New York City Policy Agenda – Recommendations for Mayor-Elect Bill DeBlasio

November 26, 2013

GreenHomeNYC’s mission is to facilitate the adoption of sustainable building methods and materials by owners of small residential and commercial buildings in New York City, including the adoption of energy efficient systems upgrades and renewable energy technologies.   As a leading all volunteer-run 501(c)3 organization we provide actionable, pragmatic and realistic information to improve the energy and environmental performance of NYC’s homes and buildings.   Building Resiliency Facilitate multi-tiered approaches to dealing with flooding, wind damage, loss of power for prolonged periods, and other natural/man-made disasters. Support further zoning changes that allow for sensitive mechanical equipment to be above the first floor without impacting floor area and allow for a raised building height to make up for lost rentable or sellable space.   Retrofitting Existing Building Stock to Reduce Energy Consumption and Costs, and Increase Resident Comfort Devise educational programs to reach out to owners of buildings under 50,000 sf (98% of NYC’s building stock, or 750,000 buildings which account for 32% of NYC’s total energy consumption). Devise on-line resources to encourage small building owners to energy benchmark their buildings and share this information with the City, to expand the current LL84 Energy Benchmarking Database. Provide a forum for members of the affordable housing, building energy and historic preservation communities to develop best sustainable practices that preserve housing and sustainably and sensitively retrofit NYC’s prewar buildings to preserve neighborhood character, reduce demolition of existing buildings, thereby unnecessarily adding to our refuse and landfill problems   Energy Renewables and Resilience Expand the ability of the existing grid infrastructure to manage greater percentages of renewable power. Increase the benefits all ratepayers can experience from the increased penetration of renewables. Work with utilities to encourage greater use of “islandable” systems, which can keep buildings up and running during periods of extended power loss. Cogeneration, Solar PV and Battery technologies Facilitate the maximization of backup power solution possible by combining solar PV and batteries and the above mentioned “islandable” systems Reduce Bureaucratic Impediments to Implementing Access to Energy Efficiency Programs and Streamline Process between City and State Programs Streamline the energy assessment and retrofit process, offer no-cost energy assessments and extend no cost assessments to all building owners Make On-bill recovery available to every customer who has paid into the SBC fund, regardless of credit, debt, and mortgage history. Make existing programs more accessible and user-friendly to owners of small buildings and businesses. StormWater Management Extend current stormwater management initiatives to encourage owners of the 53,000 acres of residential open space in the five boroughs to manage stormwater on-site, thereby reducing the burden on water treatment facilities and reducing combined sewer events Encourage the removal of concrete on urban open space to facilitate on-site management of stormwater.   Economic Development Green Jobs Expand and extend current programs to train low-income individuals to weatherize buildings and install green infrastructure, stormwater management, and best landscaping practices Ensure that trained individuals are funneled into real jobs, partnering with existing community-based organizations, energy efficiency firms and NYCHA Advertise On-bill recovery rebates and Green Jobs training opportunities on all energy company utility bills.