ABO Developments - Winter 2015 - (Page 15)
n September, the city released
the 2014 LL84 Benchmarking
Report, the third annual survey
of energy use by buildings in the
boroughs based on data filed in 2013 by
owners in compliance with Local Law 84.
The benchmarking program was
established as a key component of Mayor
Bloomberg's Greener, Greater New York
program, a multi-agency plan to reduce
carbon emissions in the city by 30 percent
by 2030. Mayor de Blasio put the plan on
steroids, committing to reduce greenhouse
gas emissions in the city by 80 percent
from their 2005 levels by 2050.
The primary purpose of the benchmarking survey and the annual reports
is to present owners with a measure of
how their buildings compare with others in their type in energy efficiency -
ultimately, to persuade them to upgrade
Is It Working?
First the good news. The report boasted,
"Three years of benchmarking New York
City buildings shows that city-wide reported
energy use per building has been reduced.
Office buildings showed a 13 percent reduction in energy use from year two."
Multi-family buildings? Essentially
That's not surprising to energy industry insiders. "We haven't seen anybody
using that data to start making project
advancements," observed David Singer,
president of Original Energy.
The reports are not convincing owners
that upgrades are cost effective. "Landlords -
and co-op boards are just as guilty - would
burn anything if it was cheaper," said Singer.
"They would burn a polar bear if it was
cheaper to heat the building."
It could help if the report outlined specific low-cost methods owners can employ
to bring their building up to the standards
set by more energy efficient buildings,
Singer said. "It doesn't ultimately require
a huge investment to bring a building up
to where it should be. A lot of times it's
just getting proper maintenance done to
get the building up to normal operating
Still, Singer is bullish on the program
in the long run. "Things like benchmarking start a conversation - gets buildings
to say, 'look how far out of the norm I am.'
Right now we are at the dialogue stage."
Signs of Progress
While there's little evidence the program has coaxed owners to upgrade their
buildings to increase energy efficiency,
some experts who were critical of the plan
in its first year see signs of progress.
"The report is starting to show some
trends in the energy industry and how
Winter 2015 | 15
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABO Developments - Winter 2015
A Message from ABO Executive Director Dan Margulies
Affordable Housing: A Work in Progress
What Price Energy? Buying It, Saving It, Making It
Benchmarking: Year Three
Index of Advertisers
ABO Developments - Winter 2015