Monday, September 22, 2014
You probably read over the weekend that New York City has committed to reduce GHG emissions from city buildings by 80 percent by 2050. Here is how the City plans to do it, from its website:
This plan employs the strategies outlined above to provide the data, policy framework, incentives, mandates, resources, and programs needed to improve the efficiency of our public and private buildings.
We will make our public buildings models for sustainability.
- Invest in high value energy efficiency projects in all City-owned
buildings. The City’s Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) will fund high value efficiency projects identified by City agencies through a competitive selection process. The City will also expand the funding program to reach many more agencies, support new and innovative projects, and provide the incremental costs of efficiency measures in planned capital construction projects.
- Expand solar power on City rooftops. Solar photovoltaic (PV) installations offset electric grid use with a clean and renewable energy source, and when combined with battery storage, can also provide backup power during extended blackouts. The City will install 100 MW of solar capacity on more than 300 City-owned rooftops over the next ten years, starting with 24 newly re-roofed schools. The City will also prioritize installations paired with battery storage on the City’s emergency shelters to improve the city’s emergency preparedness by providing an alternative and reliable source of power.
- Implement deep retrofits in key City facilities. The City will enhance its implementation of comprehensive retrofits in City buildings using new, more streamlined contracts that facilitate deep energy retrofits. The City will also expand implementation of combined heat and power (CHP) projects to generate energy more efficiently and reliably.
- Improve building operations and maintenance. The City will improve the operations and maintenance (O&M) of City buildings by expanding preventative maintenance programs, which includes hiring more staff and enhancing training for the city’s building operators. The City will also expand its Expenses for Conservation & Efficiency Leadership (ExCEL) Program, a competitive program to award resources for agency-identified O&M measures such as training, tools, and other energy-saving projects.
- Pilot new clean energy technology in City buildings. The City will engage companies with emerging energy technologies to test their solutions in City-owned facilities. The expanded program will test performance of technologies in more facilities, identify opportunities for larger-scale deployment in public buildings, and provide case studies to increase market adoption of promising technologies.
- Improve the efficiency and quality of New York City’s Public Housing. NYCHA will undertake a partnership with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and private lenders to develop a multiphase, unprecedented-scale Energy Performance Contract that will enable NYCHA to finance energy and water efficiency measures through capturing savings that accrue over time. NYCHA will work with HUD to streamline the EPC process and find ways to share excess savings that accrue from high performance. NYCHA will also explore the opportunity to leverage financial incentives from Consolidated Edison (Con Ed), National Grid, and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) as part of the EPC.
We will create a thriving market for energy efficiency and renewable energy.
- Launch an Energy and Water Retrofit Accelerator. The City will create a coordinated outreach and technical assistance program to accelerate energy and water retrofits in privately-owned buildings. The “Retrofit Accelerator” will use data-driven direct marketing to identify and assist buildings to undertake efficiency upgrades and complete heating fuel oil conversions to cleaner fuels. The program will also provide streamlined information about available financing and incentives and connect local job-seekers and firms to increased demand for energy services.
- Engage communities in creating energy efficient and resilient neighborhoods. To complement the Retrofit Accelerator, the City will launch a program to engage local communities to promote energy efficiency retrofits, with a focus on helping key neighborhoods that are facing pressures on housing affordability. The program will also complement new financing programs currently under development by the City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and will train and employ local residents to provide new opportunities for career advancement.
- Expand access to information for mid-sized buildings. The Mayor’s Office will work with City Council to expand the City’s Greener, Greater Buildings Plan to include all buildings over 25,000 square feet in floor area, lowering the square footage cut off from 50,000 square feet. This will bring an additional 11,400 properties (16,800 buildings) under the law, providing more building decision-makers with energy use information and creating new opportunities for savings. Expanding the laws will also increase the number of buildings that can be assisted through the platform of the Retrofit Accelerator.
- Provide financing options for energy efficiency and clean energy. The New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation (NYCEEC) has developed innovative financing options for energy efficiency and resiliency measures that are ready to be scaled up, including green mortgages and direct lending products that underwrite energy savings into the loan. The City will also explore modifications to the J-51 housing tax credit reforms and the use of Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds (QECBs) to encourage additional investments in efficiency measures.
- Improve energy and water efficiency in affordable housing. HPD and HDC will begin requiring a “green” capital needs assessment for all moderate rehabilitation projects that are financed by the City to ensure that opportunities to save energy and water are included within the scope of work. HPD will also develop a grant and loan program to assist owners of small- to mid-sized multifamily properties undertake efficiency improvements in exchange for entering into an affordable housing regulatory agreement. The program will be paired with a robust outreach and technical assistance effort that engages local partners, and will also create opportunities for workforce development and career advancement.
- Bring solar power to new neighborhoods across New York City. Solar energy complements energy efficiency by providing a cleaner energy source to power building systems and reducing grid dependency. The City’s goal is to increase our solar power capacity by 250 MW over the next ten years on privately-owned properties. Expanding the NYC Solar Partnership provides a platform to coordinate solar programs and streamline processes to sustain the local solar industry’s growth, expand equitable access to solar power, and promote community-shared and group purchasing of solar power.
- Coordinate with the State to streamline financing and incentive programs. The City will work with NYSERDA and the NY Green Bank to coordinate programs in order to provide a more streamlined customer experience, build the local workforce, and provide appropriate financing options for the affordable multifamily sector. The City will also continue advocating for an equitable allocation of State funding to the downstate region.
- Collaborate with local utilities to promote energy efficiency. The City will work with local utilities including Con Edison, National Grid, PSEG Long Island, and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) to improve the quality of and access to customer utility data, support the development of renewable sources of energy, manage citywide load growth, and reduce load growth in priority areas. This includes efforts to collaborate within the Northern Brooklyn-Southern Queens load pocket, where energy efficiency retrofits can help manage stresses on utility infrastructure and mitigate rising housing costs brought on by neighborhood growth.
- Expand the goals and reach of the NYC Carbon Challenge. Expanding the City’s voluntary carbon reduction program by adding new sectors and participants will allow the City to partner with private sector leaders and identify best practices for deep carbon reductions. The City will also challenge existing participants to increase their carbon reduction goals to lead the way on the citywide pathway towards 80 by 50.
- Train the next generation of building operators. The City will help improve the efficiency and lifespan of their equipment and upgrade the skills of building staff by offering low- to no-cost training in energy efficiency best practices. These expanded trainings will reach new constituencies, including building supers and operators who speak English as a second language.
- Expand NYC CoolRoofs. The City will continue the current mission of the CoolRoofs program to coat one million square feet of rooftops white each year, which reduces building energy use and helps mitigate urban heat. The City will also expand the program’s mission to focus on small- and mid-sized multifamily buildings and will enhance opportunities for green workforce training.
- Help New Yorkers reduce energy use at home. New Yorkers can take simple steps in their own homes to reduce energy use that can lower their energy bills. GreeNYC is the City’s public education program that engages New Yorkers to take actions to live more sustainably. Through GreeNYC, the City will empower New Yorkers to take simple energy-saving measures in their own lives such as switching to more efficient light bulbs, adjusting thermostats, unplugging chargers, and using appliances more efficiently.
We will develop world-class green building and energy codes.
- Raise the standards for our building and energy codes. Working together with the industry leaders and City Council, the City will continue to improve standards for energy performance and sustainable building practices in new construction. Standards will be implemented that raise the bar towards better construction practices, higher efficiency equipment, and improved operations and maintenance to improve the quality of our building stock and lower energy costs for residents.
- Enhance Energy Code enforcement. Energy performance standards need strong enforcement and education to ensure existing and new standards are met. Additional resources must be allocated to City agencies that will ensure that these requirements are fulfilled in both the design phase and during construction.
We will become a global hub for clean energy technology and innovation.
- Explore innovative technologies for New York City buildings. Reaching 80 by 50 will depend in part on identifying and scaling up new clean energy technologies and strategies for efficiency. The City will study promising new solutions to explore their adaptability to New York City and develop best practice guidelines for implementation.
- Support emerging entrepreneurs in clean energy and energy
efficiency. The City will expand the city’s clean technology incubator programs to support entrepreneurs and promote local company growth, including “step-out” and prototyping space that allow emerging companies to stay in New York City as they grow.