No one should have to spend the winter in a frigid apartment. Unfortunately, there are more than 200,000 complaints about lack of heat in New York City every year – creating unbearable living conditions, animosity between tenants and landlords, and a serious public health hazard.
Heat Seek NYC is working to put an end to New York City’s heating crisis using a simple system of affordable temperature sensors and easy-to-use web software.
In the process, they’re creating transparency in heating data that empowers tenants, landlords, community organizations, and the justice system.
New York City law says the temperature indoors must be kept at a certain level between October and May. Unfortunately, this law is difficult to enforce.
Right now, tenants have to keep temperature logs by hand – not the most convincing form of evidence – and bring them to housing court, or else dial 311 repeatedly to try to get an inspector to come out and verify that there is a heating violation. Both methods of enforcement are time-intensive and unreliable.
Heat Seek NYC has a new solution. Sensors automatically take temperature readings every hour and record them online. Tenants, advocates, and lawyers can log in to check the temperature at any time and set alerts if it drops below a certain level.
The site also generates heat logs that look just like the ones the city currently requests, but are far more accurate and complete than if they had been done by hand.
Finally, Heat Seek NYC is partnering with responsible landlords to identify areas of heat loss in their buildings. The data helps them make smart investments in weatherization to keep their tenants comfortable, stay in compliance, and save thousands in energy costs.
The campaign’s goal is $10,000 and ends on September 30.