Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today released the first benchmarking report analyzing a year of energy and water use for New York City’s largest buildings. This information is the first step in increasing knowledge about buildings’ energy use and shows property owners where they may have opportunities to save energy and money by making their buildings more efficient.
The report is required under Local Law 84 of 2009, which mandates that all privately-owned properties with individual buildings over 50,000 square feet or multiple buildings with a combined square footage over 100,000 square feet annually measure and report their energy and water use. While New York City’s buildings are generally less energy intensive than the national average; there is a significant opportunity to improve the energy performance of large buildings, which is essential to achieving the City’s greenhouse gas reduction goal established in Mayor Bloomberg’s comprehensive sustainability plan, PlaNYC.
The benchmarking report shows that energy use varies greatly between property types, uses, and locations, with some properties using three to five times more energy per square foot than buildings with similar uses. Though many factors are at play, newer office buildings in New York City tend to use more energy per square foot than older ones.
“Buildings account for 75 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions in New York City, yet many property owners and managers do not know they be a part of the solution and save money by making their buildings more energy efficient,” said Mayor Bloomberg.
“This benchmarking report will help us understand where we can act most quickly to significantly reduce GHG emissions and achieve our PlaNYC goals.”
“This benchmarking law is a significant piece of our environment portfolio and is the largest effort in the country to measure energy and water usage,” said Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “Buildings are one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and this information will lead to significant energy savings throughout our city. I want to thank the administration for their work on this issue and for helping make New York City even greener.”
“Improving the energy performance of our nation’s buildings is good for our environment, our health and our future,” said Jean Lupinacci, of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's ENERGY STAR program. “ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager(TM) has become the tool of choice for owners and operators looking to assess the performance of their buildings, and by leveraging its power New York City can now plot out an energy strategy for the road ahead.”
“This report is a part of our major green buildings package and will lead to energy efficiencies in all our neighborhoods. In the long run this will not only make our city greener, but will also lead to significant cost savings for New Yorkers,” said Council Member Melissa Mark Viverito. “I want to thank the Mayor and the Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability for working on this issue.”
The report documents the current state of energy consumption and performance in large buildings in New York City. Using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager ™ tool, nearly 1.8 billion square feet of built space was benchmarked. This is the largest collection of benchmarking data gathered for a single jurisdiction and will help identify opportunities to gain efficiencies. Local Law 84 is part of the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan, PlaNYC’s signature effort to increase energy efficiency in large buildings, which are responsible for almost half of the city’s total greenhouse gas emissions. A full copy of the benchmarking report is available here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/gbee/html/plan/ll84_scores.shtml.
Improving the energy efficiency of large, existing buildings is key to achieving the City’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent by 2030 compared to 2005 levels. The emphasis on large existing buildings is driven by three facts. First, 75 percent of GHG emissions in New York City come from energy used in buildings. This is almost double the proportion in the U.S. as a whole. Second, almost half of New York City’s GHG emissions are generated by the city’s largest buildings, which constitute only 2 percent of the city’s properties but half of the built space in the city. Third, 85 percent of the buildings that will exist in 2030 are already built.
About the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan
The Greener, Greater Buildings Plan (GGBP) is one of several energy efficiency policies within PlaNYC. The GGBP consists of four regulatory pieces supported by extensive jobs training and a financing entity called the New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation (NYCEEC). It includes a requirement that large buildings annually benchmark their energy performance (LL84); that a local energy code be adopted (Local Law 85 of 2009); that every ten years these buildings conduct an energy audit and a retro-commissioning (Local Law 87 of 2009); and that by 2025, the lighting in the non-residential space be upgraded to meet code and large commercial tenants be provided with sub-meters (Local Law 88 of 2009). Today’s benchmarking report on private buildings adds to the body of knowledge released with the benchmarking results for the City’s own municipal buildings in 2011, which is already helping to guide cost-effective energy retrofit projects.
The GGBP is projected to reduce citywide greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 5 percent, have a net savings of $7 billion, and create roughly 17,800 construction-related jobs by 2030.