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Mayor de Blasio Signs Package of Green Buildings Legislation to Spur Retrofits to Help Buildings Become More Energy Efficient

Mayor Bill de Blasio last month held public hearings for, and signed, ten pieces of legislation into law, including a package of three green buildings bills – Intros. 1163-A, 1160 and 1165, in relation to energy and water benchmarking, lighting retrofitting and sub-metering requirements for mid-size buildings. Together these bills are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 250,000 metric tons, and spur retrofits in 16,000 buildings, while creating approximately $85 million of construction activity leading to the creation of 100 jobs. This package of legislation also offers additional support for the City to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent from 2005 levels by 2050, an aspect of the City's OneNYC goal which aims to create a more equitable, resilient and sustainable city.

"This Administration has dedicated itself to building a foundation and a future for the next generation of New Yorkers," said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "In order to do that, we must work together as a city to fight one of our biggest threats, climate change. With these three bills, we are taking another step towards reaching our OneNYC goals and protecting the greatest city in the world.

The first bill, Intro. 1163-A, requires mid-size building owners to report benchmarking data on their whole building energy and water usage to the City. This information is already gathered from large buildings and is critical for helping building owners understand their energy and water usage and for catalyzing green retrofit projects that increase energy and water efficiency, save money and create jobs. Benchmarking has been shown to lead to a better understanding of energy and water consumption, resulting in the reduction of carbon emissions and energy consumption over time. Between 2010 and 2013, emissions from 3,000 consistently benchmarked properties already subject to the requirement, dropped by 8 percent, while energy use decreased by 6 percent.

The second bill, Intro. 1160, requires mid-size building owners to install sub-meters in non-residential tenant spaces and report energy usage to the tenant. This is already required in large buildings. The bill also decreases the square footage of tenant spaces in which sub-meters must be installed in all such buildings to 5,000 square feet. Sub-meter energy information will help building owners and non-residential tenants understand their buildings energy usage as well as help find ways to improve energy efficiency and save money.

The third bill, Intro. 1165, 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. This is already required for larger buildings.

"Buildings account for more than two-thirds of the city's greenhouse gas emissions, which we have pledged to reduce 80 percent by 2050," said Daniel Zarrilli, Senior Director of Climate Policy and Programs and Chief Resilience Officer for the Office of the Mayor. "Today's local law updates to expand benchmarking, install sub-meters and upgrade lighting systems help to provide the key information that is required for building managers to understand and reduce their energy use. This is part of a continuing effort to upgrade buildings across the city, consistent with the recent enactment by the Department of Buildings of the 2016 Energy Code, as we work to build a more sustainable, resilient and equitable city."

"These sustainability enhancements will help make a big dent in the City's carbon footprint – reducing emissions as well as energy and water bills for homeowners and businesses. The changes will encourage both energy and water conservation and the construction of green buildings, steps that bring us one step closer to achieving Mayor de Blasio's vision of reducing our carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050," said Buildings Commissioner Rick D. Chandler, PE.

Read the full release: http://www1.nyc.gov/office-of-the-mayor/news/855-16/mayor-de-blasio-signs-package-green-buildings-legislation-spur-retrofits-help-buildings

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