NYC Benchmarking Help Center

BHC Logo BigThe Mayor’s Office of Sustainability (MOS) has partnered with the CUNY Building Performance Lab (CUNY BPL), an initiative of the CUNY Institute for Urban Systems based at the City College of New York, to re-launch the NYC Benchmarking Help Center for 2016 and beyond. (Download the press release here.)

NEW DEVELOPMENT: Mayor de Blasio signed Green Buildings legislation to expand on NYC’s existing energy benchmarking mandate – this expanded legislation will now require owners of mid-sized buildings 25-50K sq. ft. to submit annual energy benchmarking reports beginning in early 2018.  Read the City’s press release here and more about the expanded mandate on our blog.

Are you a property owner or manager? Click here to learn what the Benchmarking Help Center can do for you.

Background: As the first of its kind in the nation, the Help Center ran in 2011-2013 through a partnership with CUNY BPL, MOS, Department of Buildings, NYSERDA, and the Institute for Market Transformation. The Help Center supported property owners in complying with Local Law 84 of 2009 (LL84), a legislative mandate requiring all buildings larger than 50,000 square feet to submit annual energy and water benchmarking reports. In two years, the Help Center received over 2,000 calls and helped New York City achieve an impressive 75% first-year compliance rate.

Help Center staff are trained in EPA Portfolio Manager

The Help Center in 2016: The re-launched Help Center is a free, one-stop shop for LL84 information and support with dedicated full-time staff, supported by CUNY interns, located in downtown Manhattan at the Building Energy Exchange, NYC’s energy efficiency resource center. If building owners have questions about deadlines, whether or not a property is covered, how to gather energy and water data, or how to use the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager® tool, the Help Center is available to assist.

In 2016, the Help Center aims to broaden the scope of service to:

  • Increase compliance for building sectors with historically low compliance rates.
  • Improve data quality by identifying missing information and following DOB’s data quality protocols.
  • Educate and prepare mid-sized building owners for a possible expansion of LL84 to the mid-sized buildings sector.

The One City: Built to Last GHG reduction target

The Help Center also supports the NYC Energy and Water Retrofit Accelerator, which assists property owners and managers with conducting energy audits and retro-commissioning to comply with Local Law 87, and implementing energy and water upgrades in their buildings. These building owner engagement initiatives are part of the City’s One City: Built to Last plan, which aims at reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 30% by 2025 generated by NYC’s buildings stock – the largest source of citywide emissions. One City: Built To Last is one facet of the City’s overall plan, One New York: The Plan for a Strong and Just City, which envisions how NYC will achieve goals in growth, sustainability, resiliency, and equity by 2050.

The Impact of Benchmarking: Benchmarking energy and water usage improves a building’s operations by providing a clear picture of overall energy and water usage, and the aggregated public data allows owners and managers to compare their usage to other buildings. Year over year comparisons of the data can help identify and prioritize energy saving opportunities and track progress.

Benchmarking and Beyond: The Help Center’s expanded capacity will focus on improving the quality of LL84 report submissions, assisting property owners who have had difficulty complying in previous years, and smoothing the way for properties that may need to conduct benchmarking in the future or want to utilize benchmarking to undertake energy efficiency measures.