BEEx attended NESEA’s BuildingEnergy NYC Conference in October, joining hundreds of other building stakeholders and sustainability professionals, to learn about the bold initiatives and projects that are accelerating building efficiency, smart urban growth, and healthy living. With an outstanding 24 sessions led by 80 extraordinary speakers over 10 hours, the conference was a beehive of attendees zipping between sessions.
BEEx had the honor of sharing the stage with John Lee of NYC Mayor’s Office of Sustainability and Laurie Kerr of Urban Green Council for a session about our favorite emerging topic – turning data into action!
In case you missed it, here’s the recap of our session, New York City’s Data Revolution:
In September 2014, New York City announced its goal to reduce emissions 80% below 2005 levels by 2050. With nearly 75% of these emissions coming from buildings, it is crucial that buildings play a large role in meeting this goal. NYC already has benchmarking and disclosure laws (LL84) as well as energy audit laws (LL87) that are unique to cities, says Patrick Love of NYC MOS, and only a few other cities, such as Boston and Austin, have adopted similar policies. This session looked at converting the energy savings opportunities that the large benchmarking dataset presents into action. The session also addressed potential solutions to existing challenges to accelerating progress, such as a lack of technical knowledge, limited capital, and energy efficiency upgrade complexities.
To encourage the implementation of energy efficiency strategies, Urban Green Council took on the challenge of presenting information from NYC’s Local Law 84 benchmarking data in an accessible and comprehensible way. UGC translated data from about 15,000 NYC properties into a Report Card that summarizes each building’s energy and environmental performance on a rating of 1-100. This information can be found on their recently launched website, metered.nyc, which currently features a few projects and gives building owners a better perspective on their building’s performance, says Laurie Kerr of UGC.
Here at the Building Energy Exchange, we focused our efforts on using LL84 and LL87 data to write Retrofitting Affordability, a report that evaluates which multifamily sector segments have the greatest energy saving potential; which retrofit measures have the biggest impact and fastest payback; and how these opportunities relate to affordability. Richard Yancey, our Executive Director, stated that the report found an 11% reduction potential in total multifamily building energy use and an 11% reduction potential in GHG emissions. These savings are achieved by instituting energy conservation measures, of which more than half can pay back in less than five years.
Complimenting access to data and case studies, the City of New York launched the Retrofit Accelerator in September 2015. The Accelerator is a one-stop resource for building owners and decision-makers looking to adopt energy and water efficiency upgrades. This initiative, sponsored by the City of New York, provides independent, customized technical assistance and advisory services. John Lee of NYC MOS emphasized that the access to data and the current local laws are not compelling enough for the market to implement strategies. The City intends to target a variety of building types using the benchmarking data to align the optimal efficiency projects and to create demand for these projects.