New York City Adopts Retrofit Requirements

Dec. 21, 2016

Three bills align with the city’s long term goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050. 

In an effort to combat global climate change, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio signed three bills into law requiring building owners to begin sustainability retrofits that will make their buildings more energy efficient. The legislation aligns with New York City’s long-term goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80% from 2005 levels by 2050.

The bills address requirements for mid-size building owners to report benchmarking data on their whole building energy and water usage to the city. Benchmarking has been proven to reduce carbon emissions and energy consumption. Between 2010 and 2013, emissions from 3,000 consistently benchmarked properties already subject to the requirement, dropped by 8% and energy use decreased by 6%

Another requirement mandates mid-size building owners to install sub-meters in non-residential tenant spaces and report energy usage directly to the tenant, while also decreasing the square footage of tenant spaces where sub-meters must be installed in buildings up to 5,000 square feet. Lastly, it requires owners of midsize buildings to retrofit the lighting systems in non-residential spaces to comply with the New York City Energy Code by 2025.

The bills are expected to be catalysts for approximately 16,000 building retrofits. The plan is set to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 250,000 metric tons, generating $85 million in total construction activity.

"We must work together as a city to fight one of our biggest threats, climate change,” says Mayor Bill de Blasio. “With these three bills, we are taking another step towards reaching our OneNYC goals and protecting the greatest city in the world.”

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