Pratt Center Research

Building Resilient Communities

EnergyFit NYC Final Report

Report  |  July 17, 2018

With only 1.73% of all New York State retrofits through the Home Performance program occurring in NYC, Pratt Center for Community Development strongly believes that it is time for a New York City focused, small homes energy efficiency program, specifically designed for the building stock and homeowners that live here. This program must leverage the opportunities that arise from NYC’s unique 1-4 family homes and it must be designed to work for the low-and moderate-income families that live in and own them.

In January 2016, Pratt Center piloted EnergyFit NYC as a way to test program design features that we believe can have a transformative impact on the marketplace, namely a streamlined process coupled with a standardized package of energy efficiency measures developed for specific building types. This report presents recommendations cultivated from our learnings from the Pilot and our previous work in this sector including Retrofit Standardization and Retrofit Block by Block. The Pilot tested the Standardized approach in 1- and 2-family, attached, gas-heated, masonry homes built before 1930, due to the prevalence of this type of typical New York City row house.

Pratt Center connected with 730 interested homeowners, conducted 414 intakes and 89 assessments and completed 32 retrofits within the first six months of 2016. Each home had the same package of work installed, which included:

  • Three-tiered air sealing and weatherstripping of the building
  • Air sealing and insulation of the roof hatch 
  • Air sealing and insulation of the attic cavity 
  • Health and safety fixes, as needed, up to $400

Based on this experience, Pratt Center’s recommendations for a successful NYC focused small homes retrofit program, with the particular needs of low- and moderate-income homeowners in mind, include:

  1. Offer a Standard Package of retrofit measures
  2. Simplify the homeowner engagement process
  3. Elevate the importance of Health & Safety in program design and communication
  4. Address additional barriers particular to moderate-income households

The EnergyFit NYC final report provides detailed insight into each of these recommendations.

Year-1 of the EnergyFit NYC Pilot was supported by the New York City Council.

Learn more: EnergyFit NYC  |  Retrofit Standardization Study