New York City Council Considering Imposing Requirements on Large Buildings to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Client Advisory
October 16, 2009

Bills currently pending in the New York City Council seek to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by imposing audit, retrofit and upgrade requirements on public and private buildings over 50,000 square feet. 

Two key pieces of legislation currently pending would require:

·        Energy audits, retro-commissioning and retrofits of building systems; and

·        Upgrading lighting systems in existing buildings.

Int. No. 967 would require approximately 22,000 covered buildings of 50,000 square feet or more to perform an energy audit of the building’s central systems and to make certain improvements within three years after completion of the audit. The first round of audits would be due by the end of 2013.

Int. No. 973 would require upgrades of lighting systems to comply with the proposed New York City Energy Conservation Code (see Proposed Int. 564-A, adopting a New York City Energy Conservation Code that would be more stringent than the state code), when tenants within buildings of 50,000 square feet or more undertake renovations costing at least $50,000. The bill also requires building owners to upgrade lighting systems by the end of 2022.

The bills are part of the Bloomberg administration’s Plan NYC, an initiative to reduce the city’s GHG emissions by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.