Greening the Big Apple
Buildings are the biggest source of greenhouse gases in New York City — 79 percent of emissions — and now city leaders are taking steps to make them greener.
Four bills passed this week as part of the city’s Greener, Greater Buildings plan are expected to reduce New York City’s greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 5 percent.
One of the laws requires owners of buildings larger than 50,000 square feet to conduct energy audits every 10 years and to make environmental “tune-ups” to operations and maintenance systems, including upgrading lighting systems by 2025. Another creates an energy code that buildings will have to meet whenever they make renovations.
The legislation is expected to create more than 17,000 jobs and lower residents’ energy bills at the same time – cutting costs by an estimated $700 million a year.
The city has a mandate to reduce its emissions 30 percent by 2030.