DCAS Energy Management works to improve the energy efficiency of the City’s buildings through a comprehensive, data-driven approach that uses energy benchmarking scores and other data to prioritize energy audits, retrofits, improved operations and maintenance, retro‐commissioning, and clean energy installations.
Quick Energy Stats
51.4% NYC municipal buildings perform at or above national average energy efficiency
121 energy efficiency projects in design or construction at City buildings
901 building operators trained in energy efficient facility operations
121 energy efficiency projects in design or construction at City buildings
To learn more about DEM's building efficiency programs, scroll down the page:
Audits, Retrofits, and Retro-commissioning
A large portion (45%) of the target reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from City government operations is expected to come from retrofitting existing City buildings to be more energy efficient through replacement of equipment with more efficient models. The City owns and operates over 4,000 buildings, ranging from schools to recreation centers and from fire houses to iconic office buildings. The average age of these buildings is about 60 years; therefore there are many opportunities to upgrade inefficient lighting, heating, cooling, and ventilation (HVAC) systems with newer, more efficient ones.
DEM's audit and retrofit program identifies and implements Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs) at the City's existing buildings over 50,000 sq. ft. to improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Audits follow ASHRAE Level II energy audit guidelines and include an assessment of electrical, HVAC, and building envelope systems to identify feasible energy retrofits and clean energy installations. The audit report assesses annual energy savings, implementation cost, and simple payback for each retrofit measure. DEM uses these recommendations to determine which ECMs will be implemented for each building. These audits and retrofits, along with accompanying retro-commissioning measures, satisfy the requirements of New York City's Greener, Greater Buildings Plan legislation.
DEM, in coordination with the Department of Design & Construction, is launching a new program to survey, retrofit and weatherize buildings under 50,000 sq. ft. These buildings include branch libraries, police precincts, firehouses, and community centers. The Small Buildings Program will kick off in a group of firehouses and branch libraries in fall 2012. Buildings will be grouped by geography and implemented based on similar ECMs to maximize efficiency and economy of scale. If the Program proves to be cost-effective, it will be rolled out to over 500 “small” buildings in the City’s portfolio. Stay tuned!
Please visit the Case Studies page to read about current and completed retrofit projects.
Energy Efficient Operations & Maintenance
Working together to operate and maintain City buildings smarter.
Improving the operations and maintenance of the City's buildings will help achieve 12% of the GHG emission reductions necessary to reach the City's 30x17 goal. Operations and Maintenance (O&M) practices are the day-to-day activities of a building's engineer or operator to keep a building operating effectively and keep building users comfortable and safe. Energy efficient O&M practices include monitoring energy use, adjusting and properly maintaining equipment, and operating the building's lighting, heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC), and other mechanical systems. An efficiently operated building will meet its occupants' needs using the least amount of energy required. DCAS Energy Management offers a variety of energy management training opportunites for City facility and engineering staff to enhance sustainable building operation skills.
DCAS Energy Management developed and manages the implementation citywide of the Energy Efficiency Operations and Maintenance Plan (EEOMP) (PDF opens in new window). The EEOMP focuses on three main objectives:
- Repairing, maintaining, and operating existing equipment efficiently;
- Increasing training and outreach to improve skills and raise awareness; and
- Providing management oversight, accountability, and transparency.
An additional part of the City’s O&M Program is Demand Response. During times of peak electricity demand or during an emergency, buildings participating in Demand Response programs, also known as peak load management programs, are paid to shed electric load in order to reduce the strain on New York City's electricity grid. Shedding load at times of high demand also helps to limit the use of the most expensive and often dirtiest power plants, which are only fired up during peak demand. Because Demand Response programs help to protect electricity reliability and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, PlaNYC calls for the City to increase enrollment of both municipal and private buildings in such programs. Facilities meet the required reduction in electric demand by turning off discretionary equipment and lighting, raising space temperatures, or running back-up generators.
The City has participated in demand response programs with the New York Power Authority (NYPA) since 2002. Enrolled facilities make a commitment to curtail electric demand (shutting down discretionary loads) or by switching to backup generators to help citywide grid reliability when the grid is most vulnerable, usually during the hottest days of the year. In return, NYPA pays customers for each kilowatt reduced. As a participant in peak load management programs, the City is helping to prevent brownouts and blackouts, generating revenue for the City, and ensuring continued health, safety, and comfort for all New Yorkers. For summer 2012, the City will continue to participate in demand response through NYPA.
The City is in the process of selecting a new demand response provider and anticipates signing a contract to begin the new program in the summer of 2013.
For more information about New York State’s demand response programs, visit the NYISO website.
Energy benchmarking provides a detailed understanding of building energy use that allows the City to prioritize buildings for energy efficiency investments and to monitor building performance over time. The benchmarking process measures the total electricity, natural gas, steam, and fuel oil consumed in a building and adjusts for other factors – location, building type, year of construction, number of workers, gross square footage, and other operational data. Benchmarking allows for comparisons among buildings and helps identify which facilities are operating inefficiently.
The report illustrates and analyzes the results of energy benchmarking for almost 3,000 municipal buildings in partnership with 28 City agencies. The City’s building portfolio is comprised of a wide range of building types, including libraries, police stations, firehouses, schools, courthouses, health, community, and family centers, and government offices.
In compliance with Local Law 84 of 2009, benchmarking results are reported for all City buildings that are more than 10,000 gross square feet that are owned by the City or for which the City pays all or part of the annual energy bill. On September 1, 2011, DEM submitted the latest benchmark results for City buildings to the Department of Finance (DOF) for publication as part of the City’s Greener, Greater Buildings Plan. The report shows the current source energy intensity (i.e. energy utilization index), and where available, an Energy Star rating generated by the U.S. EPA’s Portfolio Manager benchmarking tool for each City building. The Energy Star tool compares the energy use of each building to that of the national average energy use of similar buildings. This report also shows the total greenhouse gas emissions for each facility.
*Data used to generate this report were collected and reported by several agencies. The information in this report is subject to change due to data quality improvements, energy efficiency and conservation efforts, and changes in building use over time.
The City pursues various innovative technologies that promise to improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions using City buildings as a testing ground. Current projects include the following:
- The METS program - the Municipal Entrepreneurial Testing System, led by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn – under which firms test new green technologies in municipal buildings
- Dimmable ceiling-fixture ballasts at 1 Centre Street
- A Demand Ventilaton System, which will adjust ventilation air flow based on occupancy, at the Manhattan Criminal Court
- A study to assess the feasibility of a biomass plant fueled by woodchips in coordination with the New York Power Authority and the Departments of Environmental Protection and Parks & Recreation.