Sharing Transparency for a More Efficient Future

New York City

New York City, New York, photo by Songquan Deng
Policy Description:

Announced by Mayor Bloomberg on Earth Day 2009, New York City's Greener, Greater Buildings Plan (GGBP) was hailed as one of the nation's most ambitious efforts to reduce energy waste in buildings by city officials, environmental groups and elected officials. The New York City Council voted overwhelmingly to pass the legislation on Dec. 9, 2009. Roughly 80 percent of New York City's carbon footprint comes from buildings' operations, and 85 percent of existing buildings today will still be in use by the year 2030. Thus, the GGBP was a primary focus of the Mayor's PlaNYC initiative to reduce the city's greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2030. According to city estimates, the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan will create more than 10,000 jobs in the building and construction sectors, and save consumers $700 million each year in energy costs. It is projected to trim New York City's emissions by nearly 5 percent, the largest projected reduction from any PlaNYC program. The Greener, Greater Buildings Plan is comprised of four energy efficiency bills requiring the benchmarking and public disclosure of building energy performance and water consumption; periodic energy audits and building "tune-ups" known as retro commissioning; lighting upgrades; the sub metering of large tenant spaces; and improvements to the city’s building energy code. The package also includes new government initiatives on green workforce development and retrofit financing. The rating and disclosure provision of the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan requires annual ENERGY STAR benchmarking and public disclosure for city buildings as well as large commercial and multifamily buildings. Benchmarking information will be reported through Energy Star Portfolio Manager in the form of a Compliance Report (pdf below) that is filed with the NYC Department of Finance. The report includes a building's energy use intensity (EUI), ENERGY STAR rating and water use for multiple years. Utilities are encouraged to automatically upload utility bills into ENERGY STAR to assist in the data entry process. In the public disclosure process, all of this information is posted to an online database administered by the city.

In October 2016, the New York City Council passed Int. 1163, which extends benchmarking requirements to commercial and multifamily buildings greater than 25,000 square feet. Mid sized buildings between 25,000 and 50,000 square feet are not required to submit benchmarking reports until their utilities implement automatic upload of energy consumption data to Portfolio Manager, which is expected to occur in 2018.

The Council also passed Int. 1160 which lowers the compliance threshold from 10,000 square feet to 5,000 square feet for commercial tenant spaces that must be submetered in covered buildings. 

Finally Int. 1165 extends the lighting upgrade requirements to common spaces in multifamily buildings like hallways and laundry rooms though dwelling units remain exempt. 

Enacted Date:
Authority in Charge:
Department of Buildings
Tool Name:
ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager
Building Types Affected Size Compliance Deadline
Public/Government Greater Than or Equal To 10,000 Sq. Feet 2010-05-01
Non-Residential Greater Than or Equal To 50,000 Sq. Feet 2011-05-01
Multi-Family Greater Than or Equal To 50,000 Sq. Feet 2011-05-01
Multi-Family, Non-Residential Greater Than 25,000 Sq. Feet 2018-05-01
For buildings greater than 25,000 square feet but smaller than 50,000 square feet, benchmarking reports will be due on May 1 of the first year that commences after the department determines that whole building energy data can be directly uploaded to Portfolio Manager by the utility. That year is expected to be 2018.
Exemptions: City buildings less than or equal to 50,000 gross square feet that participate in an HPD program; residential property classified as class one in section 1802, subdivision one of the real property tax law. New York City's policy covers 2.8 billion SF of building area annually.
Number of Buildings Affected:
Floor Area Affected:
2,800,000,000 Sq. Feet
Required Transparency:
Transparency Method:
Public Website
Public Website
Transparency Trigger:
Date Certain
Public disclosure deadlines are one year after initial benchmarking deadlines.
Required Reporting:
Reporting Trigger:
Date Certain
Reporting Frequency:

Utility Requirements/Support:

Utility Requirements/Support:




Compliance Enforcement:
Penalties for Non-Compliance:
$500 fine for missing May 1st benchmarking deadline, additional $500 fines for each subsequent quarter failing to benchmark (maximum: $2,000)
Compliance Rate (Based on # of Buildings):
Compliance data is based on NYC's Energy and Water Use 2013 Report, released in August 2016. This report analyzed benchmarking data collected for calendar year 2013.
Additional Program Information:
ASHRAE Level 2 Audits required every 10 years Performance Exemptions: Energy Star Certification for 2 of 3 preceding years; Energy performance 25 points or more LEED points better than average building of same type
Retrocommissioning process is defined in LL 87. Retrocommissioning required every 10 years Performance Exemptions: LEED EBOM Certification with point for Existing Building Commissioning
Water Use Tracking: