City wants old buildings to go green

April 22, 2009 09:00AM

The city is proposing laws and other initiatives today to reduce energy consumption and related emissions of greenhouse gases by requiring owners to make green updates to their old buildings. The proposal would result in $2.9 billion in private investment in building improvements by 2022, and it is expected to generate 2,000 new jobs in energy auditing and related fields, as well as thousands of temporary construction jobs. Rohit Aggarwala, the director of the city Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability, said the focus on older buildings is particularly important in New York because buildings account for 80 percent of the city’s carbon-dioxide emissions and energy costs are about $15 billion a year. The city said the building improvements will only be mandatory if the energy audits show the cost of the improvements could be recouped through declines in energy bills within five years, but some in the real estate industry complain that the audits could cost $20,000 to $30,000. [NYT] and [Post]