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New York City Enacts Legislation to Increase Energy Efficiency of Buildings

December 2009 - BOM

A package of bills that is designed to increase the energy efficiency of New York City’s commercial building stock, save hundreds of millions of dollars in energy costs and create thousands of jobs was recently announced by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The legislation, a group of four bills known as the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan, was enacted as part of the city’s PlaNYC commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2030. Each of the bills passed with overwhelming majorities, with two achieving unanimous support.

Major provisions of the legislation include:
· Annual Energy Star performance benchmarking and public disclosure of energy and water information for public buildings and large private buildings;
· Energy audits and retrocommissioning for large buildings once every 10 years;
· Lighting upgrades and the sub-metering of tenant spaces greater than 10,000 square feet in large, privately owned buildings; and
· The creation of a New York City Energy Code that existing buildings must meet upon renovation.

The legislation could create 17,880 construction and building-related jobs and save $700 million annually in energy costs, according to city estimates. It is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 4.75 percent citywide, the largest reduction by any single program in PlaNYC.

The legislation also includes a workforce development initiative to train workers for new jobs, and creates a financing program using $16 million in federal stimulus funding to provide loans to property owners for energy efficiency upgrades.

The Institute for Market Transformation, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit dedicated to improving the energy efficiency of buildings, advised New York City policymakers on provisions included in the legislation.


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