December 30, 2013
New York City Has Reduced Citywide Greenhouse Gas Emissions By 19 Percent Since 2005, on Track to Achieve a 30 Percent Reduction Ahead of the PlaNYC 2030 Goal
City’s Air Quality is at Cleanest Levels in More Than 50 Years, with Dramatic Reductions in Pollutants in the Air since Launch of Long-Term Sustainability Blueprint PlaNYC
City Announces New and Expanded Programs Aimed at Building Efficiency, including: Expansion of Carbon Challenge to Multifamily Buildings; $50 Million Made Available for Clean Energy Financing; Delivering Natural Gas to Thousands More New Yorkers
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor for Operations Cas Holloway and Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability Director Sergej Mahnovski announced today that citywide greenhouse gas emissions have dropped 19 percent since 2005. This brings the city nearly two-thirds of the way toward achieving the 30 percent reduction in citywide emissions by 2030 as established in PlaNYC, the City’s comprehensive sustainability blueprint. The City has taken unprecedented steps to accelerate citywide emissions reductions by facilitating cleaner generation of electricity and steam, reducing the amount of heavy heating oils used in buildings, increasing energy efficiency in buildings, and leading by example through City government operations. These efforts have led to the cleanest air in New York City in more than 50 years with dramatic reductions in pollutants in the air since the launch of the Administration’s comprehensive, long-term sustainability blueprint, PlaNYC. The Inventory of New York City Greenhouse Gas Emissions released today also reports that City government has reduced emissions from municipal buildings and City operations by 19 percent and is on track to meet the goal of a 30 percent reduction in City government emissions by 2017. Municipal building retrofits already underway will have the added benefit of saving taxpayers a projected $54.6 million annually.
The new and expanded programs announced today will help property owners and developers invest in energy efficiency and cut energy waste in buildings, which account for over 75 percent of citywide emissions. New York City’s Pathways to Deep Carbon Reductions, also released today and in partnership with New York State Energy Research and Development Authority reports that energy efficiency and distributed generation investments in buildings are the greatest opportunity to further reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions. Modernization of the city’s energy infrastructure, targeted outreach and innovative financing tools are making energy efficiency more feasible and affordable.
“Cities can be the difference-makers in combatting climate change,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Since 2007 we have reduced citywide greenhouse gas emissions by 19 percent through targeted policies like the Greener, Greater Buildings Law and facilitating the City’s first new natural gas infrastructure in 20 years. And we can do even more. The reports we are releasing today make clear that even deeper reductions are possible – and that means cleaner air and a City that is climate ready for 8.4 million New Yorkers.”
“The Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability has set the standard for data-based policy making that has produced unprecedented results,” said Deputy Mayor Holloway. “Whether it’s a 19 percent reduction in GHG emissions, the cleanest air in 50 years, or a road-map for even deeper emissions reductions, the PlaNYC approach has put New York City on the path to a sustainable future.”
“PlaNYC continues to set the precedent for what cities can do to improve the quality of life for their residents. The City has taken bold steps to reduce air pollution to the lowest level in 50 years, modernize our energy infrastructure with cleaner and more resilient systems, and to scale up the market for renewables, energy efficiency, and waste management with groundbreaking public private partnerships, ” said Sergej Mahnovski, New York City Director of Sustainability. “The key message is that local governments can work together with utilities, regulators, environmental partners, developers, and communities to test bed new concepts and sharply reduce emissions with state-of-the art analytics, financial products, and technical resources.
“Improving government efficiency requires strategic investments and commitment to your goals,” said Edna Wells Handy, Commissioner of the Department of Citywide Administrative Services. “This $100 million investment supports those efforts and will have immediate cost reduction impacts as well as lasting operational benefits for years to come.”
Emissions reductions since 2005:
Despite growth in the economy, building stock, and population, citywide emissions have reduced by 19 percent since 2005. Cleaner generation of electricity and steam were responsible for the majority of emissions reductions, and New Yorkers are using electricity and heating fuels more efficiently in their buildings. City government operations have also been able to reduce emissions by 19% due to the cleaner energy supply, investments in energy efficiency that have decreased electricity and heating use in buildings, investments in one of the cleanest vehicle fleets in the nation, and major reductions in fugitive emissions from landfills and wastewater treatment plants.
Carbon Challenge for Multifamily Buildings:
The City will expand the Carbon Challenge, a joint initiative of the City’s sustainability office and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) as a voluntary program for building owners to accelerate energy efficiency improvements. This program is now being expanded to include New York City’s multifamily buildings to address the fact that residential buildings are the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in New York City, accounting for 37 percent of emissions.
In 2007, the Mayor launched the Carbon Challenge to encourage New York City’s universities to match City government’s own accelerated emissions reduction goal: cutting emissions by 30 percent in just a decade. The Carbon Challenge expanded to hospitals in 2009 and to global companies in 2013. By opening the Carbon Challenge to the multifamily sector, the City’s leading residential management firms will help buildings cut emissions, which also helps reduce energy bills and maintenance fees, increases property values, and improves local air quality.
The Carbon Challenge is a public-private partnership that has proven effective as a forum to exchange ideas and best practices among building managers and industry leaders. Ten of New York City’s leading residential property management firms will join the Carbon Challenge and will include at least 200 buildings in the program, which has the potential to cut citywide emissions by 100,000 metric tons of carbon per year. These firms include: AKAM Associates, Century Management, CH Greenthal & Co., Douglas Elliman Property Management, FirstService Residential, Marion Scott Real Estate, Midboro Management, Prestige Management, Rose Associates, and RY Management. In addition, Kirkland & Ellis and Donnelly Mechanical Corp. will join the Carbon Challenge in the commercial office sector.
“The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is proud to support the Carbon Challenge. This Challenge complements Governor Cuomo’s statewide energy platform, which includes the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions,” said John B. Rhodes, President and CEO, NYSERDA. “We applaud the property management companies that have already stepped up to the challenge and encourage others to both join the Carbon Challenge and work with NYSERDA’s Multifamily Performance Program to maximize energy efficiency to reduce energy costs, whether in existing buildings or new construction.”
“Prestige Management Inc. is pleased to participate in the New York City Mayor’s Carbon Challenge,” said Prestige Management President John Chen. “Reducing greenhouse gas emissions, while developing sustainable, cleaner and more efficient sources of energy, will yield immediate savings not only to the owners, tenants and shareholders within our portfolio, but will form the foundation of responsible energy stewardship for generations to come.”
$50 million in energy efficiency and clean energy financing:
The New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation (NYCEEC), launched by the City in 2010, is the first public-private financing entity dedicated solely to energy efficiency and clean energy financing, and has deployed $50 million in energy efficiency and clean energy financing products. These products include mortgage lending, direct loans, and credit enhancements, providing the easily-accessible financing needed to catalyze an energy efficiency retrofit market. Projects financed by NYCEEC are already under construction in 34 buildings and dozens more will begin soon. Current projects are projected to result in 25,000 metric tons of carbon reductions—the equivalent of removing 5,000 passenger vehicles from the road.
One of these projects is Franklin Plaza, a Mitchell-Lama co-op in East Harlem managed by Prestige Management, also a Carbon Challenge partner is moving from number 6 heating oil to cleaner burning natural gas. Franklin Plaza recently closed the first loan through the NYC Housing Development Corporation’s Program for Energy Retrofit Loans (PERL), a program enabled by HDC’s partnership with NYCEEC. $3.8 million in energy efficiency loans for this project will reduce energy use by 15%, cut carbon emissions by 30%, and will result in energy savings that are equivalent to preventing a rent increase of more than 10%.
“NYCEEC is an innovative start-up working with banks and buildings to unlock the enormous energy savings potential in New York City's building stock,” said Susan Leeds, CEO of NYCEEC. “The need for NYCEEC is immense: Building emissions comprise 75% of emissions in New York City. Reducing building emissions through energy efficiency is a critical wedge in the global battle against climate change. Yet there is a void of easily-accessible financing for energy efficiency. NYCEEC is here to fill that void and this $50 million package of financial products is a major step to getting new projects off the ground.”
“The development and preservation of affordable housing is the core of our mission at HDC and the preservation of Franklin Plaza epitomizes this work,” said Marc Jahr, President of HDC. “Research has proved what we know intuitively to be true: that secure, affordable housing that is held to stringent standards in terms of green technology and building materials offers a clear health benefit to those who live there. What this investment means to the tenants in Franklin Plaza will be evident in improved health, an increase in financial security, and enhanced housing quality. We are pleased to join with the New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation to implement PlaNYC’s Greener, Greater Buildings Plan, and to ensure that this housing remains a resource and a haven of affordability for this and future generations of New Yorkers.”
$100 million invested in City’s Accelerated Conservation and Efficiency program:
To help achieve the goal to reduce City government emissions, the Department of Citywide Administrative Services’ Accelerated Conservation and Efficiency program, or “ACE,” has allocated $100M in a first round of funding for streamlined energy efficiency and clean energy retrofits through a diverse set of capital projects. Overall, the ACE Program has the potential to cut City operations' GHG footprint by more than 5% from its FY 2006 baseline, reducing emissions by more than 37,000 metric tons of carbon and saving the City $17.5M annually in utility cost savings.
Additionally, the City has deployed over 30 Megawatts of clean distributed energy installed or underway, halfway to the goal of 55 Megawatts by 2017; installed 10 new solar photovoltaic arrays across the five boroughs last year, tripling the City’s existing solar capacity; has completed over 200 building efficiency retrofits since 2007; implemented a demand response program that reduces 20 Megawatts of load that helps ensure the reliability of the electricity grid on the hottest days.
Clean Energy Expansion:
The Spectra NJ-NY Natural Gas Expansion Project, which began delivering gas to New Yorkers on November 1, is the first new major, direct, interstate pipeline to serve the City in 40 years. It provides a new, more affordable source of natural gas to New Yorkers and adds to the redundancy, and therefore resiliency, of the city’s energy supply.
This project has already facilitated a significant decrease in volatile winter gas prices – for the first time in eight years, natural gas prices in New York City are cheaper than in Louisiana, where one of the price benchmarks is set. Consumers in New York, New Jersey and New England typically pay some of the country’s highest prices for natural gas, especially in the winter, when heating demand spikes. This pipeline expansion also enables more building managers to consider switching boilers to natural gas from heavy fuel oil, which is one of the greatest sources of particulate matter pollution in New York City.
Better Buildings Energy Data Accelerator:
New York City and National Grid have now joined as partners in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Energy Data Accelerator, which will increase access to data on energy use in buildings. This initiative is one of three new Better Buildings Accelerators, part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan to engage leaders in state and local governments, utilities, and industry to demonstrate innovative policies and programs that will transform the energy efficiency market and cut building energy waste.
The White House has launched the Better Buildings Initiative to improve energy efficiency in buildings and power plants aiming for 20% savings across the commercial and industrial sectors. New York City and National Grid join more than 30 cities and utilities that have committed to demonstrating streamlined, best-practice approaches for building owners to access whole-building energy usage data for the purposes of benchmarking and achieving greater energy and cost savings. New York City’s energy policies will be amplified through this collaboration, further reducing its own emission reduction goals through PlaNYC.
“National Grid is fully committed to reducing our customers' energy usage in order to lower their bills and improve the air quality of our communities. Helping our customers assess their building energy data enables them to successfully track and increase their energy efficiency and leads to greater energy savings,” said Ken Daly, President, National Grid New York. “Our partnership with the City of New York in support of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Energy Data Accelerator initiative furthers this commitment to helping our customers identify energy efficiency opportunities.”
Energy Efficiency Resource Center opens:
Green Light New York (GLNY), a public-private partnership between the City and key private and non-profit organizations, announces the opening of its Energy Efficiency Resource Center in downtown Manhattan, at 31 Chambers Street, to provide a neutral space for education and training around emerging energy efficient technologies. Lighting consumes one third of the city’s commercial electricity and costs New Yorkers $3.4 billion a year, and lighting technologies improve quickly.
Through this Center, GLNY will provide education and demonstrations to identify emergent technologies and to accelerate adoption of these energy savings to help industry experts keep up to dat. Supporters of this public-private partnership include NYSERDA, New York Power Authority (NYPA), the Kresge Foundation, the Scherman Foundation, the Mertz-Gilmore Foundation, Osram-Sylvania, the Illuminating Engineering Society of NYC, Natural Resources Defense Fund, Tishman Speyer, Vornado Reality Trust, Rudin Management, Mechsystems, and Con Edison.
“I would like to thank the Mayor’s Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability, as well as NYPA and NYSERDA, for supporting the creation of Green Light New York,” said Executive Director Richard Yancey. “The GLNY Center will be the first of its kind in New York State, providing critical training and many other resources to help accelerate the adoption of energy efficient technologies. Our goals are ambitious: dramatic reductions in energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and air pollution- enabling consumers to save money while creating better, more productive spaces.”
New York City’s Pathways to Deep Carbon Reductions:
This study evaluates the feasibility of a deep reduction of New York City’s GHG emissions by mid-century, the goal set by the United Nation’s Framework on Climate Change to prevent “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.” The City evaluated four high-impact sectors for deep emissions reductions - buildings, power supply, transportation, and solid waste - to identify the lowest cost pathways and a portfolio of near term strategies to accelerate carbon reductions while enhancing economic growth in New York City. To achieve this goal, concerted efforts are needed from the City, the State, residents, developers, utilities, and many other stakeholders.
Marc La Vorgna / Jake Goldman (212) 788-2958