Will New York City Buildings Make the Grade in Sustainability?

New law requires buildings to display their energy efficiency marks in 2020

December 2, 2019

Starting next year, buildings in New York, New York that are 25,000 square feet and larger must not only report how energy-efficient they are, but also post letter grades issued by the city displaying their efficiency, The New York Times reports.

Officials will give report cards with grades ranging from As to Ds to more than 40,000 of the 1 million buildings in the city. These buildings have already been required to track and report their energy use to the city, which is known as benchmarking. By displaying grades, the buildings will be making their benchmarking information public.

The new grading system is the result of a city law that was passed in 2017, signed into law in 2018, and tweaked in April when the city passed its Climate Mobilization Act. The goal of the act is to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of buildings, which are responsible for two-thirds of emissions in New York City.

Buildings must submit their energy reports to the city by May 2020 to get their grade, Facilities Net reports. Those that score over an 85 will earn an A, while anything less than 55 earns a D. Facilities with low grades will have several years to make improvements. Any that still have a failing grade by 2020 will be subject to fines.

Older buildings may have difficulties updating their energy systems to become more efficient. Learn about a pilot program in Chicago that may provide a solution by providing affordable new technologies to increase facility sustainability.


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