Mayor de Blasio Signs Package of Green Buildings Legislation to Spur Retrofits to Help Buildings Become More Energy Efficient

Green buildings legislation helps reach City’s OneNYC goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050; also signs legislation creating a stand-alone form with an increased number of demographic related questions for those seeking social services, and two bills increasing Police Department transparency and reporting on hate crimes

NEW YORK – (RealEstateRama) — Mayor Bill de Blasio today held public hearings for, and signed, ten pieces of legislation into law, including a package of three green buildings bills – Intros. 1163-A, 1160 and 1165, in relation to energy and water benchmarking, lighting retrofitting and sub-metering requirements for mid-size buildings.

Together these bills are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 250,000 metric tons, and spur retrofits in 16,000 buildings, while creating approximately $85 million of construction activity leading to the creation of 100 jobs. This package of legislation also offers additional support for the City to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent from 2005 levels by 2050, an aspect of the City’s OneNYC goal which aims to create a more equitable, resilient and sustainable city.

The Mayor also signed Intros. 251-A, 551-A and 552-A, requiring the creation of an additional City form to include voluntary and anonymous questions around gender, sexuality, language spoken, ancestry and ethnic origin; Intro. 1011-A, in relation to mandating that whenever a food service worker is displaced due to a change in ownership or a transfer of contract, the new owner or contractor must retain the worker for 90 days; Intros. 728-B and 959-B, in relation to reporting on the NYPD Patrol Guide and hate crime statistics; and Intro. 1282, in relation to authorizing an increase in the amount to be expended annually in eight business improvement districts and two special assessment districts.

“This Administration has dedicated itself to building a foundation and a future for the next generation of New Yorkers,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “In order to do that, we must work together as a city to fight one of our biggest threats, climate change. With these three bills, we are taking another step towards reaching our OneNYC goals and protecting the greatest city in the world.

“I would like to thank the Council speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito, for her continued support of these initiatives and goals,” said Mayor de Blasio. “I would also like to thank Council Member Costa Constantinides, sponsor of Intro. 1160; Council Member Daniel Garodnick, sponsor of Intro. 1163-A; and Council Member Donovan Richards, sponsor of Intro. 1165.”

“The legislation being signed into law today reflects our shared commitment to a New York that strives to best serve New Yorkers,” said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “From enhancing green building standards to protecting the cafeteria workers who make so many of our food service spaces run, we have worked to build a New York that will be there for its residents both today and in the future. Importantly – increasing the demographic information collected through our city agencies will help target services more effectively going forward, as publishing the NYPD patrol guide will act as a major step in improving transparency and police-community relations in the neighborhoods being aided by those services. I thank the Administration of Mayor de Blasio, Council Members Dan Garodnick and Mark Levine, and Chair of the Committee on Public Safety Vanessa Gibson for their leadership on this important issue.”

The first bill, Intro. 1163-A, requires mid-size building owners to report benchmarking data on their whole building energy and water usage to the City. This information is already gathered from large buildings and is critical for helping building owners understand their energy and water usage and for catalyzing green retrofit projects that increase energy and water efficiency, save money and create jobs. Benchmarking has been shown to lead to a better understanding of energy and water consumption, resulting in the reduction of carbon emissions and energy consumption over time. Between 2010 and 2013, emissions from 3,000 consistently benchmarked properties already subject to the requirement, dropped by 8 percent, while energy use decreased by 6 percent.

The second bill, Intro. 1160, requires mid-size building owners to install sub-meters in non-residential tenant spaces and report energy usage to the tenant. This is already required in large buildings. The bill also decreases the square footage of tenant spaces in which sub-meters must be installed in all such buildings to 5,000 square feet. Sub-meter energy information will help building owners and non-residential tenants understand their buildings energy usage as well as help find ways to improve energy efficiency and save money.

The third bill, Intro. 1165, requires owners of midsize buildings to retrofit the lighting systems in non-residential spaces to comply with the New York City Energy Code by 2025. This is already required for larger buildings.

“Buildings account for more than two-thirds of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions, which we have pledged to reduce 80 percent by 2050,” said Daniel Zarrilli, Senior Director of Climate Policy and Programs and Chief Resilience Officer for the Office of the Mayor. “Today’s local law updates to expand benchmarking, install sub-meters and upgrade lighting systems help to provide the key information that is required for building managers to understand and reduce their energy use. This is part of a continuing effort to upgrade buildings across the city, consistent with the recent enactment by the Department of Buildings of the 2016 Energy Code, as we work to build a more sustainable, resilient and equitable city.”

“These sustainability enhancements will help make a big dent in the City’s carbon footprint – reducing emissions as well as energy and water bills for homeowners and businesses. The changes will encourage both energy and water conservation and the construction of green buildings, steps that bring us one step closer to achieving Mayor de Blasio’s vision of reducing our carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050,” said Buildings Commissioner Rick D. Chandler, PE.

Council Member Costa Constantinides, Chair of the Committee on Environmental Protection, said, “This bill will help us reach our goal of reducing carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050 by encouraging less energy use. Sub-metering tenant spaces will encourage occupants to use energy efficiently by making each tenant aware of their own energy consumption. Forming these types of sustainable habits helps our city combat climate change. As over 50 percent of our city’s power is generated in Western Queens, I’m proud that this policy will also reduce the demand on our power plants. I thank Mayor de Blasio for his support in making our city greener.”

“To take meaningful aim at greenhouse gas emissions in New York City, we need to focus on buildings, which are our biggest polluters. With this bill, we are expanding the number of buildings required to be benchmarked for energy and water efficiency. The data collected will help the City and building owners themselves achieve a more sustainable future,” said Council Member Daniel Garodnick, sponsor of Intro. 1163-A.

“As we just witnessed another serious storm ravage Haiti, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, nature continues to provide evidence of how important it is that we take our responsibility to combat climate change seriously,” said Council Member Donovan Richards. “Energy conservation is a huge piece of the puzzle and that’s what my bill aims to address by mandating that more than 10,000 additional buildings upgrade their lighting systems. Calling for voluntary reductions will not get us sizable results. Energy efficiency must be the new standard. I’d like to thank Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Mark-Viverito and all the advocates, including Climate Works For All, who haven proven their dedication to the environment time and time again.”

The fourth bill, Intro. 251-A, requires that a new survey form collect additional data regarding ancestry and languages spoken. This bill will make agencies that collect demographic information through form documents from city residents who are seeking social services, provide all people seeking such services with the survey form. In his remarks, the Mayor thanked the bill’s sponsor, Council Member Daniel Dromm.

The fifth bill, Intro. 551-A, requires that the new survey form contain an option for multiracial ancestry or ethnic origin. In his remarks, the Mayor thanked the bill’s sponsor, Council Member Margaret S. Chin.

The sixth bill, Intro. 552-A, requires the demographic information survey contain questions regarding sexual orientation and gender identity. Additionally, the office of operations will review all existing demographic forms to see where more inclusive language and questions could be used. This will be a multi-agency endeavor involving all of the City’s social service agencies and the Department of Education. In his remarks, the Mayor thanked the bill’s sponsor, Council Member Daniel Dromm.

“Now we count,” said Council Member Daniel Dromm, prime sponsor of Intros. 251-A and 552-A. “This legislation is historic. It will provide the LGBTQ community and people of many different ethnicities greater access to vital City services. These laws will do much to protect New York City residents who have been subject to institutional discrimination and neglect for far too long. I am proud to have worked alongside Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Council Member Chin to advance this legislation which will bring so many of New York’s communities out from the margins of society. I thank Mayor de Blasio for supporting this effort by signing the bills into law. They will mean great things for our city.”

“Today, New York City agencies have another tool to ensure all New Yorkers, regardless of who they are or what languages they speak, will have their fair share of City services,” said Council Member Margaret S. Chin. “Intro. 551-A, which I proudly sponsored, will ensure that multi-racial Americans are also counted by the City agencies that serve them. I want to thank Mayor de Blasio for signing the Data Equity bills, and Speaker Mark-Viverito and Council Member Dromm for their tireless advocacy for our communities.”

“New York City is incredibly diverse, making it difficult for residents with more than one race or ethnicity to respond to forms where no one box fits them. New Yorkers of every race and ethnicity will now be able to respond and be counted,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “Thank you to Council Members Daniel Dromm and Margaret Chin for their leadership on this legislation and thanks Mayor de Blasio for his support in making these bills into law.”

The seventh bill, Intro. 1011-A, mandates that whenever a food service worker is displaced due to a change in ownership or a transfer of contract, the new owner or contractor must retain the worker for 90 days. After the first 90 days, the new owner is required to evaluate the work of the employee and offer continued employment if their work is deemed satisfactory. In addition, the incumbent owner must post a notice to inform employees of the change in ownership or a transfer of contract. In his remarks, the Mayor thanked the bill’s sponsor, Council Member Ydanis A. Rodriguez.

“The worker protection provisions we have given to families has been critical to ensuring they lead a high quality of life,” said Council Member I. Daneek Miller. “The amendments being signed into law today will support the men and woman in the food service industry so they and the ones they care for are not burdened because of circumstances out of their control. They will have the opportunity to find new employment if necessary, and the managers will benefit as well, because they will have an experienced staff working in their stores while they assess their needs. I would like to thank Mayor Bill de Blasio and all my colleagues in the Council for supporting this legislation.”

The eighth bill, Intro. 728-B, requires that the NYPD publish the Patrol Guide on its website. The NYPD would not be required to publish confidential information or material that, if published, could compromise public safety, the safety of police officers, or law enforcement operations. In his remarks, the Mayor thanked the bill’s sponsor, Council Member Daniel Garodnick.

“Publishing the NYPD’s Patrol Guide online is a simple way to bring greater transparency and accountability to the police department. There is no reason for secrecy here. The patrol guide is carefully crafted, and the general public should be able to access it. With a greater understanding of police protocol and expectations, New Yorkers will be better equipped to speak out if procedure is not followed. It is my hope that this legislation leads to greater trust between the police and the communities they serve,” said Council Member Daniel Garodnick.

The ninth bill, Intro. 959-B, requires the NYPD to report on hate crime statistics. This report will have complaints and arrests made regarding hate crimes on ethnicity, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability, amongst other categories. Additionally, this bill stipulates that if complaints and arrests based on ethnicity, religion or disability reach a threshold of nine incidents within the previous year, these categories will be broken down further to more accurately identify the targeted group. In his remarks, the Mayor thanked the bill’s sponsor, Council Member Mark Levine.

“Hate crimes are an attack not just on innocent victims, but on the values we share as New Yorkers,” said Council Member Mark Levine. “Unfortunately, until now the public has had no real-time information on the trends in this ugly class of crimes, which often spike in response to global current events. Fortunately, the NYPD already collects detailed data on hate crimes; however, the public and policy makers need to have regular access to this information in order to react in a timely and effective manner. I thank Mayor de Blasio for signing this legislation in to law today, as it will ensure that we as a city are better prepared to fight back against all crimes targeting a victims’ identity.”

The tenth bill, Intro. 1282, authorizes an increase in the amount to be expended annually in eight business improvement districts and two special assessment districts. These districts are spread throughout the city, and include 165th Street Mall, Atlantic Avenue, Bayside Village, Court-Livingston-Schermerhorn, Fashion Center, Fifth Avenue, Jamaica Center Mall, Madison Avenue, Metrotech, and Woodhaven. This bill will enable these BIDs to enhance the services they provide. In his remarks, the Mayor thanked the bill’s sponsor, Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland.

“Business Improvement Districts play a crucial role in creating good jobs, stronger businesses and a fairer local economy,” said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the Department of Small Business Services. “These community organizations are invested in addressing the needs of their neighborhoods, and I am pleased to join Mayor de Blasio in supporting their sustained success.”

“Our local improvement districts contribute to the vibrancy of some of our most unique and cherished neighborhoods,” said Council Member Stephen Levin. “The entire community benefits from their positive place-making initiatives. Whether it’s through beautification, hosting cultural events or preserving our local traditions, these stewards strive to make our community a better place to live, work, and play.”

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