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Mayor Announces Dramatic Drop in Energy Use and Carbon Emissions in Large Buildings Citywide

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Fifth benchmarking report shows that between 2010 and 2015, emissions from 4,200 consistently benchmarked properties dropped by 14 percent, energy use decreased 10 percent

NEW YORK––As part of Mayor de Blasio’s ambitious goals to create more energy efficient buildings and align the city’s emissions reduction goals with the Paris Climate Agreement, the Mayor in partnership with Urban Green Council and NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress released New York City’s Energy and Water Use 2014 & 2015 Report, a comprehensive analysis of energy and water usage of large buildings in New York City.

The analysis in the report finds that between 2010 and 2015 greenhouse gas emissions from 4,200 regularly benchmarked properties that missed no more than one benchmarking period, dropped by 14 percent, while energy use decreased 10 percent.

“This new analysis demonstrates that we can continue to achieve substantial reductions in emissions from the largest source in our city, our buildings, and keep New York City on-track toward our 80×50 target,” said Mayor de Blasio. “‎This sets the stage for even more dramatic reductions that will be achieved through mandatory retrofits for the largest, most polluting buildings across the five boroughs. When Trump pulled out of the Paris Agreement, we knew we had to accelerate our local climate actions, and that’s exactly what’s happening.‎”

The report was produced in partnership with Urban Green Council and NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress. It is part of a nearly decade long effort to better evaluate and manage energy use in buildings citywide, which contribute nearly 70 percent of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions. Seven years ago, as part of its efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions from buildings, the City of New York launched an initiative to determine how much energy its largest buildings use. Since then, Local Law 84 of 2009 (LL84) requires owners and managers of buildings that occupy at least 50,000 square feet to report the amount of energy and water these buildings use each year. This information can be used to compare the buildings’ energy performance against that of similar buildings. This process of reporting and comparison, known as benchmarking, has since been adopted by many major cities, including Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Chicago.

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“This year’s report represents another significant step forward in using data analytics to address the serious urban challenge of climate change,” said Constantine E. Kontokosta, PhD, PE, Professor of Urban Informatics at NYU CUSP and Tandon, Director of NYU’s Urban Intelligence Lab, and lead data scientist for the report. “New York City continues to lead on climate action, and data-driven, evidenced-based policies are necessary to achieve the Mayor’s ambitious goals to reduce the City’s carbon emissions and energy use.”

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