Mayor Bloomberg

NEW YORK CITY-Mayor Michael Bloomberg has taken a long-term action plan to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from the City’s municipal buildings and operations by 30% by 2017, as promised in PlaNYC. The long-term plan is a guide to reducing the City’s carbon footprint, through making City buildings more efficient, improving preventative maintenance, capturing energy potential at wastewater treatment plants, and more.

The plan was developed by the Energy Conservation Steering Committee. City government accounts for approximately 6.5% of New York City’s total energy usage and 10% of its peak electricity demand. The Mayor recently revealed the plan at St. Mary’s Recreation Center in the Bronx, a Parks Department facility that, under the plan, will receive energy-saving retrofits to fix outdated heating and cooling systems, insufficient ventilation, and windows and doors that leak heat in the winter and cooled air in the summer.

The projects in the long-term plan will be partially funded by an annual commitment of 10% of the City’s energy budget, which in fiscal year 2009 will be $100 million. In total, the plan will require an estimated $2.3 billion investment over the next nine years, of which roughly $900 million has been committed by the City, and another $80 million was already spent in fiscal year 2008.

To meet its 30% reduction goal by 2017, the City must produce 1.68 million fewer metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents annually versus 2006 levels. The largest single opportunity for reductions, according to a prepared statement, is through upgrades to existing buildings, like firehouses, police precincts, sanitation garages, offices, and courthouses. Planned improvements include upgrading facility lighting, refrigeration units, boiler upgrades office equipment, and heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems.

In December, the Steering Committee released a short-term action plan that included 132 projects throughout all five boroughs that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 34,000 tons annually. The projects in that plan include lighting replacement and sensor installation; heating, ventilation, and air conditioning improvements; water and sewer equipment upgrades; and vehicle replacements.

“This plan is the most in-depth and comprehensive ever look at the energy used by the City, which is the largest property manager in the City, as well as the operator of the largest municipal vehicle fleet in the nation,” said Deputy Mayor Skyler at the press conference. “We have identified a number of ways to make real energy savings, and the investments we make today will start paying for themselves immediately, and be fully recouped in just a few years.”