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New York City Council Holds Hearing on Landmark Retrofit Bill

Source: Urban Green Council

New York City Council hearings can sometimes be sleepy affairs, but this was not the case at yesterday’s Committee on Environmental Protection.

It was standing-room only for the hearing on a landmark retrofit bill introduced last week by Council Member Costa Constantinides. The bill, Intro. 1253, proposes new carbon emissions caps and energy performance requirements for the city’s large buildings starting in 2022.

The proposed legislation follows nearly a year of stakeholder engagement through the 80×50 Buildings Partnership and the release of Urban Green’s Blueprint for Efficiency. Over eight months and 85 meetings, with 70 experts from 40 groups, the Buildings Partnership developed 21 recommendations that will deliver the largest carbon reduction in the history of New York City. This shared thinking is the essential ingredient that’s been missing in global climate policy debates.

The bill is a good start and includes key recommendations from the Blueprint, such as a robust stakeholder advisory committee to develop a detailed energy performance metric that works for NYC’s large, dense and varied building stock. But, as our CEO John Mandyck outlined in Urban Green’s testimony, we still have work to do to reflect all elements of the Blueprint.

Many stakeholders at the hearing voiced strong support for the goals of the bill. But many also questioned its feasibility as currently structured. Key concerns include the bill’s accelerated 2022 timeline. Another is emissions limits set according to broad occupancy groups that cover buildings with very different space use and operating hours. These questions – and others – will need to be resolved in the legislative process in the weeks and months ahead.

Yesterday’s hearing also considered a bill that will open up a new, low-cost avenue to finance energy retrofits and revisions to Local Law 33 on building energy grades. We applaud the former and second the need to reconsider Local Law 33 in light of Intro 1253.

Intro 1253 is critical to the city’s mandate for 80 percent carbon reductions by 2050. Yet even when we get there, New York harbor will still rise if other cities around the world don’t follow. For others to do so, we need public policies that both work in New York and are exportable around the world – policies like the energy efficiency metric and credit trading recommended in the Blueprint.

We applaud Council Member Constantinides’ leadership on climate change policy and we look forward to working with all stakeholders as this bill develops.

What You Need to Know

Changes are expected before the bill passes into law. Here are the current terms:

  • Covers buildings greater than 25,000 square feet
  • Creates an office of building energy performance within the Department of Buildings to administer and implement the law
  • Sets mandatory carbon emissions limits for 2022 and 2023 based on building occupancy groups
  • Requires an advisory board of relevant stakeholders to develop recommendations for a building energy performance metric and requirements for 2024 and beyond
  • Sets default carbon emissions limits for 2024-2029 if no alternates are developed
  • Empowers the office of building energy performance to establish alternate methods of compliance, including green power purchase and credit trading
  • Provides penalties for non-compliance, as well as variances for hardship or significant weather variability
  • Exempts buildings with one or more rent-regulated units
  • Expands Local Law 87 retro-commissioning and audit requirements to buildings greater than 25,000 square feet (including buildings with rent-regulated units)
  • Requires the city to study the feasibility of a carbon trading program for compliance

See the full bill here.

NYSERDA’s REV Connect Wins Utility Dive’s 2018 Project of the Year Award!

On December 3, 2018 Utility Dive announced REV Connect as their 2018 Project of the Year Winner, stating: “The program represents a holistic way for utilities to approach problem-solving outside of the rigid formalities of an RFP process. New York’s undertaking prompted other states to follow suit with their own efforts.”

Highlights

Goal:

To help utilities source solutions without the rigid formalities of a request for proposal (RFP) process.

Progress:

Opened at least 16 major proceedings since launching in 2014.

Outlook:

The project’s energy storage Innovation Sprint is expected in the second half of 2019.

“Plenty of states have followed suit, but New York’s REV is a holistic reimagining of energy resources and the business models underpin the sector. While REV aims to bring about wholesale changes, one initiative within it is speeding the development of new resources and solutions while helping remake utility procurement processes.”

REV Connect has been running for about a year now without an end-date, drawing 250 submissions that generated 150 connections between utilities and market participants. NYSERDA says there are currently 11 partnerships in development, and a couple others very close to that stage.

About NYSERDA

NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise, and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect the environment and create clean-energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York State since 1975. To learn more about NYSERDA’s programs and funding opportunities, visit nyserda.ny.gov or follow us on TwitterFacebookYouTube, or Instagram.

NY Invests $40 Million in Solar Energy and Storage Projects

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced in October 2018 that $40 million will be available in early November to support solar projects that integrate energy storage. This latest investment is aimed at helping the state reach its energy storage target of 1,500-megawatts by 2025.

“As we continue our aggressive pursuit of clean, renewable technologies, funding for projects like this will ensure New York remains at the forefront of the global fight against climate change,” Gov. Cuomo says. “The strategic pairing of energy storage and solar technologies moves us closer to building a clean energy economy that protects critical natural resources and benefits all New Yorkers.”

The State’s Reforming Energy Vision (REV) program has spurred the statewide solar market by 1,000 percent, improving energy affordability for 1.65 million low-income customers along with creating thousands of jobs. The program also aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 and to reach 80 percent by 2050.

The announcement was made during the Alliance for Clean Energy – New York annual conference in Albany, New York. The funding will accelerate the deployment of at least 50 megawatts of energy storage and will boost the continuing growth of the state’s solar industry while reducing emissions. Such solar projects and additional energy storage, can increase the electric grid’s efficiency and reliability. The energy storage capability helps ensures that renewable energy can be shifted to times of highest customer usage, such as afternoon hours on summer days.

To inform New York communities about the benefits of adding energy storage to solar projects, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) will conduct outreach and provide technical resources. This past June, In June, NYSERDA and the New York Department of Public Service developed the New York State Energy Storage Roadmap to identify policies, regulations, and initiatives needed to fulfill the 2025 energy storage target.

The state’s $1 billion investment in a self-sustaining solar industry in the state has already led to the creation of 85,327 solar projects with a capacity of 1,203.2 megawatts and an expected annual production of 1,395 gigawatts, enough to power about 200,000 homes and reducing emissions equal to 160,000 cars. New York is third highest state for solar installations to date.

NYC Green Leasing & Smart Submetering Webinar

High performance leases or green leases can reduce utility bills by up to $0.51 per sq. ft. and cut energy consumption by up to 22 percent, according to the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT). Today’s smart submetering solutions enable landlords to maximize their building value with precise tenant billing that will reduce their operating expenses AND boost their bottom line.

On August 16th, 2018, The Institute for Market Transformation and CircuitMeter presented on how to identify, promote and implement strategies to align financial and NY energy incentives for landlords and tenants with high performance leasing and smart submetering solutions.

See the webinar below:

You can also download the presentation HERE

 

NYC 2030 District August 2018 Newsletter

August 2018 Newsletter

NYC Green Leasing & Smart Submetering Webinar: August 16th at 2:00 PM EDT

High performance leases or green leases can reduce utility bills by up to $0.51 per sq. ft. and cut energy consumption by up to 22 percent, according to the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT). Today’s smart submetering solutions enable landlords to maximize their building value with precise tenant billing that will reduce their operating expenses AND boost their bottom line.

 

The Clinton Hill Co-Op Energy Assessment

NYC 2030 District member Clinton Hill is receiving a building energy assessment conducted by the District at no charge to help identify some of their best energy conservation measures (ECMs) and evaluate the current Con Edison incentives. We were also joined by two of our summer engineering interns, who gained some valuable real-world experience.

 

The NYC 2030 District Summer Reception Recap

On June 27, 2018, the NYC 2030 District held its first annual Summer Reception at the top of the Fujitsu Airstage in Times Square. The event was attended by our service professionals, sponsors and building owner stakeholders, where we discussed our latest initiatives and future plans.

 

Did you miss our Advanced RTU Webinar?

On July 10th, 2018, The Department of Energy’s Advanced RTU Campaign and PaceControls presented on the trends and drivers of RTU efficiency for commercial buildings in New York City. We discovered what are the latest resources, tools, and technologies in replacing or retrofitting RTUs, plus making a compelling business case with the robust RTU incentives from Con Edison.

 

Save the Date: September 19th, 2018!

The NYC 2030 District will co-produce an event with AIANY COTE (Committee on the Environment) ASHRAE, Sallan Foundation and Urban Future Labs.

Working title:
The Climate for NYC Distributed Energy:
Urban scale Resilience and Sustainability

Wed. Sept. 19th  4:00 – 8:00 PM Center for Architecture

 

For more information on our organization please contact us at info@NYC2030.org

 

NYC 2030 District is a nonprofit volunteer organization providing building

energy efficiency education, outreach, and project aggregation.

Copyright © 2018 NYC 2030 District, All rights reserved.

Clinton Hill Co-op Building Energy Assessment

Located in a convenient, thriving and ‘happening’ neighborhood of Brooklyn, the Clinton Hill Cooperative Apartments are a 12 building, 1,200 unit pet-friendly community in a lush park-like setting, featuring beautifully renovated co-ops, 24-hour security, live-in staff and laundry rooms.  Affordable prices provide buyers with an incomparable value, without the hassle of board approval.

NYC 2030 District member Clinton Hill is receiving a building energy assessment conducted by the District at no charge to help identify some of their best energy conservation measures (ECMs) and evaluate the current Con Edison incentives. We were also joined by two of our summer engineering interns, who gained some valuable real-world experience.

We spent a great deal of time in their boiler room which provides the buildings with steam heat and domestic hot water. The NYC 2030 team also looked at their control systems, steam traps, and their pressure readings.

The NYC 2030 crew will also evaluate their solar PV orientation, plus their combined heat and power( CHP) options, as there are roof stacks and exhaust codes being in the Clinton Hill Historic District.

If you’d like more information on the NYC 2030 District please email info@NYC2030.org

NYC 2030 District Summer Reception

On June 27, 2018, the NYC 2030 District held its first annual Summer Reception at the top of the Fujitsu Airstage in Times Square. The New York City 2030 District is a non-profit organization committed to helping building owners reach their energy, sustainability and, resiliency goals through education, outreach & project aggregation.

The event was attended by our building owner stakeholders, service professionals, sponsors and volunteer members, where we announced our new Action Plan:

The NYC 2030 District Summer Reception Group PhotoNYC 2030 District Energy Audits The NYC 2030 team is utilizing the innovative simuwatt® Energy Auditor, a cloud-based, tablet and desktop software application that lowers the time and cost of providing high quality, commercial building energy assessments while preserving the data to facilitate reporting, portfolio-wide tracking, and reuse. Energy Auditor will be a valuable tool for our members seeking low-cost (+ FREE) ASHRAE Level I or II audits and will enable NYC 2030 to easily access energy benchmark data block by block, neighborhoods or by the NYC 2030 Districts!

The NYC 2030 District Summer Reception Photo Haym and Frank

NYC 2030 District Project Aggregation
With the ability to provide revenue grade energy audits and as an Investor Confidence Project (ICP) Credentialed Project Developer, the NYC 2030 District will be better able to help reach our 80×50 goals with project aggregation. ICP protocols provide a much needed standardized roadmap to assess risk and deliver on project results by predicting energy savings, optimizing performance, and monitoring the outcome of energy efficiency investments in order to generate financial savings and returns.  ICP credentials and certifications are provided by Green Business Certification, Inc. (GBCI), (home of LEED, GRESB, & the WELL credentialing systems).

The NYC 2030 District Summer Reception Group Photo and Haym

NYC 2030 District Project Financing
With our ability to aggregate projects utilizing ICP’s Investor Ready Energy Efficiency™ (IREE) certification, the NYC 2030 District will be able to accelerate project development with lower costs and financing terms for our stakeholders. The NYC 2030 District will also promote and utilize NYSERDA and Con Edison’s new Pay for Performance (P4P) model, utilizing OpenEEMeter’s M&V 2.0 standards which lower M&V costs through automated calculations of savings

The NYC 2030 District Summer Reception Photo Frank

If you’d like more information on the NYC 2030 District please email info@NYC2030.org

The NYC 2030 District Advanced RTU Webinar

Rooftop units (RTUs) are used in over 60% of all commercial building floor space to optimize cooling, heating, and ventilation and found on most NYC low-rise buildings like, schools, stores, hospitals and restaurants.
RTUs are capable of handling anywhere from 1.5 tons to 162 tons in the volume of supply air. Thus, even a small improvement in rated efficiency of these units can lead to significant reductions of energy use and carbon emissions.
On July 10th, 2018, The Department of Energy’s Advanced RTU Campaign and PaceControls presented on the trends and drivers of RTU efficiency for commercial buildings in New York City. We discovered what are the latest resources, tools and technologies in replacing or retrofitting RTUs, plus making a compelling business case with the robust RTU incentives from Con Edison.

You can also download the presentation HERE

 

NYC 2030 District Advanced RTU Campaign Webinar on July 10th at 2:00 PM EDT

The Advanced RTU Campaign will present a webinar with NYC 2030 District on the trends and drivers of RTU efficiency for commercial buildings in the NY area. This presentation will provide details on efficiency options and different building types for RTUs, the business case for proactive RTU replacements with high-efficiency units, and specific New York utility incentives available to support RTU efficiency improvements. In addition, learn about saving energy and money from RTU efficiency highlighted by case studies from Arby’s and Walgreens RTU efforts.

 

Join us On July 10th at 2:00 PM EDT

NYSERDA Launches RetrofitNY High-Performance Retrofit Solutions Pilot

On June 27, 2018, NYSERDA announced that it has awarded six design contracts to solution provider teams under RetrofitNY’s High-Performance Retrofit Solutions pilot program. The contracts are the initial step for RetrofitNY, a first-of-its-kind program in the U.S. launched earlier this year by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. The program is intended to create standardized, scalable deep energy-efficient retrofit solutions that can be replicated throughout the entire housing industry and support Governor Cuomo’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030.

 

Read the full announcement below:

NYSERDA Announces First Contract Awards for $30 Million RetrofitNY Initiative, a First-of-its-Kind Energy Efficiency Program in the U.S.

Winning Teams to Design Retrofit Solutions for Affordable Multi-Family Buildings that Achieve or Approach Near Net-Zero Energy

June 27, 2018

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) today announced six design contracts have been awarded to solution provider teams under RetrofitNY’s High-Performance Retrofit Solutions pilot program. The contracts are the initial step for RetrofitNY, a first-of-its-kind program in the U.S. launched earlier this year by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. The program is intended to create standardized, scalable deep energy-efficient retrofit solutions that can be replicated throughout the entire housing industry and support Governor Cuomo’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030.

Alicia Barton, NYSERDA President and CEO said, “RetrofitNY capitalizes on the expertise of building owners and designers for identifying and creating scalable energy efficiency solutions for New York’s building stock that will reduce energy costs and improve the quality of life for residents. Under Governor Cuomo’s clean energy economy, the state is creating opportunities for market-wide transformation and we are thrilled with the market response to the first phase of this innovative energy efficiency program.”

RetrofitNY was created to stimulate a new industry capable of delivering replicable net-zero, or near net-zero, energy retrofits to residential building stock at scale. Statewide, buildings account for 60 percent of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions and improving energy efficiency in existing buildings is a critical component of achieving the Governor’s nation-leading clean energy and climate goals. The energy efficient retrofit products designed through the RetrofitNY program will offer multi-family buildings cost-effective and efficient means for cutting emissions and reducing their residents’ energy costs while making their homes more comfortable.

These six contracts are the first step in a two-step competitive application process led by NYSERDA. Under this process, review committees qualified both solution-provider teams to design high-performance retrofit solutions and multifamily affordable housing buildings to receive the prototype retrofit designs.

Each solution-provider team was awarded $75,000 for the design phase of their project, which will last approximately six months. Designs are also required to exclude the use of fossil fuels onsite, and demonstrate that the designs are cost-effective, standardized, scalable and aesthetically pleasing.

To initiate the design phase of these six projects, kickoff meetings are being held with the contract winners. Once complete, NYSERDA will offer additional funding for developing and installing the designs under a separate solicitation. NYSERDA will then monitor the construction and performance of the solutions to incorporate learnings from this first phase into future requests for proposals for improved designs, ensuring the program will be rolled out on an ever-larger scale until a self-sustaining market is created.

The RetrofitNY program supports the state’s greenhouse gas emission reductions of 40 percent by 2030 as well as the new 2025 energy efficiency target announced in April. The components developed and tested under RetrofitNY are anticipated to be applicable to new construction projects as well as retrofits, and serve the broader emerging net zero market in New York.

The winning contract teams are:

  • The International Center for Appropriate and Sustainable Technology (ICAST): working with Beacon Communities on a two-story, six-unit building that is part of a six-building campus in Troy.
  • The Levy Partnership: working with Joint Ownership Entity (JOE) NYC on a six-story, 21-unit building in Harlem.
  • Bright Power: working with Volmar on a five-story, 42-unit building in the Bronx.
  • SWBR Architects: working with Conifer Real Estate on a two-story, 24-unit building in Portville in the Western NY Region.
  • King + King Architects: working with Rock PMC on a two-story, eight-unit building in Phoenix outside Syracuse that is part of a five-building campus.
  • Chris Benedict, RA: working with RiseBoro Community Partnership on a four-story, 46-unit building in Brooklyn.

RetrofitNY is a $30 million program funded over 10 years and made available through the State’s Clean Energy Fund. It intends to bring a substantial portion of New York’s affordable housing units to or near net-zero energy over the next decade. Net-zero energy buildings consume no more energy, on an annual basis, than they produce onsite through renewable energy technologies like solar panels or other distributed energy resources.

RetrofitNY is based on a successful European program, Energiesprong, which has brought over 5,000 units of affordable housing to net-zero energy with 20,000 more units in the pipeline.

The teams’ progress and more information about the RetrofitNY program can found at the NYSERDA website.

About NYSERDA

NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise, and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect the environment and create clean-energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York State since 1975. To learn more about NYSERDA’s programs and funding opportunities, visit nyserda.ny.gov or follow us on TwitterFacebookYouTube, or Instagram.

About the Clean Energy Fund

The 10-year, $5.3 billion Clean Energy Fund (CEF) is a core component of New York State’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy to achieve a clean, resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers. The CEF includes a focused effort to bring more clean energy opportunities and benefits to low- to moderate-income communities and is designed to deliver on New York State’s commitment to accelerate the use of clean energy and energy innovation and drive economic development, while reducing ratepayer collections. NY Green Bank, a core component of the CEF, has generated $32.6 million in positive net income as a result of $457.5 million in investments in clean energy transactions across New York. Its $1 billion NY-Sun initiative has already helped facilitate a more than 1,000 percent increase in solar deployment since 2011. The CEF supports New York’s ambitious Clean Energy Standard requiring 50 percent of the state’s electricity to come from renewable energy sources by 2030.

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