New Energy and Environment Digest 新能源与环保参考

Bloomberg’s Ambitious Plan to Improve Energy Efficiency in NY Buildings

Posted in CO2 Emissions, Energy, Environmental Policies, Green Building & Construction by ebalkan on April 27, 2009

energy nyc buildings emissions consumption demand electricity thermal sector power transportNew York Mayor Bloomberg harnessed the green power of Earth Day to unveil a plan that would require NYC buildings – responsible for 80% of the city’s emissions – to undergo regular energy audits and retrofits, as needed, in order to become more energy efficient.

The announcement was made just a couple weeks after Bloomberg and President Clinton announced a $20 million efficiency overhaul of the Empire State Building, and the Mayor called for extensive urban wind power deployment. Two years ago, the Mayor launched PlaNYC, an ambitious, multi-sector policy initiative aimed at bringing greater sustainability to NYC, on Earth Day.

Plan to Include Energy Code, Require Energy Audits & Efficiency Upgrades

Under the new plan, each of the 22,000 buildings in the city with more than 50,000 square feet of floor space would be required to conduct energy audits every 10 years, say city officials. The package also includes a first ever energy code for New York, that would require equipment upgrades, in all of the city’s one million structures, to comply with the latest standards for energy efficiency. The current state code does not prohibit buildings from using older, less efficient equipment in retrofits.

The laws and initiatives in the works, set to take effect by 2013, aim to in reduce the city’s total carbon-dioxide emissions by around 3 million tons a year, helping New York meet the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative target of 10% reduction in emissions from the power sector by 2018.

Green Job Creation

Bloomberg and others believe that requiring approximately 2,200 building audits and upgrade projects per year for a decade would stimulate $2.9 billion in private investment in building improvements by 2022 and generate 2,000 new jobs. Moreover, city officials estimate investing in energy efficiency improvements will pay for itself, and save property owners roughly $750 million a year in energy costs.

Not everyone agrees.

Groups representing building owners and managers have already voiced opposition for parts of the plan.

Building Owners and Managers Association representatives have expressed support for the energy code, lighting improvements and steps requiring energy “benchmarking”, but reject the biggest component of the plan: required energy audits and mandatory upgrades.

greening new york audit city's nyc skyline emissions energy efficiency law policy initiative retrofit upgrade consumption

“We believe that the building prioritization of retrofitting is best left in the hands of the building owner/manager, not outside consultants who seek to bundle projects and lead to higher costs for our members,” said Angelo J. Grima, president of BOMA’s New York chapter, in a letter sent to the Mayor’s office, who is concerned that requiring upgrades would lead to inflated prices and misaligned solutions.

City officials stand convinced that the program would yield more savings – financially and environmentally – than costs. To speed up the process for reaping benefits, the plan proposes to use $16 million in federal stimulus money to set up a revolving-loan fund to help property owners pay for upfront energy improvement costs. Existing New York State Energy Research and Development Authority funding will also remain available for building energy efficiency improvments.

Also, the plan includes a provision sparing unwise and costly improvements. Upgrades will be mandatory only if energy audits determine the presence of low-hanging fruit, or show that the costs of improvement could be zeroed out through energy bill savings within a five year period.

Almost Half NYC Energy Demand from Buildings

New York buildings not only account for 80% of the city’s emissions (twice the national percentage of building-generated emissions), but comprise 72% of energy use. Big buildings consume almost haf of the city’s total energy demand, evidence of the importance of reducing energy consumption in NYC buildings.

Facing increasing pressure to both curb building-related emissions and reign in energy demand that is growing faster than outdated infrastructure can supply, the city plan offers a sensible approach.

If you like what you see here, check out Clinton Climate Initiative to Pay $20m for Empire State Building Efficiency Retrofit.

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  1. […] you like what you see here, check out Bloomberg’s Ambitious Plan to Improve Energy Efficiency in NY Buildings. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)By integrating technologies, products and […]


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