De Blasio announces early progress on green initiatives across NYC
“The cumulative effect of our green buildings policies proves not only that New York City is on track to achieve our ambitious ... goals,” de Blasio said. “It also demonstrates that we continue to set the pace towards becoming the most sustainable big city in the world.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Tuesday early progress on green building programs in conjunction with the eighth annual Climate Week held in the city.
NYC’s Climate Week runs from Sept. 19-25. With a new president of the United States being elected in just weeks, “Climate Week NYC 2016 will gather leaders from business and government to demonstrate how continued investment in innovation, technology and clean energy will drive profitability and lead us toward net zero emissions,"according to the website.
The de Blasio administration announced early progress on programs that aim to reach “80x50,” an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
The green building programs are assisting with retrofits across 3,800 buildings — representing 8 percent of the built square footage of New York City—and are on track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 1.5 million metric tons. In addition, the mayor’s office said the programs are set to create more than 1,000 local jobs by 2025.
“The cumulative effect of our green buildings policies proves not only that New York City is on track to achieve our ambitious 80x50 goals,” de Blasio said. “It also demonstrates that we continue to set the pace towards becoming the most sustainable big city in the world.”
One City: Built to Last is a 10-year action plan de Blasio implemented to improve energy efficiency in New York’s buildings. Since then, the mayor’s office said the city has started or completed progress on every initiative. New York is halfway to the interim goal: to reduce building-based greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2025.
Here are some of the city’s green programs and the progress they have achieved to-date:
NYC RETROFIT ACCELERATOR AND COMMUNITY RETROFIT NYC
NYC Retrofit Accelerator and Community Retrofit NYC has provided free technical guidance and financial assistance to help building owners, operators and other decision-makers complete energy and water efficiency upgrades since 2015.
In less than a year, these two programs are helping more than 1,000 buildings across the city implement energy and water retrofits, according to the mayor’s office. The program is expected to create 490 direct construction jobs and save city residents an estimated $365 million in energy and water cost-savings.
Green Housing Preservation Program assists owners of small- to mid-sized multifamily properties in undertaking energy efficiency and water conservation upgrades to improve building conditions, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and preserve affordability, according to the mayor’s office.
The energy efficiency and water conservation improvements are expected to save between 20 and 40 percent in annual utility costs for participating buildings while preserving the affordability of more than 100 apartments for up to 72 years, according to the mayor’s office.
NYC CARBON CHALLENGE
The NYC Carbon Challenge is a voluntary leadership program for the private and institutional sectors to partner with the city and demonstrate their commitment to energy efficiency and sustainability, according to the mayor’s office.
After a decade, 78 participants from five sectors across the city have made the Carbon Challenge commitment, pledging to voluntary reduce their building-based emissions by 30 percent or more over the course of 10 years. These participants represent more than 2,800 buildings and 7 percent of total citywide built square footage.
The Carbon Challenge is expected to reduce emissions by 510,000 metric tons and create more than 650 construction-related jobs by 2025, resulting in an estimated $220 million in energy cost savings that can be reinvested.
Participants have reduced their emissions by an average of 19 percent while 10 participants have achieved their Carbon Challenge goal. Three of the 10 reached their goal in 2015: the commercial offices Google, BlackRock and Goldman Sachs.
By reducing absolute emissions, these results are equivalent of taking more than 35,000 cars off of New York City roads, according to the mayor’s office. More than $175 million was saved in lower energy costs throughout the course of the program.
The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability and partners launched a Sustainability Boot Camp to train building operators in energy efficiency best practices.
In June, the NYC Retrofit Accelerator also launched hands-on training workshops for key building systems, offering one- and two-day courses on heating, air sealing, energy efficient electrical systems, and water conservation — providing building staff with the skills to identify and address operations issues and identify incentives to help cover costs.
During the last year, 470 building operators received training through the Sustainability Boot Camp. In addition, 50 building staff participated in the NYC Retrofit Accelerator’s hand-on training workshops.
NYC Retrofit Accelerator is launching another series starting Tuesday.The series will be held twice annually, according to the mayor's office.For more information or to sign up, visitwww.NYCRetrofitTraining.eventbrite.com.