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What We Can Learn From NYC’s Latest Energy and Water Benchmarking Data
Katie Weeks / ECOBUILDING pulse / September 27, 2013
While New York City buildings are responsible for 74 percent of citywide greenhouse gas emissions, 94 percent of total electricity use, and 85 percent of potable water consumption in the city, these buildings are making progress on reducing their energy use, according to new data released by the office of Mayor Michael Bloomberg this week in the New York City Local Law 84 Benchmarking Report. Local Law 84 (LL84) requires all privately owned properties over 50,000 square feet and multiple buildings with a combined gross floor areas of more than 100,000 square feet to annual measure and report their energy and water use data to the city.
The report shows that individual market sectors have unique energy and water needs, and collecting data such as this is just the beginning of a longer-term shift to resource consumption not only being reduced but also helping to drive the market itself.
The city’s 2012 data, which represents more than 24,000 buildings and for the first time includes 9,000 multifamily properties, shows reductions in energy use in the past 10 months and, when combined with 2011 data released last fall, provides the first year-to-year analysis of such data. It is the largest collection of benchmarking metrics gathered for a single jurisdiction in the U.S. The goal of publicizing such a collection is to encourage widespread understanding of challenges and potential improvements in resource consumption, as well as to better encourage building users to respond to their buildings’ use. “By tracking and disclosing this information on building energy performance, we can better understand the problem and how to fix it.