NYC Policies

Summary of Mayor De Blasio’s Climate Agenda as detailed in the report: "One City Built to Last" 

Full report available here. 

Public Buildings as Models for Sustainability:

  • The City launched the Accelerated Conservation & Efficiency (ACE) program in June 2013 to deliver quick, cost-effective, energy-saving projects that target the individual needs of City agencies.

  • The Program will lead to an estimated additional 270,000 metric tons of GHG reductions City will expand solar photovoltaic (PV) on the rooftops of public buildings—in particular, at schools—to 100 MW of solar capacity (So far, the City has installed roughly 0.7 Megawatts (MW) of solar power on City-owned rooftops). The City will develop cost-effective projects by maximizing all available solar incentives available through NYSERDA and the local utilities. The installations are expected to reduce annual GHG emissions by an estimated 35,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, save the City $8 million in annual energy cost savings, and create 160 construction-related jobs by 2025.

  • Expanding the ACE program will annually reduce by 2025, on top of the 54,000 metric tons already reduced through the first rounds. The program is also expected to generate over $105 million in annual energy cost savings for the City and will create an estimated 470 direct jobs.

  • The City plans on increasing investments in comprehensive retrofits of its own facilities, through this it will be able to significantly decrease its carbon footprint. Overall, the program is expected to reduce citywide GHG emissions by roughly 100,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, generate $55 million in annual energy cost savings, and create 420 construction-related jobs by 2025.

  • The City will expand two key initiatives that improve operations and maintenance in City-owned buildings: the Preventative Maintenance Collaborative, and the Expenses for Conservation and Effi ciency Leadership (ExCEL) program.These two programs improve the way City-owned properties are operated and maintained and will help extend the useful life of our building systems. All together, the programs are expected to reduce 175,000 MTCO2e, annually save $12 million, and create 550 new construction-related jobs by 2025.

  • A new municipal program managed by DCAS called Innovative Demonstrations for Energy Adaptability (IDEA) will identify emerging energy technologies and evaluate their potential for installation across the City’s portfolio. Through this program, the City can both scale up innovative new technologies and help create our 21st century municipal workforce.

  • The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)—which houses more than 400,000 New Yorkers in 334 public housing developments throughout the five boroughs can achieve three critical objectives through scaling up its energy and water efficiency efforts. First, by reducing consumption, NYCHA can mitigate the impact of ever-rising utility costs on its operating budget. Second, NYCHA can preserve its limited capital budget for vital repairs and building upgrades, while leveraging private sources to finance energy and water upgrades through capturing the savings. Finally, NYCHA can make a significant contribution to the City’s GHG reduction progress.

A Thriving Market for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy:

  • Launch an energy and water retrofit accelerator (program) - This would convert heavy oil heating into cleaner fuels and offer incentives for doing this.  Half of the properties to be retrofitted are rent-regulated are are in the most need of upgrades.  This would encompass 20,000 buildings and 400,000 residential units accounting for 10% of cities residential units.  (Estimates savings could be 940,000 Mt of CO2 reduction, $360 million in energy savings, and 430 new jobs)

  • Engage communities in creating energy efficient and relient neighborhoods  (Estimated savings could be 9,000 Mt CO2 reduction, $5 million in energy savings, and 50 jobs created)

  • Expand access to information for mid-sized buildings to upgrade

  • Require lighting and sub-metering upgrades for mid-sized buildings

  • Provide Financing options for energy efficiency and clean energy - example being Green Mortgages which incorporate energy efficient financing into standard mortgage lending practices.  Energy services agreements and direct lending to building owners, also offer tax incentives for energy efficiency.

  • Improve energy and water efficiency in affordable housing - the affordable and rent controlled housing are the oldest and most in need of upgrades (tenement buildings).

  • Bring solar power to new neighborhoods across New York City (estimated savings could be 105,000 Mt CO2 reduction, $70 million in energy savings, 460 jobs created

  • Coordinate with state to streamline financing and incentive programs.

  • Collaborate with local utilities to promote energy efficiency - Examples could be the combined heat and power which use fossil fuels or biofuels and recover the waste heat for on-site heating and cooling needs (test site is Rikers Island)  This leads to an efficiency of the plants of 70-80% as opposed to usual 30% in standard power plants.  This would also reduce strain on the grid and the plant would be able to operate during power outages which would be very beneficial in the event of another Sandy or disaster.

  • Expand reach and goals of New York City carbon challenge - This program is a voluntary program that engages private and institutional organizations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30%.  Universities, hospitals, commercial, and residential buildings would apply.

  • Train the next generation of building operators in energy efficiency techniques

  • Expand New York City cool roof project in which they apply white paint to rooftops to reflect the heat back and is an easy and inexpensive way to reduce energy and cooling costs.  This can help reduce the urban heat island effect which is a process that occurs due to the city having so much dark and impermeable surfaces that hold more heat in instead of reflecting it out or absorbing it.  The reason why the city can be 2-20 degrees warmer than the surrounding more rural areas.

  • Help New Yorkers reduce energy use at home

World Class Green Building and Energy Codes:

  • Green Codes Task Force was convened in 2008 to develop proposals to further ensure that sustainability is embodied in design and construction practices, equipment standards, and operations and maintenance. (51 of 111 codes already implemented)

  • Following Hurricane Sandy in 2012, the City convened the Building Resiliency Task Force, which recommended 33 changes to the codes to better prepare our buildings for the impacts of climate change and extreme weather events. (16 of 33 changes already implemented)

  • The remaining codes that the City plans to enact are projected to reduce citywide emissions by more than 650,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent and generate $270 million in annual energy cost savings by 2025.

  • In addition, the marginal increase in construction spending is anticipated to create 240 new construction-related jobs.

  • The Department of Buildings (DOB) launched its enforcement program for New York City’s Energy Code in 2013. Under the current enforcement program for new building construction, Energy Code compliance deficiencies have been identified at 20 percent of project sites. The City will expand DOB’s Energy Code enforcement capacity to include the review and inspection of renovations.

A Global Hub for Clean Energy Technology and Innovation:

  • The City will support growth-stage companies and ensure they can remain in New York City by addressing their specific requirements for incubator spaces and large, flexible, and affordable facilities.

  • To help prove the viability of promising technologies, the City will undertake or fund in-depth technical studies of emerging energy efficiency and clean energy technologies.

  • Expanding the City’s clean technology incubator programs will address the needs of startups and growth-stage companies. Providing these resources allows a higher rate of success and ensures that local companies meet the growing demand for clean energy products and services, while also accelerating local job creation and economic growth.

  • The “step-out space” concept, piloted by New York City’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC), will create a 75,000 square foot facility that can be leased on a flexible basis for companies with 15 to 20 people, helping these companies better manage their space needs over time.

  • The step-out space will be located in proximity to the Urban Future Lab, fostering the growing cleantech cluster in the “Tech Triangle,” which includes Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO and the Brooklyn Navy Yard, creating a sense of community and collaboration, and allowing shared-resources. The potential impact of this initiative could create as many as 8,500 new jobs, with an economic impact of $483 million.