So, did your building comply with the new benchmarking requirements that were a part of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s Greener, Greater Buildings Plan? Local Law 84, new legislation passed in 2009, required all of the city’s private buildings of over 50,000 square feet to obtain benchmarking and energy audits by an August 1, 2011 deadline. That includes most co-op and condo buildings.
“At first these laws seem ominous because there is a cost to having these studies done, but they were designed to give you information that allows you to make cost effective choices and save money,” says Kate Grossman, chief operating officer of New York City-based Greenwich Energy Solutions. “None of the laws force you to do anything—and that’s important for people to understand. Once people see the savings possibilities, they will just want to do these things.”
PlaNYC is essentially an eco-friendly strategic plan aimed at sustainability for New York City. PlaNYC sets a goal of achieving a 30 percent reduction in New York City’s annual greenhouse gas emissions below 2005 levels by 2030. Bloomberg’s plan also includes a revised New York City energy code that will mandate the use of newer, more efficient code compliant equipment when buildings are undergoing renovations, mandatory lighting upgrades for large commercial buildings over the next 15 years, retro-commissioning, green workforce development training to create thousands of jobs, and assistance for financing green upgrades.
Penalties Could be Forthcoming
Phil Vos, business director of Bright Power, a Manhattan-based energy consultant, says that the city extended the original deadline of May 1 to August 1 on benchmarking to give buildings “one quarter’s worth of slack” to get their reports into the Buildings Department.
However, says Vos, “we have been told by the Mayor’s Office of Long Term Planning & Sustainability that fines will be levied on buildings that did not report by August 1.”