DOE is committed to supporting the City’s goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent as of 2025 and 80 percent by 2050. The Energy Team in the Sustainability Office works closely with other City agencies, non-profit partners, school staff and students to raise awareness around climate change and energy conservation. The DOE, in partnership with the Department of Citywide Administrative Services Division of Energy Management (DCAS DEM) is implementing energy efficiency programs in school buildings. Energy conservation programs at schools include: Energy Benchmarking, Demand Management, Solar photovoltaic projects, and Education and outreach.
DOE benchmarks its buildings' energy consumption using the EPA's Energy Star Portfolio Manager in order to track and analyze current building energy performance against the baseline.
The DOE participates in a Demand Response program through DCAS DEM, designed to help the City avoid electrical grid overload and power outages during very hot summer days or very cold winter days. Over 240 DOE buildings participate in the program by turning off unnecessary overhead lighting, reducing elevator service and other equipment loads, and increasing space temperatures. The DOE is dedicated to reducing 18 megawatts of power as part of the City’s 50 megawatt goal.
Over 30 New York City schools are running off of solar power generated from solar photovoltaic panels installed on the roof. Through Mayor de Blasio’s OneNYC goal to install 100 megawatts of solar capacity, 24 projects at DOE schools were recently completed, with another 100 solar projects to be completed at schools over the next few years. School buildings are ideal candidates for solar PV and as such, a large portion of the 100 megawatt goal will be performed at NYC schools.
As part of the City’s solar plan, DOE and DCAS, in collaboration with Solar One, are also working with schools to integrate solar education into existing curriculum and to enhance STEM education around renewable energy. Solar One uses its Green Design Lab Energy curriculum to conduct professional development workshops to deliver hands-on training and resources needed. DOE conductions training and provides ongoing support to Sustainability Coordinators, Custodial Engineers, and school staff and students to promote energy conservation in our school buildings. Every person in a DOE building can contribute to reducing energy usage through simple actions, such as shutting off the lights. Schools can participate in one of a few energy challenges held every year. Schools that reduce the most energy wins money for their school.