New York City to Mandate Energy Efficiency


New York City will be the first city to mandate that existing buildings dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions. Just a couple week ago, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that these mandates will force business owners to make drastic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. These mandates will apply to 14,500 of the city’s least energy efficient buildings and will create 17,000 “green jobs.”

These mandates will push owners to meet fossil fuel caps, requiring more extensive updates to boilers, water heaters, roofs and windows. These updates are on a strict 2030 timeframe with penalties if the requirements are not met. The legislation will set annual penalties that increase with building size and the amount of buildings that exceed the fossil fuel targets.

Say there is a 30,000 square foot residential building that is operating well above its energy target. The owner will pay $60,000 for every year over the standard starting in 2030. A one million square foot building operating above the energy target could pay as much as $2 million for every year over the target. Failure to comply with standards doesn’t only have monetary penalties, however. It can also affect the building’s ability to receive future permits for major renovations.


Time is not on our side. New York will continue to step up and make critical changes to help protect our city and prevent the worst effects of climate change. We must shed our buildings’ reliance on fossil fuels here and now.
Bill de Blasio

Mayor of New York City

The mandated fossil fuel caps will apply to all buildings over 25,000 square feet and will trigger replacement fossil fuel equipment and efficiency upgrades in the worst 14,500 buildings. Those buildings collectively produce 24 percent of the city’s total greenhouse gas emissions. The new targets will also reduce citywide greenhouse gas emissions by 7 percent by 2035 – the single-largest step taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (equivalent to taking 900,000 cars off the roads).

The plan will be enacted via legislation, backed by the administration and sponsored by Council Member Costa Constantinides.


By 2035, the benefits of these mandates include:

Reduced citywide greenhouse gasses by 7 percent. Equal to taking 900,000 cars off the road.

Number of green jobs created for plumbers, carpenters, electricians, engineers, architects, and energy specialists.

Number of emergency room visits related to asthma that can be reduced per year with improved air quality.


Reduction in natural gas use.

Number of premature deaths related to asthma that can be avoided with improved air quality.


Reduction in fuel oil use.

Lower annual energy costs and more comfortable indoor spaces can come from these mandates. Multifamily building owners can see energy costs savings up to $300 million per year and more consistent inside temperatures for tenants.

Below are some testimonials about Mayor de Blasio’s energy efficiency mandates. For more information on these mandates, visit the official website for the City of New York.

As we’ve seen in recent weeks, climate change poses an immediate threat to our planet. At a time when the federal EPA is controlled by climate change deniers, it’s up to states and cities to take the lead in this fight. I’m thankful to Mayor de Blasio for these new energy efficiency standards, which will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve our environment, and protect the health and well-being of all New Yorkers.
Brad Hoylman

Senator , New York State Senate

Climate change is not the cause of hurricanes, but makes hurricanes much stronger. With devastation from back to back hurricanes, it is imperative that we reduce the demand for fossil fuels. Mayor de Blasio’s bold commitment to reduce energy demand in buildings is timely and crucially important.
Judith Enck

former EPA Regional Administrator

Now more than ever, we must take bold steps to increase the efficiency of our city’s buildings and lead the way in addressing climate threats. Through our many affordable housing programs, HPD is committed to working in tandem with other City agencies to meet the mayor’s ambitious goals and create a more sustainable city.
Maria Torres-Springer

New York City Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner

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