NEW YORK — Mayor Michael Bloomberg has released the first benchmarking report analyzing a year of energy and water use for New York City’s largest buildings. This information is the first step in increasing knowledge about buildings’ energy use and will indicate opportunities where property owners can save energy and money by making their buildings more efficient. The report is required under Local Law 84 of 2009, which mandates that all privately-owned properties with individual buildings over 50,000 square feet or multiple buildings with a combined square footage over 100,000 square feet annually measure and report their energy and water use.

According to city officials, while New York City’s buildings are generally less energy intensive than the national average, there is a significant opportunity to improve the energy performance of large buildings, which is essential to achieving the city’s greenhouse gas reduction goal established in the mayor’s sustainability plan, PlaNYC. The benchmarking report shows that energy use varies greatly between property types, uses, and locations, with some properties using three to five times more energy per square foot than buildings with similar uses. Though many factors are involved, newer office buildings in New York City tend to use more energy per square foot than older ones.

“Buildings account for 75 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions in New York City, yet many property owners and managers do not know they can be a part of the solution and save money by making their buildings more energy efficient,” said Bloomberg. “This benchmarking report will help us understand where we can act most quickly to significantly reduce GHG emissions and achieve our PlaNYC goals.”

The report documents the current state of energy consumption and performance in large buildings in New York City. Using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Energy Star® Portfolio Manager™ tool, nearly 1.8 billion square feet of built space was benchmarked. This is said to be the largest collection of benchmarking data gathered for a single jurisdiction and will help identify prospects for improving building efficiency.

A full copy of the benchmarking report is available at

Publication date: 8/27/2012