September 25, 2014
By Neal Tepel
New York, NY — New York City is committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent over 2005 levels by 2050. The plan includes retrofitting public and private buildings. Nearly three quarters of New York City’s greenhouse gas emissions come from energy used to heat, cool, and power buildings, making building retrofits a central component of any plan to dramatically reduce emissions.
The City plans a major investment in funding and manpower that will radically increase the efficiency of its public buildings, particularly schools and public housing. Every single city-owned building with any significant energy use – approximately 3,000 buildings – will be retrofitted within the next ten years.
The City will encourage private building owners to invest in efficiency upgrades using incentives, regulations and legislation. Ambitious interim targets will be set with rewards and penalties included in the program. The City’s plan aims to protect New Yorkers from rising utility bills while reducing emissions and poor air quality. The city's plan will also include less-efficient buildings where high energy costs take a disproportionate toll on lower-income residents.
This program is projected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an additional 3.4 million metric tons a year by 2025 – an additional 10 percent reduction in building-based greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to taking 715,000 vehicles off of the road. This will also generate cost-savings across the public and private sectors of more than $1.4 billion a year by 2025, leading to $8.5 billion in cumulative energy cost-savings over ten years. It’s anticipated that approximately 3,500 new jobs in construction and energy services will be created, in addition to the training of more than 7,000 building staff to upgrade their skills.
“Climate change is an existential threat to New Yorkers and our planet. Acting now is nothing short of a moral imperative,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “New York City must continue to set the pace and provide the bold leadership that’s needed – and becoming the world’s largest city to commit to an 80 percent reduction in emissions by 2050 is central to that commitment. By retrofitting all of our public buildings with significant energy use in the next ten years, we’re leading by example; and by partnering with the private sector, we’ll reduce emissions and improve efficiency while generating billions in savings and creating thousands of jobs for New Yorkers who need it most.”