Raising the level of energy performance in buildings old and new has been on New York City's climate action agenda for nearly a decade. While a crop of new Energy Star-rated, LEED-certified and Passive House-compliant buildings are up and occupied and voluntary energy performance upgrades or "retrofits", like the Empire State Building, have been undertaken and celebrated, signals that these "greener" buildings are part of a surge sufficient to make a big dent in the City's energy use and carbon footprint are hard to detect. Is this a problem baked into local property markets, policy design or political will?
Energy efficiency is weird. You can't see it or feel it, yet it has been, by far, the most dominant source of energy to heat, cool and power buildings in the last 40+ years. It's the energy not used; the reduction of wasted energy that once flew out the window — literally. Investments in energy efficiency are usually made for non-energy reasons, like building occupant comfort, yet, for those in the know, it is the cheapest form of energy. Think of it like a whimsical riddle (what is all around us and yet invisible?) that happens to be central to whether we can keep this planet safe.
Nancy Anderson, the Executive Director of the Sallan Foundation, was honored to receive recognition for outstanding accomplishments in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the real estate and construction sector by City & State.