New York state buildings ordered to raise energy efficiency by 20%

State agencies in New York have been ordered to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings by 20% over the coming seven years.

New York state agencies have been told to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings by 20% in seven years.

Governor Andrew M Cuomo issued the executive order directing the improvement saying it will save millions of dollars for taxpayers and create thousands of jobs, while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

To help deliver the goal Cuomo launched ‘Build Smart NY’, a strategic implementation plan that will use state building energy data to prioritize projects that will deliver the greatest energy savings per dollar spent. The largest and most inefficient buildings will be addressed first and undergo comprehensive whole-building improvements. Measures will include new lighting fittings and controls, heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems, electric motors, and automated energy management systems.

The program will also ensure that cost-effective improvements for energy savings are considered in all of the state's capital project planning.

"Improving energy efficiency in our buildings is a smart investment in our present and future," says Cuomo. "Through Build Smart NY, state government can produce significant savings for New York taxpayers and generate thousands of jobs, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than eight million tonnes - which is the same as taking one million cars off the road for one year. Furthermore, most of the projects will pay for themselves as their energy savings will cover their costs, making this initiative a financial and environmental win-win for New Yorkers."

The New York Power Authority has committed to provide $450 million in low-cost financing for the initiative. Additionally, for most projects, no upfront capital spending will be required because agencies will be able to repay the loans through the projects' energy savings.

New York State will take advantage of big data and social networking to accelerate the uptake of projects. A new web platform will post progress reports, case studies, energy savings, project costs, and other information to the public, providing greater accountability and transparency on government spending and performance. The platform is powered by data and technology from New York City start-up, Honest Buildings.

Tony Malkin, President of Malkin Holdings, Supervisor of the Empire State Building, said, "The Governor is demonstrating strong leadership in his Build Smart NY initiative to increase energy efficiency throughout the state's property. New York State is using the best lessons from private practice and creating a large scale public policy initiative based on real data to determine investment and return. The program will prioritize projects and apply resources to the buildings that can deliver the biggest bang for taxpayer dollars, while making sure to share case studies and building information with the public."