April 22, 2016
New Initiatives Stem from Technical Working Group’s Comprehensive Evaluation of Building Energy Use; City Programs Will Support Building Owners & Managers in Going Green
Plan Marks Further Progress toward OneNYC Commitment to 80x50
NEW YORK—Today Mayor de Blasio announced a suite of new energy efficiency initiatives that will dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions from New York City’s over one million buildings – of all sizes, types, and uses – and put the City on a pathway to an 80 percent reduction in all emissions by 2050, while creating green jobs and generating energy savings for building owners and tenants. The City also outlined a series of programs that will provide technical and financial support to building owners and managers in making these significant improvements.
“Cities that lead on climate, lead on buildings,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We’ve set bold goals as we take on climate change and a clear path to meet them. The City has been leading the way by greening our own public facilities. Now, these new initiatives will dramatically reduce emissions from New York City’s over one million buildings, while saving New Yorkers millions and creating thousands of new jobs – and we’ll be providing owners support throughout the process.”
“This Council is, together with the Mayor, committed to reaching 80 by 50, a goal which will require significant changes to how we design and operate buildings,” said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “As part of this commitment, we recently passed a series of laws imposing green building standards for certain capital projects and requiring City-owned buildings to be designed as low energy buildings. In addition, just this week, we introduced legislation which would expand the City’s existing requirements for benchmarking, lighting upgrades and sub-metering. We are excited to begin exploring the recommendations of the Technical Working Group and to continue working with all of our stakeholders to make our air cleaner and our City even greener.”
Buildings account for nearly three-quarters of all emissions in New York City. In September 2014, Mayor de Blasio released One City: Built to Last, a sweeping ten-year plan to retrofit public and private buildings to dramatically reduce the City’s contributions to climate change, while creating green jobs and generating operational savings.
Since then, the City has conducted the most comprehensive analysis of New York City building energy-use data to date, working with over 50 industry leaders, experts, and advocates who served on the Buildings Technical Working Group. The results of this analysis allowed the City to identify the best strategic measures to dramatically reduce buildings-based emissions, and will continue to inform integration of these measures into the City’s Energy Code. The City will phase in the measures over the next ten years, giving consideration to capital and replacement schedules, in order to minimize costs to building owners. The full Buildings Technical Working Group report can be found at nyc.gov/sustainability.
Specifically, the City will undertake the steps below, which, combined, are projected to reduce GHG emissions from buildings by 2.7 million metric tons – the equivalent of taking more than 560,000 cars off the road. This will improve air quality by reducing PM2.5 emissions by roughly 130 tons, avoiding an estimated 20 premature deaths and 60 hospitalizations and emergency department visits annually. These initiatives are also expected to save building owners approximately $900 million in energy costs each year and create an estimated 1,300 direct construction-related jobs.
Combined with the policies and programs announced in One City: Built to Last, the City’s initiatives are now expected to reduce GHG emissions from buildings by a total of 6.1 million metric tons by 2025, with additional reductions possible as the energy conservation measures identified by the TWG are integrated into the City’s codes. Taken together, this will put New York City’s buildings on a pathway to achieving 80x50.
"This is a major milestone in New York City's efforts to cut carbon, and a landmark for cities worldwide. All the climate agreements signed last year need to be backed up by action. This is how New Yorkers get going - setting a big goal, using the best data available, bringing the best minds to the table, figuring it out, and getting the support and technical expertise to the people who need it. This is what we need to do to meet our 80 x 50 goal. And we could not have done it without the breadth and depth of the blue ribbon experts of the Buildings Technical Working Group," said Nilda Mesa, Director of the Mayor's Office of Sustainability.
“Climate change is an existential threat to our city and our planet. Business as usual is not an option,” said Daniel Zarrilli, Senior Director of Climate Policy and Programs. “That’s why we made a sweeping commitment to retrofit our City’s building stock. The public-private partnership underpinning the Buildings Technical Working Group is a great example of how the City is working with all stakeholders to tackle greenhouse gas emissions. This effort has put the City on a path toward our ambitious – but essential – 80 x 50 goal.”
"New York City is doing its homework, and the entire world is the beneficiary. With Mayor Bill de Blasio’s OneNYC plan for sustainable development, NYC is leading the way globally in preparing detailed strategies, targets, and metrics to achieve sustainable development and deep decarbonization. This year’s work on cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent as of 2050 is another pioneering effort, and today’s report One City Built to Last: Transforming NYC’s Buildings for a Low-Carbon Future is a breakthrough for NYC and a major milestone for the world,” said Jeffrey D. Sachs, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Advisor on the SDGs and Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University.
“Policies that promote energy efficiency in buildings are extremely effective in driving down greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants. This outstanding report positions the City of New York to be a national leader in energy efficiency,” said Judith A. Enck, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator. “These policies are good for the environment, will create new jobs and reduce monthly utility bills for tenants and homeowners alike.”
“Energy efficiency is our first, best fuel, and the energy we save in our buildings is an immediate and measurable contributor to greenhouse gas reduction,” said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and Founding Chair of the U.S. Green Building Council. "Combined with the plans laid out in One City: Built to Last, these newest energy efficiency initiatives, especially those that focus on retrofitting existing buildings, are examples of real leadership and the City is to be congratulated for setting a big goal and laying out a clear path to meet it."
Require and Catalyze Retrofits in Existing Buildings
The City will also require retro-commissioning (tuning-up of all building systems).
Support Innovative Energy Design and Performance for New Buildings and Major Renovations
A new 2016 Energy Code. The 2016 New York City Energy Code was introduced in the City Council by Council Member Williams on April 20, 2016. The Codes Advisory Committee, convened by the Department of Buildings, evaluated Technical Working Group analysis and incorporated best practice efficiency requirements that can be adopted in the market in the near-term:
A new performance-based paradigm. Moving forward, the City will also seek to change the paradigm for future Energy Code updates to ensure that they account for whole building energy performance and the interaction of systems. The City will require that new buildings are evaluated according to a performance-based metric in 2019, and require energy design targets beginning in 2022. This will ensure GHG reductions in new buildings are being met, while spurring innovation in efficient design. It will be supported by an “Exemplary Buildings Program,” currently under development, to develop, support, and award best practices, based on the successful program in Brussels.
To support the implementation of these efforts, the City will continue to work with industry leaders to update Local Laws and regulations, including the Energy Code, and the existing Greener, Greater Buildings programs. The City will also continue to lead by example by investing over $1 billion to retrofit more than 3,000 City-owned properties, and through the implementation of a very low-energy standard for new municipal buildings as outlined in Local Law 31. The City’s experience with this new, low-energy standard will be used to develop the energy performance design target for new and heavily renovated private buildings, which will be required by 2022.
To help building owners and managers comply with these new requirements, the City will offer a variety of supporting programs, including the following:
The full Buildings Technical Working Group report is available at nyc.gov/sustainability.
The City will build upon the work of the Buildings Technical Working Group to develop similar requirements for the waste, transportation, and energy supply sectors, as part of a comprehensive 80x50 Implementation Plan. The City has already launched a number of significant initiatives to reduce emissions from those sectors, including NYC Clean Fleet, Zero Waste, and a major expansion of solar on public and private buildings.
Rick D. Chandler, PE., Commissioner of the Department of Buildings, said, “DOB strongly supports the Mayor’s vision for an 80 percent reduction in the City’s carbon emissions by 2050. As part of this effort, we have just implemented updates to the City’s Energy Code that will serve as a model for the nation. We look forward to partnering with the Mayor’s Office, the City Council, industry, and other stakeholders to advance the goals in this report and provide a more sustainable future for our city.”
Council Member Costa Constantinides, Chair of the Council Environmental Protection Committee, said, "The Buildings Technical Working Group report reinforces how significant of a role our buildings play in reducing our City's carbon emissions. Because buildings produce almost 75 percent of our greenhouse gas emissions, we must ensure our policies will make our buildings more energy efficient. Whether through heating system upgrades, new building constructions, or new benchmarking standards, we must lead the way toward our goal of reducing carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050. I thank the Mayor's Office of Sustainability Director Nilda Mesa and the Buildings Technical Working Group for their leadership and I look forward to working together to implement these policies."
"To meet the goal of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050, we need to do more than simply waiting for building owners to voluntarily complete cost-effective conservation measures," said Council Member Donovan Richards. "It is clear that mandating these measures in mid-sized buildings is necessary to create a path towards attaining the City's goals to lead in the global effort to reduce the threat of climate change. I'd like to thank Mayor de Blasio for his commitment to working with the City Council on these energy efficiency initiatives as well as the work of the Buildings Technical Working Group, which will help the City create comparable requirements in other sectors across the City."
“The largest source of greenhouse gas emissions is from human activities. With a population of more than eight million people in New York City, it’s important we create energy efficient initiatives that will help decrease our carbon footprint. The City’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050 is an ambitious yet doable goal that will greatly improve the quality of life in our City,” said Jumaane D. Williams, Chair of the Committee on Housing and Buildings.
"Reducing building energy use is critical to hitting our targets for cutting New York's carbon emissions," said Council Member Dan Garodnick. "Expanding benchmarking requirements will give both the City and building owners some additional information to help us maximize energy efficiency and identify some cost savings in the process."
Russell Unger, Executive Director of the Urban Green Council said, "This latest One City installment has ambitious goals that are models for the whole country. It takes creative approaches, like shifting from detailed regulations to broad energy goals buildings must achieve. We look forward to continuing to work with the City and real estate industry to address climate change, find the right balance between requirements and incentives, and keep NYC a competitive business environment.”
“The City’s latest efforts to cut climate pollution and energy waste associated with our buildings – by far the largest contributor to New York’s carbon footprint – will help lower utility bills, improve public health, and help ensure reliable energy service for everyone,” said Donna De Costanzo, Director of Northeast Energy and Sustainable Communities at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “We look forward to working with Mayor de Blasio’s office and other key stakeholders to reduce dangerous emissions and maintain New York City’s strong leadership on fighting climate change and building a clean energy future.”
“Mayor de Blasio has proven yet again that New York City can lead the state, and the nation, in advancing concrete and necessary steps to combat climate pollution. Coinciding with the signing of the Paris Climate agreement and Earth Day, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced efforts reduce carbon emissions when constructing new City buildings and infrastructure while expanding the City's solar energy portfolio through Solarize NYC. These actions will bring welcome investments into the city, extend renewable energy access to more citizens and help cut carbon emissions to reach the City’s bold goal to cut carbon pollution 80 percent by 2050," said Lisa Dix, New York Senior Representative of the Sierra Club.
Mark Watts, Executive Director of C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, said, “The importance of the Technical Working Group’s report cannot be understated in building our understanding of how New York is driving deep carbon reductions from the city's 1 million buildings. The collective effort of the City and its partners to tackle the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions represents a model that could be applied in many C40 cities. C40 is proud to have supported this effort by providing a city adviser, and we look forward to sharing the outcomes with cities around the world."
“Buildings are a significant source of pollution in New York City, and Mayor de Blasio’s Technical Working Group Report recognizes that energy efficiency upgrades are key to a clean energy future,” said Rory Christian, Environmental Defense Fund’s Director of New York Clean Energy. “The NYC Retrofit Accelerator catalyzes the adoption of new technologies that reduce building energy use, costs, and pollution, while helping the City achieve its bold climate and energy goals.”
Steven Cohen, Executive Director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University, said, “The Mayor and his team are proposing a number of important policies that will hasten the transition to a sustainable city. The New York City Mayor’s Office of Sustainability has already taken important steps in reducing the greenhouse gas emissions of the city, and the recommendations from the Buildings Technical Working Group will help create deep carbon reductions that are realistic and holistic. By outlining the strategies that will put the City’s building stock on the pathway to the 80 x 50 commitment, New York City continues to build its reputation as a leader in urban sustainability while increasing the quality of life for its residents and visitors.”
Kathryn Wylde, President & CEO of Partnership for New York City, said, “Collaboration between the public and private sectors is the only way to reduce our city’s carbon footprint. The business community is prepared to partner with the de Blasio Administration to achieve goals outlined in this report.”
Nancy Aber Goshow, Managing Partner of Goshow Architects, AIANY said, “The TWG Report has the depth and quality of research and analysis required to identify locally specific strategies for NYC that will lead to the healthy sustainable urban environment our children and our children’s children deserve.”
Lisette Camilo, Commissioner of the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, said, "DCAS is proud to play a part in this Administration's bold and vital leadership to mitigate the effects of climate change and make New York a more livable and equitable city. DCAS and its partner agencies will continue to lead by example by pioneering and scaling new cost-effective energy solutions to bring City-owned buildings into the low-carbon future."
Vicki Been, Commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, said, “Energy efficiency is key to the long-term sustainability of our housing stock because it helps owners minimize utility expenses, invest more in improvements to their properties, and keep rents affordable. The Buildings Technical Working Group has been working for over a year on recommendations for energy conservation measures that will lead to carbon reductions in all types of buildings. The report provides a critical path forward to reaching the goals of One NYC, and HPD is committed to meeting these goals, which go hand in hand with protecting the long-term affordability and health of our housing stock.”
Dr. Feniosky Peña-Mora, Commissioner of the Department of Design and Construction, said, “The Department of Design and Construction is committed to supporting Mayor de Blasio’s vision of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent from 2005 levels by 2050. We enthusiastically support and will continue to work with the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability on efforts to lead the city by example in reducing energy use both in new and existing civic buildings – this represents a new paradigm in approaching design and construction.”
Susan Leeds, CEO of NYCEEC, said, “We applaud the City for taking these concrete, actionable steps to achieve an ambitious, but critically important 80x50 greenhouse gas emissions goal. The recommendations were developed through a rigorous, data-driven process, and we’re proud to be part of this effort. In support of the City’s climate goals, NYCEEC will continue to deliver financing for projects that save energy and money, and reduce greenhouse gases.”
Judi Kende, Vice President and New York Market Leader of Enterprise Community Partners, Inc., said, “The Buildings Technical Working Group report offers real, actionable ways we can expand environmental, health, economic, and climate resilience benefits to more New Yorkers and reach the City's 80 by 50 goal. The City's new and proposed training and financing programs will help arm building owners with the tools they need to make retrofitting feasible and cost effective. This is especially important for affordable housing and small building owners whose low-income residents are most vulnerable to rising utility costs, poor housing conditions, and damage from major storms. We look forward to working with the City to ensure that affordable housing owners and those serving low-income populations get the support they need to achieve these important goals.”
Yunus Arikan, Head of Global Policy and Advocacy at ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability, said, “New York City once again demonstrates the power of local governments in advancing the Paris Agreement. ICLEI congratulates the City’s inclusive approach to advancing building energy efficiency through input from a comprehensive stakeholder group and attention to economic and social considerations, which will benefit all New York boroughs. We look forward to the sharing and expanding such practices through our ambitious national and global network.”
“New York City has long been a leader on climate change action, and this report represents a significant milestone in their fight to avert the worst impacts of climate change on behalf of all New Yorkers,” said Johanna Partin, Executive Director of the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance. “The concrete steps outlined here live up to the City’s commitment to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050, and the CNCA is proud to both support their efforts locally and share these best practices globally.”
“The recommendations of NYC Mayor’s Office of Sustainability and the Buildings Technical Working Group (TWG) is a major step in achieving the 80x50 greenhouse gas reductions objectives to make our communities more energy efficient, resilient and sustainable,” said Aurelio Mark de Yoanna, National Grid's Manager of Community and Customer Management. “National Grid is pleased to participate on the TWG and we look forward to playing a lead role in helping our 1.2 million NYC customers implement and benefit from these innovative strategies.”
Seth Schultz, Director of Research, Measurement, and Planning at C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, said, “To address the threats created by climate change, cities around the world need to measure their greenhouse gas emissions and track their progress on cutting them. By using common platforms like the Global Protocol for Community Scale greenhouse gas emissions (GPC) creates an easy to comprehend standard for measuring this progress. C40 congratulates Mayor de Blasio and the excellent New York City team for their leadership in data-driven, transparent reporting to support their strong commitment to action on climate change.”
Scott Frank, P.E., LEED AP, Chair, ACEC New York Energy Codes Committee and Partner Jaros, Baum & Bolles, said, "ACEC New York applauds the Mayor in aggressively reducing New York City’s greenhouse gas emissions and for taking the important step in soliciting stakeholder input from the design and construction industry by convening the Technical Working Group. The analysis of greenhouse gas emissions associated with New York’s vast array of building types included in the report, along with the initial recommendations for action, will provide a solid foundation for future initiatives to build upon to achieve the 80x50 goal.”
Pat Sapinsley, co-Chair of The Committee on the Environment at the American Institute of Architects, NY, said, “A big part of the problem is that in 1950's we started building without any regard for energy use intensity. We eliminated courtyard driven cross ventilation, sealed up our buildings to require full time heating or cooling and began cladding buildings with materials that allowed infiltration and provided no insulation. These practices must stop. Codes must be performance based. Existing buildings must tamper down their wasteful energy practices. It may be frightening to building owners, but it must be done and these improvements are being phased in over time. Change is hard, but we now have some innovative financing mechanisms, such as the Green Bank and NYCEEC that can help to eliminate the first cost of these measures and help us to be more energy efficient as we grow the new, green economy. Think of the jobs that can be created for architects, engineers and the construction industry. If we structure smart incentive and financing programs the pain of the first cost can be eliminated, the savings reaped over time can benefit both the building owners and tenants and we can create new jobs, while reducing carbon emissions. There is no need for fear here.”
Ilana Judah, FXFOWLE Principal and Director of Sustainability, said, “I am proud to have served on the 80x50 Technical Working Group and thank the New York Building Congress for asking me to serve as its representative in this substantial effort. Today’s report recognizes the potential to improve the state of our existing buildings in ways that would significantly improve occupant comfort and energy performance while also reducing GHG emissions. Paired with necessary government incentives and support, the proposed initiatives would stimulate considerable private investment in building renovations and create a significant number of new construction industry jobs.”
Ed Mazria, Founder and CEO of Architecture 2030, said, "By committing to reduce its emissions 80 percent by 2050, New York City has established itself as a major force in the battle against climate change. The City is taking a global leadership role by implementing the actions necessary to meet this commitment."
Ken Levenson, President of New York Passive House, said, “With these planned actions New York City shows we have the knowledge, capability and courage to deliver deep building energy efficiency in the coming decades commensurate to the scale of our climate crisis. We are excited to move forward together.”
“Mayor de Blasio’s bold climate action plan, One City Built to Last, laid a strong foundation for New York City to lead the way in reducing harmful carbon emissions,” said Richard Yancey, Executive Director of the Building Energy Exchange (BEEx). “BEEx is proud to be an integral part of the Mayor’s innovative NYC Retrofit Accelerator, helping our building community realize its dramatic energy savings and carbon reduction potential. The bold recommendations of the Technical Working Group Report provide a critical framework to transform New York’s buildings; saving money and reducing emissions while ensuring better, healthier spaces for all New Yorkers to work and live.”
Steven Winter, President of Steven Winter Associates, said, “This unprecedented report comprehensively addresses practical priorities for today and thoughtful moonshots for tomorrow. Realizing this vision will require fully tapping into our greatest renewable resource: the creative energy of New Yorkers. The City and its staff are to be congratulated for their leadership in producing this timely and important document.”
Dana Robbins Schneider, Managing Director of JLL, said, "It is critical for buildings to substantially reduce their energy usage. Through our work as part of the 80 by 50 Technical Working Group, we have begun to lay a framework to drive deep energy retrofits across New York City's buildings. This will be achieved by comprehensive codes addressing both retrofits and new construction to optimize energy performance. Not only do we need to develop holistic energy measures, we need to ensure implementation and measure results. The quantitative economic success of deep energy retrofits is exemplified by the Empire State Building, where we have reduced energy usage over 38 percent with a 3-year payback as well as partnering with our tenants to achieve tenant energy efficiency 20 to 57 percent below code with paybacks of under 5 years. Replicating this model across New York City’s largest buildings would result in total energy savings of over 25 percent for the whole city. Investing in deep energy retrofits with a measurable ROI is the most impactful and economically viable commitment we can make to reduce energy use in New York City."
Charlie Marino, President of ASHRAE NY, said “I’m proud of what the Technical Working Group (TWG) has accomplished so far and this report summarizing our efforts over the last 15 months is a great start. I want to commend the City on embarking on this innovative effort involving public and private interests working together. With the groundwork complete, I look forward to ASHRAE NY’s continued collaboration with the Mayor’s Office and the TWG to fine-tune recommendations to realize the savings we as NYC residents need.”
David Davenport, Urban Greenfit, said, “Fast solutions are required to address climate change from all quarters, and urban buildings represent a unique opportunity to apply policy and practice to create new paradigms that meet the velocity of this challenge. Through collaborative efforts like the One City Built to Last Technical Working Group, the Mayor’s Office and the City of New York are working aggressively to build consensus around our critical path forward. I have been honored and inspired to work in partnership with this team.”
"We are excited to see that New York City is once again taking the lead on improving the energy efficiency of its buildings,” said James V. O’Connor, President of Douglas Elliman Property Management. “The work that Douglas Elliman has completed as part of the NYC Carbon Challenge program has shown that improving the energy efficiency of our managed properties yields savings in energy usage for shareholders, tenants and owners. We look forward to continuing our partnership with the Mayor’s Office as all of us collectively work to reduce New York City’s greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050.”
John B. Rhodes, President and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), said, “New York has taken a national role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and accelerating the use of clean energy and energy innovation to combat climate change. NYSERDA will continue to work closely with New York City and industry partners and provide guidance and support to increase energy efficiency and lower energy consumption in buildings, which will help achieve State climate change goals and create cleaner, healthier and sustainable communities.”