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Heat Recovery Program


Harnessing Wasted Heat to Fuel Building Decarbonization

Steam coming from the tops of buildings in a city.


NYSERDA is working to energize the New York State marketplace for heat recovery solutions. Buildings, which represent around one-third of New York’s greenhouse gas emissions, waste heat (i.e., thermal energy) through a variety of processes, including ventilation, cooling, and wastewater systems. By capturing and repurposing that rejected energy, heat recovery solutions help building owners reduce operating costs and lower carbon emissions.

To increase awareness and adoption of heat recovery solutions, the Heat Recovery Program aims to advance solutions that can significantly improve thermal efficiency and support planning activities to accelerate a pipeline of successful heat recovery retrofits.

Heat Recovery Turns a Problem Into an Opportunity

Heat Recovery recycles wasted thermal energy, reducing a building’s energy consumption and carbon footprint. Recovering wasted heat – energy that building owners have already paid for – and repurposing it directly at point of use or storing it for later represents a promising approach to large building decarbonization.

Hudson 345

Retrofitting a 1931 NYC office building to recycle heating and cooling energy.

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Recent Demonstrations Validate the Heat Recovery Opportunity in NYS

Recent projects, including the demonstration projects advanced through NYSERDA’s Empire Building Challenge (EBC), have shown that heat recovery is a no-regrets decarbonization strategy for many of New York’s existing building stock. All ten projects awarded by EBC have featured heat recovery in some form as part of a phased decarbonization retrofit [PDF].

By building on the successful demonstrations of this technology, this program aims to grow the pool of completed heat recovery projects from 10 to 100.

Learn More and Get Involved

We’re looking to work with consulting engineers, heat recovery solution providers, building owners and operators, and other key stakeholders to increase adoption of heat recovery solutions amongst a larger share of NYS buildings.


News and Events

  • Heat Recovery Roundtable [PDF] featuring Syracuse University Center of Excellence - Review presentations from the Roundtable held April 9, 2024.
  • Heat Recovery Roundtable [PDF] featuring Starbucks Reserve Empire State Building- Review presentations from the Roundtable held January 31. 2024.
  • Data Center Heat Reuse Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page.: A management primer from the Uptime Institute on the opportunity to recover waste heat from data centers. 
  • The Future of Energy Efficiency Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page.: Learn about holistic energy management solutions, including heat recovery, which is explored further in an article titled “Reject Rejected Energy” on page 44 of the report.

You Might Also Be Interested In: 

NYSERDA has several programs that provide funding and technical assistance to support energy efficiency upgrades and decarbonization of commercial, industrial, institutional, and multifamily buildings.

  • Clean Green Hospitals: Includes resources and information on applicable programs and funding opportunities to support hospitals advance energy efficiency and decarbonization in their facilities and operations.
  • Clean Green Schools Initiative: Provides funding to help public under-resourced schools invest in infrastructure improvements to become healthier, more productive learning environments.
  • Empire Building Challenge: Advances new design approaches for low-carbon retrofits in New York’s high-rise buildings through partnerships and funding for demonstration projects.
  • Flexible Technical Assistance (FlexTech Program): Offers cost-share support to complete an energy study and evaluate opportunities to reduce energy costs and incorporate clean energy into capital planning.

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