Gov. Cuomo - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Efficiency  -  September 24, 2020

Gov. Cuomo launches challenge to improve high-rise efficiency

 Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York launched Sept. 22 the Empire Building Challenge, a $50 million project to improve the efficiency and carbon footprint of the state’s existing multifamily and commercial high-rise buildings.

It is estimated that buildings currently account for 45% of emissions from fuel consumption and electric generation. This initiative will focus on updating heating and cooling solutions, such as window, door and wall insulation, replacement of ductwork, appliances, furnaces and boilers and the installation of clean energy technologies, to improve the comfort and energy performance of high-rise buildings. 

"New York is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and developing renewable energy resources that will grow our economy and advance our nation-leading plan to fight climate change," Gov. Cuomo said in a statement. "The Empire Building Challenge leverages public-private partnerships with leading industry experts and helps New York to continue its rich legacy of environmental stewardship in order to protect our natural resources for future generations."

The Challenge will solicit commitments of carbon neutrality from building owners, and in two phases will select eligible buildings to receive funding for the execution of efficiency projects. Winning proposals will be eligible for up to $5 million each to support project development and implementation.

Phase three will offer $10 million through which qualifying proposers will be eligible for up to $1 million each in cost-sharing incentives to replicate the solutions and models demonstrated in phases 1 and 2.

Gov. Cuomo’s climate agenda is targeting an 85% reduction in emissions by 2050 and the governor first proposed the Empire Building Challenge initiative during his 2020 State of the State address.

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