHP units and an 80 ton hot water fired chiller. Working in conjunction with the project’s engineer and contractor, Rovena helped to secure significant incentives via the NYSERDA program. In addition to the standard $350,000 incentive for installing two CHP units, and the standard $60,000 incentive for the hot water fired chiller, the St. Tropez will receive an additional 10 percent in incentives for being in Con Edison’s CHP target zone – for a whopping total of $451,000.
By the Numbers
Project Cost $932,840
NYSERDA Incentives $451,000
Cost to Building $481,840
Estimated First Year Savings  $173,290
Payback Period 2.78 years

New NYSERDA Demand Management Program Delivers $288,000

The Demand Management Program – a partnership between NYSERDA and Con Edison – helps properties implement energy improvements that will reduce costs and improve operational performance. The program provides increased funding for upgrades that accelerate and expand implementation of high-performing energy measures and reduce electric demand.
When exploring whether to upgrade the building’s gas chillers versus switching to electric chillers, Rovena turned to Da-Wei Huang, Director of Energy Management, FirstService Energy, for advice. “After a thorough analysis, we determined it was in the building’s best interest to continue with gas fired absorption chillers because they are less expensive to operate in the long term and won’t increase the building’s electric load on Con Edison’s already burdened grid,” Da-Wei explains.
On top of that, Da-Wei advised that the condominium would qualify for financial incentives for retaining a non-electric chiller, thus offsetting the cost of the new chillers. Based on FirstService Energy’s recommendation, the Board elected to proceed and has obtained approval from NYSERDA for an incentive totaling $288,000.
“The Board of Managers is thrilled that our energy efficiency investments are literally and figuratively paying off to the tune of nearly three-quarters of a million dollars,” says Dr. Christopher Klein, Board President. “We are grateful for the hard work that the FirstService Residential and FirstService Energy team put forth in order to achieve these remarkable results.”

Available Demand Management Program Incentives

Project Type Current Incentives NEW Increased Incentives
Thermal Storage $600/kW $2,600/kW
Battery Storage $600/kW $2,100/kW
Chiller/HVAC/BMS/Controls $0.16/kWh $0.16/kWh + $1,250/kW
Lighting/LED $0.16/kWh $0.16/kWh + $800/kW
DR Enablement $200/kW $800/kW
Fuel Switching: Non-Electric A/C Steam A/C Program $500 - $1,000/kW
Is your property eligible to receive these or other incentives? Speak with your property manager or contact Da-Wei Huang, FirstService Energy, at (212) 634-8922 or
Thursday December 04, 2014