NYC’s Landmark Building Energy Plan About to Get Even Better

New York City’s landmark Greener, Greater Buildings Plan (GGBP or the “Plan”) is about to get a whole lot better, thanks to a unanimous vote yesterday by the New York City Council to expand the Plan’s reach to even more of New York’s real estate, extending many of the components of the Plan to the city’s mid-sized buildings and thus nearly 60 percent of the city’s built area. The original package of GGBP legislation was the most comprehensive effort in the country to reduce energy waste from existing buildings when it was signed into law in 2009. Those kinds of reductions are critical to fighting climate change, since most of the city’s current buildings will be with us for decades to come. The Plan addressed the city’s large buildings that together are responsible for 45 percent of our energy use and comprise nearly half of our square footage—private-sector buildings above 50,000 square feet. The bills approved by the Council would lower that threshold in most instances to 25,000 square feet. (The GGBP requirements also apply to public sector buildings of at least 10,000 square feet.)

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