New Energy Conservation Code Passes in NYC

Mayor Bill de Blasio approved the 2020 NYC Energy Conservation Code to combat global warming.
Image via Pixabay

The 2020 NYC Energy Conservation Code has passed. The updated energy code will go into effect on May 12, 2020, and target all construction throughout the five boroughs, setting a new benchmark of sustainability and energy efficiency.

These strict energy standards will be applied to both new construction and existing buildings. These new standards are expected to cause a stir in the commercial sector as the cost of new construction is anticipated to increase substantially.


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Under the new set of rules, building owners and operators will have to improve the thermal envelope of their properties with better performing walls and windows and seal and test each property to minimize and control air leakage. Continuous insulation will be required for balconies and parapets, too, while identifying all point thermal bridges in all buildings.

The properties will have to meet minimum energy efficiency requirements for heating and cooling systems and undergo various interior upgrades to include more energy-efficient interior lighting and additional lighting controls, improving HVAC systems and set efficiency measures on new elevators and commercial kitchen equipment. New buildings greater than 25,000 square feet—which account to 57 percent of the city’s built area—will need whole-building metering, while one- and two-family homes will need to install electric vehicle chargers.

Furthermore, the new energy code will allow the energy cost metric to be replaced by source energy, in the case of buildings that choose to comply with energy modeling. These assets will abide by additional thermal envelope performance requirements.