Comply with HPD’s Heat Sensor Program
In 2020, the New York City government passed Local Law 18 which is also known as the Heat Sensors Program (HSP). Let’s explore what this is all about.
What is the New York City Heat Sensors Program?
The Heat Sensors Program requires HPD to identify buildings in NYC with recurring heat complaints and violations. They will then keep a close watch on those buildings’ indoor temperatures via heat sensors, and issue violations if the temperatures are below the legal requirements.
Who is this program for?
Every two years, on July 1st, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) selects 50 class A multiple dwellings to participate in this program. A Class A multiple dwelling is a residential building in which tenants live long term.
The buildings are chosen based on the number of heat complaints and violations issued over the previous two years.
If your building has been selected as part of the program, you’ll receive a notice from HPD. You can also check NYC’s website, to find out if your building has been chosen.
All about heat sensors
Heat sensors with internet capabilities must be installed in each dwelling unit to measure the indoor temperatures and record all data for future reference. This information must be accessible to the property owners and tenants of the units in which the heat sensors are installed.
Entech’s indoor temperature sensors comply with the guidelines put in place by the HPD Heat Sensors Program. See below for more information on Entech’s heat sensors.
Provide and install one heat sensor in a living room of each unit.
Install a new sensor if there is no functioning sensor in a unit that has been vacated.
Replace a sensor within 30 days of when a tenant provides written notice that his sensor is not
working. The owner is only responsible if the sensor’s damage was not caused by the tenant.
Keep records of the installation, maintenance and data of the heat sensors. Here is a recordkeeping sample. These records must be provided to HPD if requested.
Written records must be kept if tenants refuse the installation of heat sensors.
If the tenant has not refused, however the owner has been unable to access the apartment, written records must be kept of the owner’s attempts at access.
Owners can’t charge tenants for the sensors, the installation of the sensors, or for replacements due to “wear or malfunction.”
Ensure the heat sensor is maintained properly.
Replace the sensor if stolen, removed, found missing or considered unusable during occupancy. If the owner wishes to replace the sensor, he can charge the tenant a maximum of $50.
Provide the owner with written confirmation if a sensor is not wanted.
My building was selected, where do I go from here?
Within 15 days of being notified by HPD, owners are required to inform all tenants of the program. They must post a sign in English and Spanish on the building’s main entrance door or another noticeable location.
See below for the notice to tenants in English and Spanish.
In short, the notices are informing the tenants that their building has been chosen as part of the Heat Sensors Program. Therefore heat sensors will be installed, and the tenants will be provided with instructions on how to access the collected information.
An important point that’s put down is that a tenant has the right to refuse the installation of a heat sensor in his or her unit. To do so, an opt-out form would need to be filled out and submitted to the management.
By October 1st, the sensor installations need to be complete.
Class B HPD violations can be issued for failure to install heat sensors or for non-compliance with the program. These violations range from $25 – $100 each, plus an additional fine of $10 per violation per day.
General heat violations are also included in this program. Daily fines for heat violations may range from $250/day – $1,000/day. It’s therefore important to resolve these violations as quickly as possible, best within 24 hours of notice, to avoid these costly penalties.
As part of the program, HPD will conduct inspections for compliance with the legal heat requirements. These inspections will take place at least once every two weeks during the heat season (October 1st – May 31st).
Realize that these inspections are conducted without prior notice and not necessarily due to heat complaint submissions.
HPD may discontinue these inspections if the building is found to be consistently compliant with the law by January 31st.
It’s important to note that inspection fees may apply if a third or subsequent inspection resulting in heat violations occurs within a heat season. The same applies to hot water violations within a calendar year.
As a reminder, heating violations can be issued during the heat season (October 1 – May 31st) while hot water must be provided year-round.
Once a building is included in the Heat Sensors Program, the requirements are in place for four years.
Owners may apply for a discharge from the program before that time, if they have not received any heat violations within the previous heat season or if they have shown that they have taken action to ensure that there is sufficient heat for the next season.
The Owner’s Request for Discharge Form can be found here.
Entech Boiler Control’s Heat Sensors
Entech’s indoor temperature sensors comply with the guidelines put in place by the HPD Heat Sensors Program:
“An internet capable temperature reporting device is a device capable of measuring the indoor air temperature not less than once per hour and recording such temperature, along with the date and time of such reading, for a period of time not less than the immediately preceding 90 days. Such device must be capable of making such information available through an ordinary internet connection or through other means when no such connection is present. Such information must be accessible to property owners and any tenant of the unit in which such device is placed.”
Entech’s indoor sensors include the the following features and information:
Measures indoor air temperature.
Provides a reading up to every 15 minutes, when there is a temperature change.
Stores the date and time of each temperature transmission for up to 13 months.
Management and tenant portal where the sensor data can be easily accessed and reviewed.
Please see below for a snapshot of the management/tenant portal where the sensor temperature data can be accessed:
In addition to legal compliance, the Entech indoor sensors have many beneficial features.
With Entech’s Stealth boiler control, the indoor sensors’ readings are factored in, together with outdoor temperatures, when determining boiler runtime. The lower the indoor readings, the more the boiler will run, and vice versa. Additionally, the building’s heat can be based on various configurations, such as average or majority sensor readings, to accommodate unique building needs.
Another Stealth feature is that owners and managers can receive automated notifications when the average indoor temperatures are either high or low, or if the sensors stop reading altogether.
The indoor sensors are compact and aesthetically pleasing. They are wireless and can be easily self-installed as well.
With Entech’s Stealth control and indoor sensors, your building can be assured satisfactory heat throughout the legal heating season.
Contact us to find out more.