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PR- 557-09
December 28, 2009


Remarks by Mayor Bloomberg at a Public Hearing on Local Laws

"The first four of twelve bills before me today are Introductory Numbers 476-A, 564-A, 967-A and 973-A, which together form a landmark package of legislation that will make New York the first American city with a comprehensive, mandatory effort to reduce emissions from existing large buildings.  This package, which is part of our six-point Greener, Greater Buildings Plan introduced on Earth Day, is the most significant action to date to meet our PlaNYC commitment to reduce emissions 30 percent by 2030.

"Approximately 80 percent of New York City's carbon footprint comes from energy use by buildings.  Increasing efficiency in existing buildings is critical to meeting our PlaNYC emissions goals, and this legislation will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 4.75 percent, the largest reduction achieved by a single program.

"Introductory Number 476-A, sponsored by Speaker Quinn and Council Members Mark-Viverito, Recchia, Avella, Brewer, Fidler, Gentile, James, Liu,  Nelson, Seabrook, Weprin, White, Garodnick, Lappin, Yassky,  Sears, Mendez, de Blasio, Katz, Mitchell, Vann, Gioia, Vacca, Vallone, Jackson, Ferreras, Koppell, Comrie, Barron, Arroyo, Crowley, Gennaro, Mealy and Reyna requires all private buildings greater than 50,000 square feet or public buildings greater than 10,000 square feet to 'benchmark' their energy use.  Benchmarking is the practice of evaluating a building's energy efficiency so a building owner can see how efficiently their buildings function and enable prospective buyers and tenants to better assess the value of a building.

"Introductory Number 564-A, sponsored by Speaker Quinn and Council Members Garodnick, Brewer, Fidler, Gonzalez, James, Koppell,  Sanders, Seabrook, Weprin, White, Gerson, Lappin, Yassky, Recchia, Sears, Liu, Mendez, de Blasio, Mitchell, Mark-Viverito, Katz, Vallone, Nelson, Vann, Avella, Gioia, Vacca, Jackson, Ferreras, Comrie, Barron, Arroyo, Crowley, Gennaro, Mealy and Reyna, creates a New York City Energy Code that existing buildings will have to meet whenever they make renovations.  The New York State Energy Code includes a loophole that allows buildings to perpetuate non-compliant systems if they perform renovations on less than half of a given building system.  This legislation creates a New York City energy code that requires all buildings to comply fully with the International Energy Conservation Code for those portions of a system being renovated.

"Introductory Number 967-A, sponsored by Speaker Quinn and Council Members Gennaro, Brewer, Comrie, Dickens, Garodnick, Gioia, James, Koppell, Lappin, Mitchell, Palma, Recchia, Reyna, Rivera, Stewart, Liu, Yassky, Sears, White, Mendez, de Blasio, Mark-Viverito, Vann, Avella, Vacca, Gerson, Jackson, Gonzalez, Ferreras, Vallone, Barron, Arroyo, Crowley and Mealy, requires private buildings over 50,000 square feet to conduct energy audits once every decade and implement energy efficient maintenance practices.  Also, all City-owned buildings over 50,000 square feet will be required to conduct audits and complete energy retrofits that pay for themselves within seven years.

"Introductory Number 973-A, sponsored by Speaker Quinn and Council Members Recchia, Comrie, Dickens, Fidler, Garodnick, Gioia, James, Lappin, Mitchell, Nelson, Reyna, Rivera, Stewart, Liu, Yassky, Sears, White, Mendez, de Blasio, Mark-Viverito, Katz, Vallone, Gerson, Koppell, Vann, Avella, Vacca, Jackson, Brewer, Gonzalez, Ferreras, Barron, Arroyo, Crowley, Gennaro and Mealy, requires commercial buildings over 50,000 square feet to upgrade their lighting and sub-meter tenant spaces over 10,000 square feet.  In New York City, lighting accounts for roughly 20 percent of a building's emissions.  This legislation, coupled with rapid improvements in lighting technology in the past few decades, will result in a dramatic reduction of energy use.  In addition, mandatory sub-metering will give commercial tenants the information necessary to identify and address wasteful electricity use.

"I would like to thank Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri, Director of Operations Jeff Kay, Director of Long-term Planning and Sustainability Rohit Aggarwala, and their staff for working tirelessly over the past two years to develop this precedent-setting legislation that will point the way for large cities across the country to address climate change and greenhouse gas emissions reduction.  I would also like to thank Speaker Quinn, the Council, and the sponsors of this legislation, Council Members Garodnick, Mark-Viverito, Gennaro, and Recchia."


Stu Loeser/Evelyn Erskine   (212) 788-2958

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