ABO Developments - Winter 2015 - (Page 15)

Benchmarking: Year Three I 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 their properties. 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 flat. 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 standards." 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