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As the world grapples with the threat of global climate change, the need for collective action has become increasingly apparent. While individual actions such as sorting trash, turning off lights, and taking public transportation can make a difference, the biggest players in reducing emissions and saving energy are the companies that we interact with daily. 


In New York City, buildings contribute to a staggering 71% of greenhouse gas emissions, and the city’s skyscrapers and high-rises can guzzle energy resources.


To address this issue, thoughtful building planning, upgrading, and streamlining are all aspects that can be utilized to cause less harm to our environment. One approach to this is the concept of building energy efficiency. Energy-efficient buildings can save money on energy costs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and improve the overall health and well-being of occupants.

What is an Energy-Efficient Building Property?

An energy-efficient building property is a building that is designed and constructed to be energy-efficient. This includes using energy-efficient materials, installing efficient heating and cooling systems, and implementing measures to reduce energy consumption. 

These measures can include everything from installing energy-efficient light bulbs to using smart thermostats and building automation systems.

Achieving Net Zero Energy Building

One way to achieve energy efficiency in buildings is to aim for net-zero energy consumption. This means that a building produces as much energy as it consumes over the course of a year. Achieving net-zero energy consumption can be challenging, but it is becoming more feasible as technology advances and costs come down.

Local Law 33 and Building Energy Efficiency Grades

In New York City, Local Law 33 requires buildings larger than 25,000 square feet to post their “energy efficiency grades” in public view. These grades range from A to F and are indicative of the building’s energy and water usage. The grades take into account the building’s size, type of structure, and the number of occupants it serves.

An “A” rating is the ideal standard that businesses should aspire to, with grades between 85 and 100 falling within this range. The lowest grade, an “F”, is only given to those buildings whose owners have not complied with the Department of Buildings’ rules. A “B” rating is given to buildings with emissions scores between 70 and 85. Those with scores between 55 and 70 will receive a “C”; and those below 55 but still compliant will be marked with a “D”.

Transparency and Accountability

The goal of Local Law 33 is to provide transparency and accountability to building owners and occupants. By requiring energy efficiency grades to be posted in visible locations near each public entrance, the law allows customers to see which businesses are “pulling their weight” in the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

It also serves as a motivator for building owners to improve their energy efficiency practices, as the grades are updated annually, providing an opportunity for improvement.

In conclusion, Local Law 33 is a step towards achieving energy efficiency in buildings and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in New York City. By providing transparency and accountability, the law can be an effective push toward more energy-efficient buildings and practices. 

As we strive towards a greener future, it is crucial that individuals and companies work together towards a common goal, and initiatives such as Local Law 33 can help to bring us closer to that goal.

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