New York Mayor Unveils $2.3B Plan to Cut GHG Emissions from NYC Municipal Buildings and Operations 30% by 2017
|Potential for NYC annual municipal GHG reductions of 1.68 million metric tons (mt) per year by project group. Click to enlarge.|
New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced a long-term, $2.3-billion 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 plan was developed by the Energy Conservation Steering Committee created by an Executive Order signed by Mayor Bloomberg in October, 2007 and chaired by Deputy Mayor for Operations Edward Skyler.
City government accounts for approximately 6.5% of New York City’s total energy usage and 10% of its peak electricity demand. 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.
Additional funding is being sought from external sources, including state and federal programs, private foundations and through energy performance contracts. The City is expected to break even on its investment in 2013 on an annual cash flow basis, and by fiscal year 2015 it is projected that the City will have saved more on its energy bills than it has spent on all the planned investments to that point.
Our long-term plan will cut City government’s annual output of greenhouse gases by nearly 1.7 million metric tons, which also will greatly improve air quality, and take a 220-megawatt bite out of peak demand for electricity. We can achieve these results by using cost-effective existing technologies. The City is doing its part, I hope the private sector follows our example and finds conservation savings of their own.—Mayor Bloomberg
To meet its 30% reduction goal by 2017, the City must produce 1.68 million fewer metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) annually versus 2006 levels. This will be achieved through an aggressive capital improvement program for the City’s facilities, and significant enhancements to its current operations and maintenance practices.
The largest single opportunity for reductions, 57% of the total, 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 (HVAC) systems. There are other savings to be found in the way buildings are operated, including developing and implementing preventive practices in buildings that consume large amounts of energy. For example, leaking pipes, clogged steam traps, and inefficient air distribution, pumps, or fan systems will be systematically identified and repaired. The plan also includes retrocommissioning, a process that identifies the most wasteful inefficiencies that technicians can correct in a cost-effective manner.
Energy-saving projects at wastewater treatment plants account for the second largest opportunity for greenhouse gas reductions, 17% of the total. Wastewater treatment plants decontaminate sewage and storm water runoff through a series of physical, chemical, and biological processes, and release the water back into the environment once it has been cleaned. These processes generate significant amounts of methane gas, one of the strongest greenhouse gas emissions sources. Projects in this group include fixing methane gas leaks, using recaptured methane to power electric generation equipment, and making general efficiency improvements to other specialized equipment.
Further reductions will be achieved through accelerating the purchase of more energy efficient vehicles, adopting best practices to economize vehicle miles traveled, and improving vehicular management programs.
Also, 250- and 150-watt street lighting fixtures will be replaced with models that maintain equal lighting levels, but use one-third less wattage. The City will also expand on-site electricity generation at City facilities. Leading examples of this technology include solar panels and combined heat and power systems. The City will also adopt energy-efficient technologies in new building construction and explore the use of new technology.
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. The City committed $80 million in fiscal year 2008 to implement the short-term action plan issued last December.