Frequently Asked Questions
How does the system work?
- Runwise is like a smart thermostat for an entire building. Runwise’s online heating control tells a heating system when to turn on and off by using data from an indoor temperature sensor network (installed in-units) collectively with outdoor temperatures and forecasted weather patterns to save money and make the building more comfortable.
- Runwise learns how a given building retains heat in various temperature conditions, as well as what conditions drive complaints in a given building. This “learning” is reflected in how the Runwise algorithm adapts to become more efficient and improve from the first heating season to the next.
How can we know if our building is a good fit for this system?
- If your building is centrally heated, most likely, it will work with Runwise, even if it is very old or brand new.
- The average Runwise building is a multi-family or commercial property that has central heating and is larger than 6 units.
How can we be sure this is going to reduce the cost of our energy bills?
- Runwise is used in more than 6,000 buildings. The average reduction in energy use across those buildings in 2022 was 21%. Together, those buildings saved more than $44 million in energy costs to date. Prior to installing any hardware, Runwise conducts a thorough analysis of the building and provides a savings estimate report that both of us will use as a savings forecast to measure results against. Runwise also provides a money-back guarantee. If you are not saving money, you can cancel the service and get a full refund of anything paid.
- Here is Phil Kiamie from Windsor Management Corp discussing how Runwise saves 35% on energy costs.
Are there rebates available to cover the cost of these types of systems?
- Yes - because Runwise is proven to lower energy usage significantly, most utilities (like ConEdison and National Grid) offer rebates that cover close to 100% of the hardware and installation cost, especially if your building is new to smart heating controls. The Runwise team will manage the rebate process and pass along all of the savings.
If we let ConEd (or other provider) in to install this system, we are not giving them the ability to start giving us fines for anything out of order are we?
- Note that Con-Ed isn't doing the installation - Runwise (or your boiler service company) will do the install completely. Con-Ed's role is only to supply the rebate.
How long is the installation process? What’s involved?
- Runwise aims to be in and out of your building in one day. The physical installation with your boiler should take no more than the morning. In the afternoon we install sensors in your building, spending no more than 2-5 minutes hanging the lightweight, wireless sensors with one nail in apartment units. The last part of the day is spent training your onsite staff how to use the software for easy control of the system.
- Here is Kim Piakos from H.N. Gorin discussing her doubts about having Runwise installed.
Do you have to put sensors inside the units (we don’t want to disturb our tenants)?
- Yes - the sensors need to be installed in the units so the system can make the best decision on when to turn the heating system on or off. Typically Runwise aims for 15-25% of units having sensors. Today, Runwise has installed sensors in more than 300,000 units and have found tenants have a very positive response when they understand the sensor will keep them comfortable and prevent big temperature swings. Sensors are about the size of a light switch and will work accurately if they're positioned behind furniture or a book on a shelf.
- Here is Kim Paikos from H.N. Gorin discussing how tenants have responded to having the Runwise system.
How will this impact the workload of our building management staff?
- Automation in the Runwise system and online remote control of the heating system through the Runwise mobile and desktop apps simplifies managing heat in the building and reduces the workload. Once temperature set points are established in the app, the system manages itself. If more or less heat is desired, simply opening up the app and clicking a single button is all it takes. If abnormalities are detected in the heating system, notifications are sent to the app users for investigation - this provides advanced notice on potential issues so they can be resolved before turning into problems, well before tenants complain.
- Here is Phil Kiamie from Windsor Management Corp describing the new simplicity in managing their heating system with Runwise.
Why is there a yearly management fee?
- Instead of charging a high upfront cost, Runwise spreads its fees out over time to make the system more affordable. This also aligns the interests of the building owner and Runwise - if you are not saving money, you will stop paying Runwise.
- Included in the management fee is 24/7 phone and email support and a dedicated Runwise technician, proactive email, sms, and mobile push notifications for alerts, internet service for the private network the system runs on in the building, unlimited number of user accounts for the desktop and mobile apps, training for employees up front and any time a new person is added in the future, ongoing software updates perpetually - this means your Runwise system will constantly improve and get more efficient the longer you use it.
Is it possible to track how much we’ve saved in the Runwise system?
- Yes - upon logging into the desktop or mobile app, the first thing you’ll see at the top is a chart tracking how much the building has saved in energy costs.
- Here is Cody Stryker from Friedman Management Corp talking about the financial impact Runwise has made for them.
Runwise provides water usage monitoring and leak detection - does this allow us to see water usage on a per unit basis?
- No - the system is designed to find running toilets and fixtures (each of which typically wastes about $6000-$10000 in water per year). The system sends an alert when it finds a riser has one more leaking fixture.
Does this help with Local Law 97 or our energy grade?
- On average the Runwise system provides an improvement of a letter grade 1.5 times higher than the current grade.
- Runwise covers 3 of the 13 prescribed measures that rent-stabilized buildings are required to follow for compliance.
- For market rate building, Runwise is 95% sufficient for compliance up to 2030.
- Here is Paul Xuereb from Tri-Star Equities discussing how they have used Runwise for local law 97 compliance.