NYC Unveils Comprehensive Building Retrofit Initiative

New York City yesterday announced a comprehensive package of legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from existing government, commercial and residential buildings.

The six-point plan aims to dramatically reduce the City’s energy usage and save consumers money, while simultaneously creating thousands of energy efficiency jobs

According to the PlaNYC inventory of greenhouse gas emissions, almost 80% of New York City’s carbon footprint comes from buildings’ energy use. IF implemented, the legislation announced today will reduce citywide emissions by 5%, the equivalent of eliminating all carbon emissions from Oakland, California.

The plan consists of four pieces of new legislation and two PlaNYC programs to achieve carbon reductions, train workers for 19,000 construction jobs, and help finance energy-saving improvements using $16 million in federal stimulus funds.

“Today we’re introducing the greener, greater buildings plan, a far-reaching package of new local laws that will dramatically improve New York’s energy efficiency and reduce energy costs by some three-quarters of a billion dollars a year,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “This will significantly improve our economic competitiveness, put thousands of New Yorkers to work in green jobs, and do more to shrink our own direct impact on global warming than any other actions imaginable.”

The six point green buildings plan includes:

  • Legislation that creates a New York City Energy Code that existing buildings will have to meet whenever they make renovations
  • Legislation that requires buildings of 50,000 square feet or more to conduct an energy audit once every ten years and make any improvements that pay for themselves within five years
  • Legislation that requires commercial buildings of 50,000 square feet or more to upgrade their lighting to more energy-efficient systems that pay for themselves through energy savings
  • Legislation that requires buildings of 50,000 square feet or more to make an annual benchmark analysis of energy consumption so building owners can better understand what steps they can take to increase efficiency
  • A jobs program that will work with the real estate and construction industries to train the workforce that will fill the estimated 19,000 construction jobs the legislation will create
  • A financing program that uses Federal stimulus money to provide loans for property owners to pay the upfront costs for the efficiency upgrades that eventually pay for themselves.

In making the announcement, the Mayor and Speaker were joined by high-profile leaders from labor, industry and environmental groups

However, the plan could face significant opposition from the city’s property owners, according to a New York Times report. Read that coverage at the link below.

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