New Report Reveals NYC's Energy Hogs

A new report released last week documents the energy use of New York's largest buildings for the first time ever. It's the first step in tackling the source of two-thirds of the city's greenhouse gas emissions.
August 8, 2012, 8am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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According to Mireya Navarro, the new report, released last week by New York City's Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability delivered some fascinating, and unexpected, findings. Among the results reported in the study, mandated by a 2009 law intended to help reduce the city's greenhouse gas emissions, "the least-efficient residential buildings were found in neighborhoods that also reported high asthma rates," and Williamsburg (11211) in Brooklyn and Richmond Town (10306) on Staten Island were the most energy efficient neighborhoods in the city, reports Navarro. Sharp discrepancies in energy usage among buildings of comparable size and use were also reported.

The study covered individual buildings of over 50,000 square feet and multiple-building properties with a total of more than 100,000 square feet, which although making up just 2 percent of the city's one million buildings, "account for 45 percent of the energy used by all New York buildings."

Perhaps the most important finding: "if poor-performing buildings in the city improved their efficiency and reached just the median level of energy use in their categories, the city's energy consumption would decline by at least 18 percent and greenhouse gas emissions would be cut by 24 percent," writes Navarro.

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Published on Thursday, August 2, 2012 in The New York Times
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