16 Dec Intro 237 – Energy & Water Benchmarking Law – Expanding the Horizon
Energy & Water Benchmarking Law
New York City requires the annual reporting of the energy and water usage of buildings that are larger than 25,000 sq. ft. The process is called Benchmarking. It is one of the most important parts of the city’s bid to reduce the carbon emissions of buildings under the NYC Local Law 97 – the climate mobilization act. Buildings are the largest emitters of Green House Gases in New York City and New York City aims to change that.
A new bill that has been proposed before the New York City Council aims to change the covered buildings under the benchmarking law. The law, which is currently being called Intro. 237, would require buildings larger than 10,000 sq. ft. to report their annual energy and water usage. This would expand the current list of 50,000 buildings that must currently comply to a total of about 80,000 buildings.
The bill has received a positive response from the nonprofit organization Urban Green Council which was a key part in the current NYC Local Law 84/133. With New York City going all out on the Climate Mobilization Act which would require buildings to meet carbon emissions limits starting in 2024, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the law passed into existence. Past data also suggests that the law has helped buildings in reducing their emissions by 23% which would only encourage the passing of the law. The city also believes that the data from existing buildings would help in a better understanding of energy usage in buildings that are smaller and eventually, a holistic reduction in emissions can be achieved through this law.
There is also a belief that while Benchmarking alone can not help the building owners achieve the required emissions reduction under the NYC Local Law 97, It would be an important part in helping building owners understand their energy usage and strategize accordingly.