Understanding Energy Costs at WSP


Energy Inefficient Buildings

  1. Our buildings do not have any insulation between the exterior bricks and the interior sheetrock
  2. Our energy is all electric and uses PTAC units that use 3x the amount of electricity when the temperature drops below 35°, so we are especially hard hit on very cold days.
  3. We have a passive air flow system that pumps fresh air into the hallways and vents it out of our apartments, thereby pulling out the air wishing our apartments that we have paid to heat.
  4. We have old windows and metal frames that conduct cold air into our apartments.
  5. Those facing north and east will typically have higher heating bills than those facing south and west and lower cooling bills in the summer months

Electric Cost Variables 

  1. Cost per kWh – Starting in 2010, an Electric Council was formed at Waterside which includes Waterside management, its energy consultant and the WTA. We jointly vote on bids for the energy contract and the contract time period, one or more years.  While Con Edison charges for delivery and transmission of electric, we purchase our actual energy from a third party. Purchasing our energy from a 3rd party has reduced our overall cost per kWh for the last few years. However, we are subject to fluctuations in the spot market for natural gas which can be impacted by extreme weather and high demand.
  2. Days in the Billing Period (BP) – Our billing cycles for electricity do not follow the calendar month, rather they follow Con Ed’s meter reading periods—which vary from 28 days to 34 days per period. This length of the billing period impacts total cost.
  3. Degree Days – Degree days are the measurement electricity companies use to quantify and normalize coldness of one day to another so as to provide a measure of how much energy must be expended to heat an apartment relative to a certain temperature. Further, they take into account the variability of the temperature throughout the 24 hour period. Degree Days <35°. When below 35°, the heating coil in the HVAC, which uses 3x the amount of energy, is activated,