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Mayor de Blasio Announces New Energy Efficiency Program for Apartment Buildings

November 29, 2016

NEW YORK––Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced the launch of the NYC Building Operator Training Program to help residential buildings cut energy costs up to 20 percent. The new program offers a no-cost, 30-hour training program for small, multifamily building maintenance staff on ways to reduce energy consumption. Participants will learn about energy and resource conservation techniques related to a building’s heating, electrical and water systems. This training model is designed to reduce energy costs between 5 percent and 20 percent without any major capital expenditures. The first group of participants will begin training on December 6 and the program will fully launch early next year.

NYC buildings are responsible for roughly three-quarters of New York City’s greenhouse gas emissions. As part of Mayor de Blasio’s One NYC plan to create a more equitable, resilient and sustainable city, the City has set a bold goal of achieving an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels by 2050. The Mayor also has recently signed a package of legislation spurring retrofits to help buildings become more energy efficient.

“New York City is showing what cities around the world can do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat the effects climate change head-on,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We have set a bold but achievable goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050, and this new program will help us get there by making apartment buildings more energy efficient.”

“The NYC Building Operator Training Program will provide residential building operators with the tools they need to reduce energy consumption and help fulfill Mayor de Blasio’s vision for a greener and more sustainable New York,” said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the Department of Small Business Services. “This partnership brings together government, academic, and private sector partners to help address an important challenge with little to no cost to participants.”

"Improving the way we operate our buildings is vital to controlling our greenhouse gas emissions," said Daniel Zarrilli, Senior Director of Climate Policy and Programs and Chief Resilience Officer for the Office of the Mayor. “We are pleased to work with our partners to provide the necessary tools and training to building operators and staff to improve the energy efficiency of our buildings in support of our ambitious OneNYC 80x50 goal. By holding our buildings to the highest standards for energy performance, we are building a more resilient, equitable and sustainable New York City."

The program is available to multifamily buildings with 5 to 50 apartment units or that have between 5,000 to 50,000 gross square feet. The training curriculum is designed to upgrade the skills of building operators to realize building energy savings and lower greenhouse gas emissions. Building owners and management companies may apply to have their maintenance personnel trained through this program.

Training curriculum will include the following:

  • Recognizing and correcting common flaws in a building’s structure that can result in wasted energy consumption;
  • Identifying and correcting ventilation problems;
  • Instruction on understanding the various components of a boiler, their functions and proper maintenance techniques;
  • Understanding heat distribution and control throughout a building;
  • Techniques for conserving water; and
  • Learning how electric system and fixture maintenance can result in greater energy efficiency.

All applicants for the program will be considered, but employers that agree to provide a wage gain for their operators and maintenance staff will be prioritized. Along with no-cost training, employers and their staff will also receive other incentives to support the operational efficiency of their building when the program fully launches in 2017.

“To reach the sustainability goals of One NYC, we need to focus on informing building operators about the tools available to decrease costs by saving energy,” said Council Member Donovan Richards, co-Chair of the Progressive Caucus. “I’d like to thank SBS Commissioner Bishop, the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability and CUNY for teaming up to educate residential building operators on energy efficiency and conservation with this new low-cost program.”

“A cornerstone of our mission is service to the City and its workers,” said Dean John Mogulescu of the CUNY School of Professional Studies. “Over the past five years, we’ve partnered with the City of New York and the CUNY Institute for Urban Systems Building Performance Lab to train thousands of building operators of municipal buildings in energy efficiency best practices, and we’re proud to extend our support to the multi-family building workforce.”​

“RBSCC is excited to work with SBS to bring building operator trainings directly to our sites and staff,” said Ryan Cassidy, Director of Property and Construction Management for the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizen's Council. “As a nonprofit affordable housing developer with a commitment to building thriving communities, we recognize the important role of our maintenance staff in providing sustainable and resilient buildings. Working with SBS was easy and efficient, and we look forward to positive outcomes for both building operations and our tenants.”

The training course will be offered in locations throughout the city and will also provide flexible options for scheduling on-site training. Building owners and management companies that are interested in participating in this program may visit New participants for trainings will be accepted on a rolling basis.

About NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) 
SBS helps unlock economic potential and create economic security for all New Yorkers by connecting New Yorkers to good jobs, creating stronger businesses and building thriving neighborhoods across the five boroughs. For more information, follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram, or visit our website.

About the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability
The Mayor's Office of Sustainability is a key piece of the City’s OneNYC climate policy and programs team and provides daily support to City Hall on sustainability issues, policy and research. In addition, the Office also oversees overall citywide sustainability policy development, oversight and implementation in coordination with relevant City agencies. The Office of Sustainability also works with City agencies to coordinate relevant policy with federal, state and local environmental stakeholders.

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