Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an Executive Order directing state agencies to increase energy efficiency in state buildings by 20 percent in seven years.
Cuomo also launched Build Smart NY, which will use state building energy data to prioritize projects that will deliver the greatest energy savings per dollar. The largest and most inefficient buildings will be addressed first and undergo comprehensive whole-building improvements such as new lighting fixtures and controls, HVAC systems, electric motors and automated energy management systems.
The New York Power Authority has committed to provide $450 million in low-cost financing for this initiative. Additionally, for most projects, no upfront capital spending will be required because agencies will be able to repay the loans through the projects’ energy savings.
Also in support of Build Smart NY, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) comprehensive array of energy efficiency programs provide objective and customized information to help state agencies and others make informed energy decisions and also provide attractive financial incentives to help offset the costs of energy efficiency improvements.
Progress has already been made in the last few months. Data has been collected on over 180 million square feet of buildings and campuses – about 95 percent of the State’s building stock, and work has started on 30 million square feet of real estate.
To support the goal of improving energy efficiency in state buildings 20 percent by 2020, a new web platform was launched that posts progress reports, case studies, energy savings, project costs, and other information to the public, providing greater accountability and transparency on government spending and performance. With this site, New York State is also using big data and social networking technologies to create transparency around building energy efficiency and to accelerate projects.
Commercial buildings in New York City must report energy usage data for publication in the New York City Energy Benchmarking Report. Analysis of the data is showing that older buildings sometimes have better Energy Star scores than newer buildings.