NYSERDA Transformative Wave Catalyst Deployment

Scaled Deployment of Advanced Rooftop Unit (RTU) Controls in New York State (Final Report)

Final Report

This report provides a summary of the scaled deployment of Transformative Wave’s CATALYST Advanced Rooftop Controller that occurred between December 2015 and June 2019.

About Energy Solutions

Energy Solutions is an employee-owned engineering services, demand management, and program design firm founded in 1995. Our mission is to create large-scale environmental impacts by providing market-based, cost-effective energy, carbon, and water management solutions. We seek to develop reliable, high-value partnerships with our clients through a strong commitment to innovation, collaboration and industry-leading quality.


The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise, and support to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect the environment and create clean energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York State since 1975. To learn more about NYSERDA’s programs, visit nyserda.ny.gov or follow on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram.


We would like to thank the following individuals and sponsoring organizations for sharing their expertise and contributing organizations for sharing their expertise and data. Their help was instrumental in the creation of this report.

Michael Deru, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Amy Dickerson, National Grid
Christian Weber, Pacific Gas & Electric
Tom Burbank, Atlantic Westchester
Lucas Wachob, Bill Coe, Mike Petix, EMCOR Betlem
Randy Savage, American Energy Care
Richard Miller, Sure Temp
Michael Barbasch, Kalyan Nishtala, LaBella Associates

Executive Summary

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiative includes the climate goal of a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) by 2030 from 1990 levels. In April 2018, Governor Cuomo announced an additional 40% increase in current energy efficiency targets, which would enable New York to achieve annual electric efficiency savings of 3% of investor-owned utility sales by 2025.

Commercial heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) makes up a substantial portion of New York’s energy consumption. Rooftop Units (RTUs) provide HVAC services to a large portion of commercial and industrial buildings in New York. In the United States, RTUs condition 46% of all commercial buildings and serve more than 60% (39 billion square feet) of commercial building floor space (EIA 2003). More than 90% of RTUs utilize constant speed supply fans that run continuously at full speed and draw significantly more power than is necessary to maintain occupancy comfort. Advanced Rooftop Controls (ARC), like Transformative Wave’s CATALYST, are retrofit solutions for constant air-volume (CAV) single-zone packages that can be installed on existing RTUs without waiting until the unit needs to be replaced. ARCs convert the RTU supply fan from single-speed to multi-speed, resulting in significant energy savings. The CATALYST and other ARC retrofit solutions are particularly important in reaching New York’s aggressive efficiency goals because they target an existing building stock that is unlikely to have a major HVAC replacement in the near term.

As part of NYSERDA’s Emerging Technology and Accelerated Commercialization (ETAC) initiative, Energy Solutions managed a scaled deployment of the CATALYST in New York State from December 2015 through March 2018 to achieve the following objectives:

  1. Validate energy savings claims at scale and across a wide variety of building types throughout New York State.
  2. Build consumer and contractor awareness of the CATALYST and other Advanced RTU controls in general by providing trainings and informational sessions
  3. Increase the number of Affiliate contractors certified to sell and install the CATALYST through market outreach and new contractor partnerships with Transformative Wave.

During this time period, the CATALYST was installed on 191 HVAC units across 24 sites within New York State.2 In addition to deployment and energy monitoring, Energy Solutions conducted workforce education and training to increase customer and contractor awareness of both the CATALYST and other intelligent controls, including:

  • Five “Contractor and Customer Engagement” webinars that informed the targeted contractor network of the deployment opportunity and the benefits of the CATALYST. Across five webinars, there were 102 attendees from different market sectors, including HVAC contractors, commercial real estate partners, design engineers, and end-use
    customers such as retail and restaurant chains.
  • Six “Intelligent Controls 101” webinar training sessions that focused on communicating the energy, facility, human resources, and business value associated with advanced controls and how they’re disrupting the market. Across these sessions there were between 72-83 attendees from the contractor market, end-use customers, and utility stakeholders that benefitted from the webinar series
  • Two case studies that communicated a different customer experience which highlighted energy and non-energy benefits. They focused on initial customer interest such as integration opportunities or customer comfort.

The deployment also conducted a comprehensive measurement and verification (M&V) plan to confirm Transformative Wave’s claim that the CATALYST saves between 25% and 50% of energy consumption and to validate the data reported by the Catalyst eIQ platform. The M&V plan was based on the International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol (IMPVP) 2012 framework and included three key activities:

  • Validation of Transformative Wave’s energy savings claim through calculating the savings achieved by the sites in the pilot. CATALYST reported savings data was used to calculate the individual site savings. All units in the deployment were included in this validation step. This component of the M&V plan was based on IMPVP Option A
  • Validation of savings data reported by eIQ using plan based on IMPVP Option B. About 40% of the incentivized units in the deployment were included in this validation step
  • Validation of data points collected by the sensors installed with the Catalyst using independent data loggers. Of the incentivized units in the deployment, 10% had loggers installed.
To read our full article, click here to see the pdf