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Evolving Energy Approaches of NY State and NYC

Different goals impact the stringency of state and city codes


Different goals impact the stringency of state and city codes.

Under most state laws, a municipality’s energy code must be at least as stringent as the state’s. But New York typically amends its energy code to keep pace with New York City. The city requires change on a faster scale in accordance with PlaNYC goals.

Released in 2007 by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, PlaNYC has 132 initiatives and more than 400 specific milestones to meet by Dec. 31, 2013. The initiative resulted in the New York City Energy Conservation Code (NYCECC).

Several amendments have been added to increase the strength and scope of NYCECC. First, occupancy sensors were required in spaces such as classrooms, conference rooms, employee break rooms, and office areas smaller than 200 square feet as of early 2010.

Shortly afterward, the state energy code was updated to follow federal requirements and reference updated versions of national model codes in April 2010. To maintain the stringency of NYCECC, New York City adopted the 2010 edition of the state energy code. The adoption represented an increased stringency of roughly 7% over the prior codes.

In concert with national energy policy, the 2011 update of PlaNYC proposed that New York City adopt the latest versions of the national model codes over the next few years, constituting an additional 23% improvement.

This culture of one-upmanship puts the city and state on the cusp of major energy moves.