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Green Light New York
Green Light New York

Energy-efficient lighting is widely recognized as one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce energy consumption in buildings, both old and new. The potential for savings from efficient lighting is enormous in New York City, where residents annually spend roughly $3.4 billion on electricity for lighting, accounting for 27 percent of total New York City electric use, 17 percent of total energy consumption, and 12 percent of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Efficient lighting is readily available, but there is a serious knowledge gap that prevents its widespread adoption. Green Light New York, Inc. (GLNY), a new independent nonprofit organization, is creating a resource center to overcome this obstacle and speed market transformation toward more efficient lighting. To realize lighting's potential, bring efficiency to scale, and fill the knowledge gap, GLNY will provide a hub of energy efficient information and resources for New York City, such as classes and training, design consultations, displays of concepts and equipment, a mock-up space, and information on rebates and incentives.

Economic Benefits and Job Creation
In addition to promoting the cost effectiveness of efficient lighting, GLNY will also help New York City create a competitive 21st century workforce while reaping the economic benefits of lighting efficiency. GLNY has already received strong support from professional and business communities for its economic potential-a 2010 Cost-Benefit Report (in PDF) found that "for every dollar invested [to fund GLNY], roughly 2 dollars would be returned to the NY economy," with estimated total net benefits of "$81 to $212 million." Many of these benefits will be job-related: Money that is now wasted on energy will go toward paying skilled workers or result in pure savings for the economy. It is estimated that GLNY will impact more than 100,000 individuals within the architecture, design, engineering, construction and real estate communities who work with lighting systems.

Resource for Green Building Regulations
GLNY will be critical in helping to achieve the 30 percent citywide greenhouse gas emissions reductions targeted by PlaNYC by providing a venue for learning how to meet the new codes while creating quality lighting. Lighting technology-both in terms of lighting sources and sensors and controls-has been improving rapidly, and as a result, the codes and standards are becoming increasingly stringent; in addition, the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan (GGBP) is accelerating the transition to more efficient systems by requiring that non-residential spaces in the city's largest buildings upgrade their lighting systems to meet code by 2025 (all lighting systems in non-residential buildings with more than 50,000 square feet must be upgraded to meet the Energy Code, and sub-meters must be installed in all 10,000+ square feet commercial tenant spaces). But the new technologies are increasingly complex, and these effects of new lighting need to be seen and experienced. Consequently, meeting the new, stringent codes is not child's play. GLNY will enable the City to garner the considerable benefits of the new codes by providing a venue where real estate professionals can see and experiment with the new lighting technologies, receive design consultations, and obtain code training.

The benefits of GLNY are vast: dramatically reduced energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and air pollution; millions of dollars saved in electricity costs; and better lit and more productive spaces. As an international capital of design, lighting, and real estate, New York City will gain from GLNY's benefits and will remain a world leader in these fields.

For more information, visit Green Light New York.

  • GLNY is on track to build a new energy-efficient resource center, having received substantial contributions from the Kresge Foundation and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, as well as key commitments from the City of New York and the New York Power Authority. GLNY has secured an ideal, centrally located space for the center in downtown Manhattan.
  • GLNY is delivering training with the New York Chapter of American Institute of Architecture's Committee on the Environment. Courses are available for the following topics: NYC Codes & Lighting Laws, Lighting Retrofits, and Lighting Controls. Visit GLNY's Facebook page  for up to date information or subscribe to GLNY News.
  • GLNY, in collaboration with the Natural Resources Defense Council and the New York City Mayor's Office, is undertaking a study of the potential impact that daylighting controls could have on energy use and peak demand in New York City commercial office spaces.
  • Following its tremendously successful expert symposium, LED's on Trial: The State of Solid State Lighting, GLNY is organizing a spring 2012 symposium on the leading-edge thinking in building control systems.
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