In an era of tight budgets and growing green consciousness, more co-op and condo communities than ever before are moving toward energy conservation and sustainable resources. For those residential buildings lucky enough to stand tall in New York, an extraordinary number of resources exist for them to make drastic changes to the way they consume energy, including education, training, networking and even financial assistance available through a broad network of green organizations and programs.
According to The Wall Street Journal’sMetropolis blog, a recent survey examining the sustainability practices and policies of American and Canadian cities ranked New York third behind Vancouver and San Francisco, which took top honors. The study cited New York’s “environmentally sound transportation system and land-use regime” as tops among all 27 cities surveyed.
With New York quickly gaining attention as a leader in green living, there may be no better time for the city’s thousands of co-op and condo buildings to join the movement and begin conserving energy–and saving money–now.
Finding the Right Partner
Perhaps the most comprehensive resource available to boards and individuals interested in learning more about how they can save money and conserve resources in their homes is the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The organization has a number of programs available for multifamily buildings, which they define as having five units or more. According to the website, the goal is to use NYSERDA’s “portfolio of programs and incentives…to amp up the performance of your building, by providing access to programs that fund, implement and measure energy efficiency to improve building performance and your bottom line.”
According to NYSERDA Project Manager Ryan Moore, “We have a number of portfolio programs for multifamily buildings. One of the most effective is the New York Energy $mart Multifamily Performance Program (MPP).” The program makes use of a network of technology partners, including engineers and energy consultants, to evaluate and benchmark the energy performance of a building. Depending on how they fare versus other similar buildings, they are assigned a performance target to achieve. By putting together an Energy Reduction Plan and putting that plan into action, the building becomes eligible for NYSERDA incentives, which vary by building and project size. NYSERDA also can provide access to lenders who will help finance these renovation plans at an exceptionally low cost.