New York City is expected to face numerous challenges as a result of climate change, such as sea level rise, heat waves, and extreme storms. In response to these impending threats, Mayor Bill de Blasio released One City: Built to Last, a comprehensive city-wide plan that focuses on transforming public and private buildings in New York City into models of sustainability. The overall goal is to achieve an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from 2005 levels by the year 2050 (80 by 50
). One of the plan’s major strategies, the Retrofit Accelerator, focuses on coordinated outreach and assistance to encourage private building owners to participate in energy efficiency programs.
Buildings, public, commercial, and residential, account for nearly three-quarters of New York City’s GHG emissions
. While GHG emissions have been reduced by 19 percent through targeted efforts in more than 4,000 city-owned buildings since 2005, relatively less has been achieved in private residential buildings. In the residential sector, over half of the building sector’s carbon footprint may be attributed to multifamily buildings. If the 80 by 50 target is to be reached, the city must turn its focus to the largely untapped potential of these multifamily buildings.
Today, the multifamily energy efficiency space of NYC is characterised by complexity. The complex maze of different multifamily energy efficiency programs and overlap between them has exacerbated barriers to program uptake. As an illustration, multifamily energy efficiency eligibility is confusing for building owners (see incentive map below).