Letter Grade to be Required for Residential Buildings

Posted on Thursday February 08, 2018

To support the city’s continuing efforts to improve efficiency and sustainability, condos, co-ops and rental buildings larger than 25,000 sq ft will be required to post a letter grade indicating their energy efficiency beginning in 2020. The grades will be similar to those used in restaurants that reflect compliance with health regulations. 
 
Grades will be determined by benchmarking a building’s energy and water use against similar buildings – data the city already requires be submitted annually.
 
“My friends and I recently chose a restaurant after reading positive online reviews. Upon seeing a ‘B’ grade displayed when we arrived, we immediately decided anything less than an ‘A’ was reason to go elsewhere,” says Kelly Dougherty, director of energy management, FS Energy. “Similarly, this law will empower New Yorkers to make more informed decisions about where they wish to buy or rent an apartment. Just as most people prefer to dine in A-rated restaurants, I believe New Yorkers will prefer to live in A-rated buildings.” 
 
Although New York City buildings have been required to benchmark their energy and water use for nearly a decade, the average resident does not know their building’s score or what it means.
 
“Energy grades are not only intended to promote transparency for potential buyers and renters,” says Dougherty, “they are meant to help boards and building owners understand the importance of addressing efficiency issues and to reward properties that focus on it.”

How will the grades work?

Within 30 days of receiving a score, it must be posted at the main entrance of the building.
 

Grade Energy Star Score
A                 90 or above
B 50-89
C 20-49
D 0-19
F Failure to comply w/ benchmark law
N Exempt building


Low scores indicate a building is using more energy than comparable buildings and may also signal these concerns to potential owners and renters:

  1. Above average energy use, which may extend to amenity spaces, means the cost of living in the building will be higher.
  2. Old, inefficient building systems will likely need to be replaced or upgraded, the cost of which will be passed on to residents.
  3. This building has little or no concern about its emission profile and how it impacts our city

Take Action Now
 
“Even though waste reduction and energy efficiency changes in a building can help reduce operating expenses, these projects often tend to take a back seat to others,” explains Dougherty.
 
What can your building do now to reduce energy waste, costs, and greenhouse gas emissions, and ultimately improve its score? Dougherty offers THESE TIPS

Unsure of how to tackle these issues in your building? Reach out to FS Energy for help. 


Get the Latest News and Resources

Receive valuable insights and informative resources for your community! Sign up below.