Nearly 85 percent of existing buildings are likely to be with us in 2050, so driving down their energy use is essential to addressing climate change. Urban Green uses all its levers – education, policy and research – to reach this formidable goal.
Anyone who has ever lived in a typical New York City apartment or worked in a New York office knows that we’re wasting energy—windows open in the dead of winter, buildings ablaze with light in the dead of night. Opportunities to save energy and money while moving away from fossil fuels stare us down every day.
Fortunately, retrofits in New York City are about to expand on an unprecedented scale thanks to legislation enacted by the City of New York, Local Law 97 of 2019. The law, which incorporates many of Urban Green’s Blueprint for Efficiency recommendations, sets strict carbon emissions limits for the city’s largest buildings. Our market analysis forecasts that this legislation could lead to a new $20 billion retrofit market. Urban Green is committed to providing the building industry with the knowledge and resources they need to meet this challenge.
And the challenge is this: we know how to retrofit and electrify buildings, and we have many great examples to draw from. But knowing how to fix inefficiencies one building at a time is far different than tackling million-plus buildings in New York City.
WHAT WE'RE WORKING ON
- Answering tough questions about building electrification that will help NYC reach 80x50.
- Providing up-to-date analyses of the energy use of the city’s benchmarked buildings.
- Delivering training on the more stringent 2020 Energy Code across NY State.
WHAT WE'VE ALREADY DONE
- Published Going Electric: Retrofitting NYC’s Multifamily Buildings, which identifies nine crucial steps to jumpstart electrification in large multifamily properties.
- Explored how NYC can rapidly scale up retrofits to comply with Local Law 97 at our 2019 conference.
- Released a NYC Retrofit Market Analysis that identified $20 billion in employment and market opportunities in light of LL97.
- Published Demystifying Steam, which provides much-needed 101-level guidance for updating steam systems in multifamily buildings.
- Published NYC Energy and Water Use 2014 and 2015 Report, an in-depth analysis if NYC Benchmarking data that builds on the 2013 Report.
- Looked at the hard costs of warm air leaked through elevator shafts in Spending Through the Roof.
- Researched the cost of air conditioner leaks—equal to a six square inch hole—and provided recommendations to reduce this waste in There are Holes in our Walls.