Electri-fiction to Electrification: Overcoming Barriers

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2022 Conference


June 15, 2022 | 1 - 5 p.m. | Reception to follow

NYU Kimmel Center for University Life | 60 Washington Square S., New York, NY

Urban Green has long been the leading voice for electrification in New York City, most recently as an advocate for Local Law 154, NYC’s groundbreaking legislation that phases out fossil fuels in new construction. Our recent reports, Going Electric and Grid Ready, found that heat pumps save carbon even with today’s power supply and that we have ample headroom to electrify NYC’s buildings before major upgrades to the grid are necessary. But misinformation abounds.

Urban Green has identified electrification roadblocks and proposed a range of solutions, but the path to 80x50 remains unclear. How do we continue to move forward? That’s what we addressed at our 2022 conference, Electri-fiction to Electrification: Overcoming Barriers. As public policies and market forces move toward decarbonization, we looked at why progress on electrification has been slow. We found out what barriers remain and how to overcome them by examining:

  • The future of energy codes
  • Advances in heating and energy retrofits
  • Case studies on hot water heat pumps in multifamily buildings.

Our work to date shows that there’s no reason to wait to electrify. And the fact that fossil fuel-burning furnaces, boilers and hot water heaters emit more carbon in NYC than anything else underscores the need to act now.


Framing Remarks | Making the Case for Electrification

Rit Aggarwala | NYC Chief Climate Officer; Commissioner, NYC Department of Environmental Protection

Session 1 | Electrifying the Energy Code

Local and national code experts previewed the future shape of energy codes. 

Diana Burk | Project Manager, New Buildings Institute
Chris Corcoran | Team Lead, Codes, Products & Standards, NYSERDA
Emily Hoffman | Director of Energy Code Compliance, NYC Department of Buildings
Moderator: Molly Dee-Ramasamy | Head of Deep Carbon Reduction, Jaros, Baum & Bolles

Session 2 | Preventing a Hot Mess: Retrofits in Multifamily Buildings

Experts in electrification and residential buildings discussed the challenges associated with upgrading heating systems in existing multifamily buildings.

Kelly Dougherty | President, First Service Energy
Jared Rodriguez | Principal, Emergent Urban Concepts
Cecil Scheib | Chief Sustainability Officer, NYU
Moderator: Loic Chappoz | Senior Advisor, NYSERDA

Session 3 | The Future is Now: Warming Up to Hot Water

Hear the lessons learned from the design and installation of heat pump water heaters in five Brooklyn multifamily projects.

Sara Bayer | Associate Principal, Director of Sustainability, Magnusson Architecture and Planning
Ryan Cassidy | Director of Sustainability and Construction, RiseBoro Community Partnership
Avery Gray | Senior Project Manager, Bright Power
Grayson Jordan | Partner, Paul Castrucci Architects
Moderator: Nicole Ceci | Principal Mechanical Engineer, Steven Winter Associates

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Thank you to this year's sponsors!

Lead Sponsor


Cocktail Supporter Sponsor

Highmark Building Efficiency

Conference Host


Interested in sponsoring this year's conference? Learn more about sponsorship opportunities here.

Thank You to our Outreach Partners!

AIA Staten Island
The Architect's Newspaper
Building Energy Exchange
Connecticut Green Building Council
Danish Cleantech Hub
Green Roofs for Healthy Cities
National Organization of Minority Architects - New York Chapter
National Society of Black Engineers
New York Passive House
Northeast Sustainable Energy Association
NYC Accelerator
Passive House Accelerator
Passive House Network
Soulful Synergy
Urban Design Forum


Kimmel Center for University Life

Eisner & Lubin Auditorium, 4th Floor
New York University 
60 Washington Square Park South
New York, New York 10012