Thursday, December 10, 2009

New York City property owners stop costly mandatory energy audits

Congratulations to New York City property owners for exercising their private property rights!

They stopped a nanny-state, property-rights violating, chicken-little, carbon-phobia, law that mandated energy efficiency upgrades uncovered during a new mandatory energy audit.

Give the City of New York time and the upgrades will be mandatory in a year or two!

You didn't fight the mandatory audit, so the City of New York has one foot in the door of your property!

These provisions are just as stupid as the now mandatory Energy Conservation Audit Disclosure that Austin Texas home and business property owners were saddled with in 2009.

Some 22,000 buildings would have been affected by Mayor Bloomberg's statist mandatory audit initiative to raise the cost of operating buildings in New York City. According to the New York Times article, buildings account for 80 percent of total carbon (a harmless trace gas in the atmosphere) emissions. The cumulative building improvements would have cost $2.5 billion and the city only had about $16 million of federal stimulus money for loans. Well done Real Estate Board of New York!

In an April 22nd, 2009 press release from Mayor Bloomberg's office, his audit goals were spelled out under the "Audits and Retrofits Bill" heading:

"This legislation would require owners of existing buildings over 50,000 square feet to make cost-effective energy efficiency improvements to their buildings once every ten years by conducting an audit, retro-commissioning, and retrofitting their building. Buildings will undergo energy audits with results determining the necessary improvements to be undertaken, including insulating pipes, replacing inefficient lighting, and installing low-flow water fixtures. The legislation requires spending by building owners for only those retrofits that will pay for themselves in less than 5 years through energy-related cost-savings. Many of the required measures are low- to no-cost. Those savings will then continue beyond recovery of initial outlays. This bill would apply to all classes of buildings over 50,000 square feet, both private and City-owned, and will cover nearly half of the built square footage of New York City."

I had to research a differnet article to discover the burden property owners would have had to pay; unlike the New York Times article which was spellbound by the amount the government would pay or subsidize.

From the National Real Estate Investor, "Mayor Bloomberg Pushes Energy-Efficient Legislation for New York", May 5, 2009, by Sibley Fleming:

• legislation that creates a New York City Energy Code that existing buildings will have to meet whenever they undergo renovations.

• legislation that requires owners of buildings that are 50,000 sq. ft. or larger to conduct an energy audit once every 10 years and make any improvements that can be paid for within five years.

• legislation calling for buildings of 50,000 sq. ft. or more to include energy-efficient lighting systems, which can be paid for through energy savings.

• legislation that requires owners of buildings 50,000 sq. ft. or more to conduct an annual benchmark analysis of energy consumption. By doing so, building owners can better understand what steps they need to take to increase efficiency.

"Despite existing rebates and incentives from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, Con Edison as well as potential stimulus financing, Leslie Lisser (senior asset manager) of FirstService Williams notes that upfront retrofit costs could create stress for smaller building owners. “It costs a lot of money to go in and initially do an audit,” says Lisser. “It could cost $5,000 to $10,000, so in the case of a smaller building that money could be problematic.” "

Well done New York City property owners, well done!

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