In April 2007, the City released PlaNYC 2030, a long-term master sustainability plan for the City of New York. Within the Plan, the City committed to lead by example by reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions from City operations 30% by 2017. Subsequently, in July 2008 the City released the Long-Term Plan to Reduce Energy Consumption and Greenhouse Gas Emissions by municipal buildings and operations, which outlined the steps the city should take to reach its ambitious goal. Visit the City's Energy Management website to learn more about the comprehensive efforts the City is taking to reduce energy use across all municipal assets and operations.
As part of the City's overall energy conservation efforts, the DOE, in partnership with the Department of Citywide Administrative Services Division of Energy Management (DCAS DEM) is implementing energy efficiency programs in existing school buildings. Energy conservation programs at schools include: energy benchmarking, building audits and retrofits, operations and maintenance plans, and renewable energy projects. Each of these programs is describe in more detail below.
Building Energy Benchmarking
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.
Building Audit and Retrofit Program
DCAS DEM uses benchmarking data to prioritize schools that will receive energy audits on an annual basis. Energy audits assess current building performances and find cost effective energy conservation measures (ECMs) that will improve the energy efficiency of the building and reduce the city's annual energy costs. The recommended ECMs that meet the City's payback criteria (the most energy savings for the least cost) get funded and implemented.
Operations & Maintenance Initiative
The Long-Term Plan estimated that improved operations and maintenance (O&M) of existing municipal buildings could reduce 195,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually and millions of dollars in energy costs. Since schools comprise over 40% of the City's total municipal building square footage, DOE was one of two agencies to participate in a year-long O&M pilot program at 10 schools. The program will be expanded citywide over the next few years. One of the program's goals is to educate building users about the simple steps they can take to conserve energy, both in the cold winter months and in the warmer summer months.
Custodian engineers and building managers can access additional energy saving ideas from US Department of Energy's Online Training Program on "Operating and Maintaining Energy Smart Schools". The City University of New York's (CUNY) Building Performance Lab provides Building Operator Certification Training to custodian engineers and building managers as part of a collaborative effort with DCAS DEM, CUNY, DOE and Local 891.
Peak Load Management Program
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 200 DOE buildings participate in the program by turning off unnecessary overhead lighting, reducing elevator service and other equipment loads, and increasing space temperatures.