Renters Upset About “Insane” ConEd Bills to Heat Crown Heights Luxury Building


It’s been an unusually long and cold winter, but even so, the heating bills at new luxury rental building 500 Sterling Place in Crown Heights have been “insanely expensive,” according to one renter there who got in touch with us. She said said her January bill was $598 and February $700 to heat a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment of about 1,000 square feet — and that was with the heat off in one of the bedrooms. (For comparison, this is about what we pay for a three-story row house.)

“At this point, most tenants I’ve spoken with are very upset,” she told us. “I don’t know what we’re going to do about the bills ourselves, as they’ve gotten to be more then what I can afford. We’re definitely moving out after our lease is up!”

Each apartment has large PTAC electric heating/cooling units under the windows in its main rooms. Click through to see what one looks like in a bedroom at the complex.

Since she first contacted us two weeks ago, the management company has met with the entire building to discuss the problems and has agreed to pay “a substantial portion of everyone’s ConEd bills,” she said. They have been “really receptive and transparent. I think we’ll wait and see about moving, as they’ve been so responsive.”

Complaints about high heating bills are not uncommon in new-construction luxury rental buildings. Another example is 53 Broadway in Williamsburg, which we’ve written about here and here.

The building’s management company had no comment. We also reached out to the owner, and will update the story if we hear anything.

In the meantime, is anyone else out there experiencing similar problems with PTAC units in any kind of building? And are there any heating experts out there who can clue us in to what the underlying issue is — design, installation, or just the nature of PTAC units?

500 Sterling Place Coverage [Brownstoner]
Photos by Halstead

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