Mayor de Blasio’s Ambitious Energy Efficiency Plan will Cut Pollution and Upgrade Buildings

New ‘retrofit accelerator’ plan is modeled after successful EDF-NYC Clean Heat partnership

September 22, 2014
Anita Jain, (212) 616-1285,

(New York, NY – September 22, 2014) Environmental Defense Fund applauds Mayor Bill de Blasio’s ambitious plan to put New York City on the path to cutting carbon emissions 80% by 2050.

The mayor also announced the city’s new ‘retrofit accelerator’ plan, which aims to upgrade 20,000 private buildings, making up 15% of citywide built square footage. This energy efficiency plan is modeled after the successful NYC Clean Heat program, which has helped reduce sulfur dioxide pollution in New York City 69% by upgrading buildings. Of these buildings, 40% of them will be low-income housing.

“From solar energy to smart technologies, we have the technology to transform our cities in ways that cut pollution, save money, and improve quality of life,” said Andy Darrell, Chief of Strategy for EDF’s US Climate and Energy Program. “EDF is thrilled to see Mayor de Blasio’s commitment to ambitious climate targets that encourage the growth of clean technologies in New York’s neighborhoods. By doing it here, New York City can pioneer innovative, low-carbon solutions that serve as a model for cities around the world.”

Mayor de Blasio’s retrofit accelerator plan will also require buildings of more than 25,000 square feet to comply with energy efficiency guidelines, an improvement over the previous mandate for buildings of more than 50,000 square feet.

“The ‘retrofit accelerator’ has the potential to stimulate unprecedented collaboration across the city, state, communities, and the private sector to help buildings cut pollution and save money. EDF looks forward to working with the City to help the program succeed,” said Rory Christian, EDF Director, New York Clean Energy.

The Clean Heat program, which gave New York City its cleanest air since the early 1960s by helping building owners replace dirty heating oils with cleaner fuels, took root in 2012 when EDF convened a broad coalition of city officials, non-profits, and private sector banks to launch the $100 million financing program. Since that time, the NYC Clean Heat program has reached its aggressive goal of cutting soot pollution in the city by half in two years. converting more than 4,000 of the city’s worst polluting buildings to cleaner fuels like natural gas or biodiesel.

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