Green New Deal: Mayor De Blasio Announces New Energy Code To Meet Challenge Of Global Warming

Green New Deal: Mayor De Blasio Announces New Energy Code To Meet Challenge Of Global Warming

2020 NYC Energy Conservation Code holds new buildings to strict standards to implement Green New Deal & make New York City the global leader in sustainability

New York–Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the passage of the 2020 NYC Energy Conservation Code following today’s successful vote in the New York City Council. This updated energy code provides a new benchmark of sustainability and energy efficiency for all construction in the five boroughs. The passage of this legislation demonstrates the Administration’s commitment to leading the country in actively addressing the threat of climate change. The energy code will go into effect on May 12, 2020.

“New York City is leading the nation in our fight against global warming,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Our new energy code will ensure that buildings – our city’s biggest polluters – are held to the highest standard of sustainability and efficiency.”

“We must meet the challenge of global warming by tackling the single largest source of emissions in New York City – our buildings,” said DOB Commissioner Melanie La Rocca. “Our revised Energy Code means that new construction and improvements to existing buildings will be part of the solution to climate change, not contributing to the problem. By helping us implement the Green New Deal, these strict energy standards ensure we are leading the nation by building a more sustainable and fairer city for all.”

Link to new energy code

The foundation of New York City’s 2020 Energy Conservation Code is the 2020 New York State Energy Conservation Construction Code and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) NYStretch Energy Code, a model energy code that provides additional energy savings over the New York State Energy Code. Our new city energy code goes even further, with additional energy efficiency requirements that are specific to New York City and our unique urban environment. The 2020 code mandates that construction projects:

  • Improve the building thermal envelope with better performing walls and windows
  • Seal and test the building envelope to minimize and control air leakage
  • Require balconies and parapets to be continuously insulated
  • Identify thermal bridging elements in the building envelope
  • Meet minimum energy efficiency requirements for heating and cooling systems
  • Require more efficient interior lighting and additional lighting controls
  • Perform commissioning on more HVAC alteration projects
  • Require efficiency measures on new elevators and commercial kitchen equipment
  • Require the infrastructure for the future installation of electric vehicle chargers in one- and two-family homes
  • Require whole building metering for new buildings greater than 25,000 square feet
  • Allow source energy as a metric, instead of energy cost, for buildings choosing to comply with energy modeling
  • Require additional thermal envelope performance requirements for buildings choosing to comply with energy modeling

The 2020 NYC Energy Conservation Code is just one of the New York City Construction Codes being updated by the Department of Buildings as part of the ongoing Code Revision Cycle. The Department convenes multiple advisory and technical committees as part of this continual revision process as a commitment to have New York City remain on the cutting edge of development trends and best safety practices. The Department will be introducing updates to the balance of our New York City Construction Codes later this year.

“The City Council has a strong history of working to mitigate the effects of climate change, the existential threat of our times. This legislation tackles greenhouse gas emissions from one of our worse polluters: buildings. The bill ensures that new or substantially renovated buildings will be more sustainable and energy efficient. New York City is and will continue to be a leader in fighting climate change,” said Council Speaker Corey Johnson.

“Our codes are how we speak the truth of our values in the language of our built environment,” said Mark Chambers, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. “In the spaces where we live, work, and play, these new energy conservation codes will unlock healthier and more efficient buildings to help us in the fight against climate change – the fight for our future.”

NYC Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Jr., Chair of Committee on Housing and Buildings said, “Today’s passage of the 2020 NYC Energy Conservation Code marks the culmination of work to advance sustainability. That work included government, advocates, and the private sector all putting in their insights and expertise to upgrade our commitments, take advantage of new technologies, and pursue strategies that conserve. By passing the NYC ECC, we reaffirm our City’s leadership in tackling climate change and create a positive example for communities across the world to pursue. I am proud to partner with all those who joined this effort to make substantial progress in upgrading our ECC, and look forward to continuing to use the sustainability lens as we move forward in making policy to tackle the problem of climate change.”

John Mandyck, CEO of Urban Green Council said: “NYC’s new Energy Code is among the strongest in the nation. This breakthrough code will drive cost-effective efficiency in new buildings and renovations, helping to ensure affordable, healthy and low-carbon buildings for all New Yorkers.”

“With the adoption of New York City’s new energy code, our buildings will become significantly more efficient, demonstrating the important role better buildings must play in fighting climate change and a key tool that cities have to reduce emissions,” said Donna De Costanzo, Eastern Regional Director for the Climate and Clean Energy Program of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “New York City is continuing to ensure that the most recognizable skyline in the world is also a symbol of sustainability.”

“New York’s professional engineering community is strongly committed to helping the city implement sustainability, energy efficiency and carbon emissions reductions. ACEC New York supports the use of a rational and comprehensive effort to achieve this, of which the 2020 NYC Energy Conservation Code is an important part. We commend the Administration and the City Council for having a robust process for stakeholder input and congratulate the city for passing this important legislation” said Jay Simson, President and CEO, American Council of Engineering Companies of New York.”

“AIA New York is in full support of the adoption of the NYC Energy Conservation Code; one of the most advanced building energy codes in the country. Studies show that buildings in NYC produce Seventy percent of carbon emissions. Therefore, architects are among the key players who can help us fight climate change and improve air quality, through the design of more energy efficient buildings and retrofits in compliance of this new code,” said Benjamin Prosky, Executive Director, American Institute of Architects (AIA) New York.

“Our members are leading the effort to reduce carbon emissions through innovative, clean-energy technologies and sustainable development,” said James Whelan, President of the Real Estate Board of New York. “The 2020 NYC Energy Conservation Code demonstrates our shared commitment to meet New York’s ambitious climate goals and achieve a more environmentally friendly city.”