Plans for Retrofitting, Audits Announced for NYC

In a step toward accomplishing PlaNYC's goal of reducing the city's carbon emissions by 30% in the next twenty years, Mayor Bloomberg has announced that larger buildings will be retrofitted to be more energy efficient.

"One group that is apprehensive about the program is the city's developers and building owners. 'My members all want to make sure we have a green city and green buildings,' Stephen Spinola, president of the Real Estate Board of New York, said in a telephone interview after the event. 'But the thing is, we don't want to be stuck with something that doesn't work.' Spinola said that he had been working with the mayor on the program for the last year, and hoped that any major differences could be ironed out.

Acknowledging the difficulties of the current economic climate, the administration has set aside $16 million of stimulus funding to be used in a revolving loan program to help finance the required energy improvements. This, along with the other five pieces of the program, would go into effect between 2010 and 2013, though the mayor emphasized that the program 'pays for itself' and hoped building owners would begin immediately.

Carl Pope, president of the Sierra Club, said he wished his home state of California had come up with the plan, though he admitted the program would probably make its way out there through the city's example. 'New York City will create the marketplace for energy-efficient technology for the next 50 years in this one single act,' Pope said. 'I don't think we appreciate how drastically this will change the way Americans use energy.'"

Full Story: Greening the Skyline

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