At the beginning of each year we enter a new era and adapt new trends. As we learn more about our environmental impacts, new trends develop that lead us to a more sustainable way of life. Today, our society is more conscientious about the air we breathe, the water we drink, energy we use, and waste we produce. In recent year’s ideas like using BPA free products, buying from local farmers markets and using public transportation have been quickly adopted by society. Employers have noticed these trends and are encouraging eco-friendly business practices by promoting public transportation, recycling and energy conscious behaviors. As the marketplace grows in competition, building owners are looking at ways to reduce their environmental impact and meet the “green” demands to retain current tenants and attract new tenants.
Many buildings are now Energy Star and LEED Certified. New York City Greener, Greater Buildings Plan & Local Law 84 (planNYC), for example, calls for stricter energy codes that require installation of lighting upgrades and tenant sub-meters in non-residential spaces, and require most buildings over 50,000 SF to undertake benchmarking audits and implement identified retro-commissioning measures. New York City Greener, Greater Buildings Plan & Local Law 84 will ultimately save New Yorkers $700 million in annual energy costs, create thousands of construction-related jobs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 5%.
While changes in our buildings are occurring at the infrastructure and equipment level, a key component of developing a sustainable environment are the people that work in the buildings. Getting tenants and their employees to turn off unused lights, unplugging unused laptop or cell phone chargers or using the revolving doors is not an easy task. Smart Energy Now® (SEN) recognizes that most tenants and workers are not as informed on the energy usage and impacts their actions can have. A key component of our program are the interactive kiosks that display real time energy usage of the participating buildings; which can help in making smarter decisions about how we use our energy. Like planNYC , SEN also hopes to aid in reducing our environmental impact and ultimately contribute to the economic development of the city.
For 2013 we challenge you to start an “energy trend” in your office. Small actions can have huge impacts on our city. Click here for resources on trends you can start in your office this New Year.
Information for this blog was cited from “New York City Local Law 84 Benchmarking Report August 2012” by Dr. David HSU and Dr. Constantine Kontokosta.
Smart Energy Now ®Project Coordinator
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