State and Local Policy Database

New York City

City Scorecard Rank


New York City, NY

78.00Scored out of 100Updated 5/2015
Local Government Operations
Score: 11.5 out of 15 points
Local Government Summary List All

Within New York City's government, the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) Energy Management (DEM) group is responsible for implementing the long term plan to achieve the city’s local government goal. Their focus is on two building energy efficiency program areas that are expected to be responsible for more than half of municipal greenhouse gas reductions, namely building retrofits and improvements to building operations and maintenance. 

Last updated: December 2014

Local Government Energy Efficiency Goals List All

Executive Order 109 of 2007 formally adopted a goal to reduce municipal greenhouse gas emissions 30% below 2005 levels by 2017 (30 x 17 Plan).

According to data in the 2013 Inventory of New York City Greenhouse Gas Emissions, the city reduced it greenhouse gas emissions from its local government operations by 19% between 2006 and 2012. The city is currently on track for its local government goal.

Last updated: December 2014

Performance Management Strategies List All

The New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation (NYCEEC) is an independent, non-profit financial corporation established by New York City to assist the city in implementing its Greener, Greater Buildings Plan and to advance the goals of PlaNYC. NYCEEC’s mission is to support the city’s energy and climate action goals by catalyzing an energy efficiency retrofit financing market for private building owners. It applies to both local government operations and community-wide projects.

Greenhouse gas inventories and progress reports are published annually and DCAS publicly reports on progress toward local government initiatives on a city webpage. DCAS has also released NYC Government Building Energy Benchmarking Results for 2010 through 2013. New York City hired a third party measurement and verification firm to assess 5 sample energy efficiency projects. The assessment is part of a broader EM&V strategy to regularly review key energy conservation measures (ECMs) of interest, in order to best understand project performance and direct investment to future projects for the most efficient achievement of energy goals.

There are approximately 47 dedicated municipal staff overseeing energy management, including 32 employees of the DCAS Energy Management, the hub for municipal energy management, as well as 15 Energy Managers or Energy Analysts located in the city’s largest energy consuming agencies. The city’s Energy Smart Competition incentivizes energy efficient behavior by rewarding agencies with the largest energy reductions in their utility bills.

Last updated: December 2014

Procurement and Construction List All

Vehicle Fleets and Infrastructure

The Clean Fleet Transition Plan (CFTP) launched in 2009 is a general guide for fleet managers that outlines the most fuel efficient available option when replacing any unit in the public fleet. Fleet procurement and sustainability is governed by a series of local laws including Local Law 38, 39 and 77 of 2005 and Local Law 72, 73, 74, 75 and 76 of 2013. Among many requirements, these laws govern the use of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel and biodiesel in fleet equipment, mandate fuel economy improvements and fuel tracking procedures, require the purchase of the most fuel efficient vehicles, require replacement or retrofit of diesel fleet units, and mandate reporting on fleet sustainability. The city has a one-minute idling policy for city vehicles, with the exception of emergency vehicles and buses.

Note: For local fleet initiatives, policies listed must make a specific, mandatory requirement for increasing fleet efficiency. Local alternative-fuel vehicle procurement requirements that give a voluntary option to count efficient vehicles are thus not included.

Public Lighting

We could not confirm if New York City has adopted a policy requiring efficient outdoor lighting, such as the International Dark-Sky Association’s Model Lighting Ordinance. In 2013, it was announced that 250,000 standard street light fixtures in New York City will be replaced with energy-efficient, light-emitting diodes (LED) by 2017.

New Buildings and Equipment

Local Law 86 of 2005 (LL86) requires that projects receiving more than a specified amount of city funding achieve a LEED rating level of certified or Silver and/or reductions in energy cost and potable water use. The building requirements apply to new construction, building additions, and substantial reconstructions of existing buildings for all city-funded projects. The requirements do not specifically emphasize completion of the energy efficiency elements of the certification. Local Law 119 of 2005 requires the city to follow Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) standards of energy efficiency in the use and acquisition of energy-using products including those with an ENERGY STAR label.

Last updated: December 2014

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking and Retrofitting

In December 2009, the city council passed four laws, collectively known as the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan, that require energy efficiency upgrades to and energy transparency in large existing buildings. In compliance with Local Law 84 of 2009, benchmarking results are reported for all city buildings that are more than 10,000 gross square feet that are owned by the city or for which the city pays all or part of the annual energy bill. In 2013, there was a total of 3,388 benchmarked facilities (284.5 million square feet). The city conducts energy audits and retro-commissioning studies to measure the energy performance of its portfolio and identify opportunities for retrofits. The city then prioritizes buildings with the greatest opportunity for energy savings through a comprehensive retrofit targeting city buildings with the largest energy demands and most complex energy consuming systems. The city’s building retrofit program has completed over 190 comprehensive building energy efficiency retrofit projects to date, with annual energy cost reductions of nearly $10.5 million. With One City: Built to Last, the city will target every public building that needs significant energy upgrades. This applies to both public and private buildings.

Sustainable Infrastructure Policies

Though it is not a codified policy, the city does use life-cycle costing methods as a decision making tool. This year, New York City is implementing the Preventative Maintenance Collaborative program to ensure agencies have adequate maintenance staff with proper training and access to knowledge-sharing and best practices of other agencies, as a means to carry out state-of-good-repair policies and practices throughout their building portfolio.

Public Employees

New York City has a policy allowing municipal employees to use flexible schedules, but there is not a policy to allow for teleworking. New York City’s commuter benefits program allows public employees to purchase transit passes through pre-tax payroll deductions, but the city does not provide any additional transit benefits to employees.

Last updated: December 2014

Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 9.5 out of 10 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

New York City’s community engagement primarily occurs through GreeNYC, which provides resources and organizes events encouraging New Yorkers to use less energy and take small actions in everyday life to reduce personal carbon footprints.

Last updated: January 2017

Community-Wide Energy Efficiency GoalsList All

One City: Built to Last includes a greenhouse gas emissions target for all private sector buildings to reduce emissions by 30% from a 2005 baseline by 2025. This goal contributes toward a larger, citywide emissions target of an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from a 2005 baseline by 2050 (80 x 50) which was formally adopted as Local Law 66 of 2014. The city does not have a community-wide energy goal.

New York City releases annual greenhouse gas inventories, which track both the citywide 80 x 50 goal and the public buildings goal of 35% reduction by 2025. According to data in the Inventory of New York City Greenhouse Gas Emissions in 2014, the city reduced its community-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 12% between 2005 and 2014. The city is not currently on track for its 2050 community-wide greenhouse gas emissions goal.

Last updated: January 2017

Performance Management StrategiesList All

New York releases annual greenhouse gas inventories and PlaNYC progress reports. The city has starting use an independent third party for EM&V of projects related to its local government operations, but not for community-wide projects. There are approximately 10-15 employees dedicated to implementing community-wide energy efficiency strategies. The New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation (NYCEEC) is an independent, non-profit financial corporation established by New York City to assist the city in implementing its Greener, Greater Buildings Plan and to advance the goals of PlaNYC. NYCEEC’s mission is to support the city’s energy and climate action goals by catalyzing an energy efficiency retrofit financing market for private building owners. It applies to both local government operations and community-wide projects.

Last updated: December 2014

Efficient Distributed Energy Systems - District Energy and Combined Heat and PowerList All

In September of 2016, the city published the Roadmap to 80 x 50. As part of this analysis, the city assessed the technical potential of a range of distributed energy resources at the block level throughout the five boroughs of New York City. The city also looked at how it could further prioritize district energy solutions based on their ability to provide co-benefits in the areas of energy affordability, heat vulnerability, air quality, and flood risk.

Last updated: January 2017

Mitigation of Urban Heat Islands List All

New York City’s One City Built to Last plan has a goal to coat 10 million square feet of rooftops white by 2025 to mitigate the effects of the city’s urban heat island. MillionTreesNYC is a city-wide public-private program to assist with the goal of planting and caring for one million new trees across the city’s five boroughs over the next decade.

The city installs cool roofs at no cost to qualifying building owners through the NYC CoolRoofs Program. The city also provides cash and property tax incentives to property owners that agree to permanently protect undeveloped land through the city’s Conservation Easement Program. The city does not have a private tree protection ordinance.

Last updated: January 2017

Buildings Policies
Score: 26 out of 29 points
Buildings Summary List All

New York has several building sector initiatives to improve efficiency including a “stretch” energy code, green building requirements and incentives, and required energy rating and disclosure. The Buildings Department manages the building energy code compliance and enforcement for New York City.

Last Updated: December 2014

Stringency of Energy CodesList All

The State of New York allows local jurisdictions to adopt building energy codes that are more stringent than the mininum state standards. The 2016 Energy Conservation Construction Code of New York (2016 ECCCNYS) is the minimum mandatory code for residential and commercial buildings. ECCCNYS 2016 is as stringent as the 2015 IECC for residential buildings and ANSI/ASHRAE/IES 90.1-2013 for commercial buildings. To learn more about the building energy codes required in the State of New York, please visit the State Policy Database.


New York city has adopted the 2016 New York City Energy Conservation Code (NYCECC) which is based on the 2016 ECCNYS with amendments. New York City advocates for increased strigency in building codes on the state level through the NYC Green Codes Task Force, which recommends specific amendments to the state code.


Residential construction must comply to the 2016 NYCECC.  New York City advocates for increased strigency in building codes on the state level through the NYC Green Codes Task Force, which recommends specific amendments to the state code.

Last Updated: January 2017

Building Energy Code Enforcement and ComplianceList All

New York reported a budget of $96,372,068 for the building code department in 2013. This level of spending normalizes to $54 per $1,000 of residential construction spending for the city.

New York City’s Department of Buildings requires premise owners to hire specialists for progress inspections of the energy-code related project. New York provides upfront support for energy code compliance by regularly conducting energy code training and pre-permit consultation with plan examiners. Training specific to energy code enforcement is required for all Department of Buildings plan examiners.

Last Updated: December 2014

Requirements and Incentives for Efficient Buildings List All

Building Energy Savings Goals

New York City has not yet published an energy-intensity reduction target for its private buildings.

Green Building Requirements

LL 86, New York City’s Green Building Law, establishes a set of standards for public design and construction projects. Buildings using city funding are subject to these standards and requirements. The School Construction Authority (SCA), which is responsible for building and renovating public schools, developed the NYC Green Schools Guide and Rating System to guide the sustainable design, construction and operation of new schools, modernization projects and school renovations, and to achieve compliance with Local Law 86.

The New York City Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD) requires new construction and substantial rehabilitation projects receiving HPD funding to achieve certification under the national Enterprise Green Communities green building program, which is specifically designed for the affordable housing sector and strongly aligns with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) for Homes rating system.

Energy Audit and Retrofit Requirements

Local Law 87 mandates that buildings 50,000 gross square feet or larger undergo periodic energy audit and retro-commissioning measures. Commercial buildings are also subject to NYC Local Law 88 requiring lighting retrofits to meet current NYCECC standards, and to install electric sub-meters for each tenant space.

Incentives and Financing for Efficient Buildings

There are a series of federal, state, and local incentives and financing products available to New York City’s building owners for retro-commissioning. New York City provides one-year tax abatement of $4.50 per square foot for Green roofs on residences.

Last Updated: December 2014

Benchmarking, Rating, & Transparency List All


LL84 requires annual ENERGY STAR benchmarking and public disclosure for large commercial buildings. This policy was enacted December 2009 and was implemented in May 2010. The data became public in September 2012. There is an online help room and reference guide to aid in compliance. Failure to comply with the law results in a $500 fine per quarter of noncompliance with a maximum of $2,000 per year for one instance. NYC annually discloses a dataset to the public. Reports have been released from 2012 through 2014.


Local Law 84 requires annual ENERGY STAR benchmarking and public disclosure for large multifamily buildings. This policy was enacted December 2009 and was implemented in May 2010. The data became public in September 2013. There is an online help room and reference guide to aid in compliance. Failure to comply with the law results in a $500 fine per quarter of noncompliance with a maximum of $2000 per year for one instance. NYC annually discloses a dataset to the public. Reports have been released from 2012 through 2014.

Last Updated: December 2014

Comprehensive Efficiency Services List All

A Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program is available to New York City residents through NYSERDA. Comprehensive efficiency services are also available to multifamily and commercial buildings through NYSERDA’s Multifamily Performance Program and the Commercial Existing Facilities Program.

Last Updated: December 2014

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 13.5 out of 18 points
Energy & Water Utilities Summary List All

Consolidated Edison (ConEd), an investor-owned utility (IOU), is the primary electric utility serving New York City. National Grid, an IOU, is the primary natural gas utility serving New York City. The New York State Energy Research and Development Agency (NYSERDA) is the state-wide agency that administers energy-efficiency programs. To help ConEd and National Grid reach the EERS target, New York City is an active promoter of all efficiency programs. On the state level, New York City strongly advocates for additional spending requirements for energy efficiency projects for all of its utilities. The State of New York requires spending and savings targets for its utilities through an EERS and efficiency requirements in utility EEPSs. To learn more about the state-requirements for electric and gas efficiency, please visit the New York page of the State Database.

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection is the municipally-run utility responsible for providing drinking water, treating wastewater, and managing stormwater for New York City. 

Last Updated: December 2014

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs, Spending & SavingsList All

In 2013, according to NYSERDA and ConEd, $156,995,000 was spent on electric efficiency programs in ConEd’s NY service territory, representing 1.93% of ConEd’s annual revenue. Due to these programs, NYSERDA and ConEd reported a net incremental electricity savings of 265,596MWh in ConEd’s NY service territory, representing .47% of its retail sales of electricity. The programs run within ConEd’s service territory accounts for 38% of NYSERDA’s realized savings. In the same year, National Grid and NYSERDA reported spending $28,096,000 on gas efficiency programs in National Grid's service territory. The expenditures normalize to $12.84 per residential customer. Due to these programs, National Grid and NYSERDA reported a net incremental savings of 7.84MMTherms, representing .23% of its retail sales. Spending on electricity and natural gas represented in this section covers the entire New York service territory, not just New York City. ConEd offers electric efficiency incentives and technical assistance to residential and commercial/industrial customers. National Grid similarly offers natural gas efficiency programs to residential and business customers.

New York City actively partners with NYSERDA, ConEd, and National Grid to increase participation in their programs. To implement these programs, the New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation was established. This non-profit is funded through $37 Million of NYC’s ARRA funding. NYSERDA-implemented programs are funded through rate-payer income from the utilities as well as approximately $250 Million of New York State grants yearly.

New York City also actively advocates on the state level by providing regular comments and testimony to the New York Public Service Commission advocating for improvements to utility energy efficiency programs and the state’s energy efficiency portfolio standard.

Last Updated: February 2015

Energy Efficiency Targets & Funding Agreements List All

There are no local energy efficiency targets in place for New York City. Instead, utilities must meet the state standards. To power city operations, New York City has several ongoing energy efficiency programs in agreements with the New York Power Authority. An outline of recent and planned projects can be found here. The city has consistently advocated for more streamlined spending of state energy efficiency funds through regulatory proceedings. 

Last Updated: December 2014

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

In order for customers to access their own energy data, Consolidated Edison provides the Green Button data sharing platform. ConEd also provides its customers with a variety of tools to save energy in their homes. The My Energy Toolkit includes guidance for understanding home energy usage reports, and various calculators to help customers understand and compare the energy intensity of appliances, lightbulbs, and home efficiency measures.

To help commercial and multifamily customers with benchmarking, and to comply with New York City LL 84, ConEd developed software to aggregate electric energy usage by building address for automated entry into Portfolio Manager and for use by building managers. The aggregated data allows Con Edison to protect customer privacy and to deliver twelve months of building energy use, regardless of changes in tenancy. The energy data is delivered to the building manager for uploading that data into Portfolio Manager.

National Grid, ConEd and LIPA contribute community wide energy consumption data for the New York State GHG inventory. ConEd shares electric, gas, and steam consumption data at the zip-code level with the city for public planning purposes. This data, in turn, has been shared with Columbia University for "heat mapping" at the community level. The city regularly provides comments and testimony to the New York Public Service Commission advocating for improved access to energy usage data to support the implementation of city’s benchmarking and disclosure policy.

The city has partnered with National Grid to participate in the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Energy Data Accelerator Program to make it easier for building owners to get access to whole-building energy usage data for the purposes of benchmarking their buildings.

Last Updated: December 2014

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

Water Efficiency

In 2014, NYC DEP released the Water Demand Management Plan, a citywide program targeting a 5% overall reduction in water consumption citywide by year 2020 and approximately $153 million in earmarked funding. The plan consists of multiple strategies and more than 21 initiatives to achieve a target reduction of approximately 50 million gallons per day. 

The Municipal Water Efficiency Program provides funding for water conservation and water efficiency projects in city-owned facilities. Under this program, DEP has identified opportunities for water savings in more than 2,000 city properties, with estimated water savings of over 9 million gallons of water per day by the end of the program.

Under the Residential Water Efficiency Program, DEP launched a two year Toilet Replacement Program in 2014. Phase I of the program offers $125 vouchers for qualified multifamily property owners who replace outdated toilets with high-efficiency models.

The Non-Residential Water Efficiency Program promotes conservation in commercial and non-residential buildings through partnerships with the private sector. In the Spring of 2013, DEP and the Mayor’s Office launched a water efficiency program called the New York City Water Challenge to Hotels where eleven of the city’s premier hotels were challenged to reduce their consumption by 5%. DEP is working with government, non-profit, and private sector parties to launch the New York City Water Challenge to Restaurants in November of 2014.

Additional DEP strategies under the Water Demand Management Program include Water Distribution System Optimization, Water Supply Shortage Management, and an Upstate Water Conservation Program.

Energy Efficiency and Self-Generation

DEP completed energy audits at all 14 in-city wastewater treatment plants and has accepted over 130 recommended reduction measures that have the potential to reduce energy use by 2.9MMBTU per year. Additionally, DEP has a target to beneficially use 60% its anaerobic digester gas for thermal and/or electric energy by 2017. DEP currently produces over 3.5 billion cubic feet of anaerobic digester gas (ADG) per year, approximately 60% of which is made of methane. DEP beneficially uses approximately 40% of the produced ADG. These efforts support the reduction target set by PlaNYC, where city government buildings are to reduce their GHG emissions by 30% by 2017 from a 2005 baseline. Internally, DEP has implemented a Standard Operating Procedure to govern energy conservation and GHG reduction design considerations during the project design lifecycle, from the selection of the designer to commissioning of the installed equipment. Energy design guidelines for unit processes or equipment accompany the SOP and provide guidance on how to increase energy efficiency with any new facility construction or reconstruction projects.

Looking ahead, DEP is designing a 12 MW cogeneration system at the North River WWTP that will use ADG and utility natural gas. The system, which will be in operation by 2020, will meet the plant’s base electrical demand and all thermal heating needs. In addition, at the city’s largest wastewater treatment plant, Newtown Creek, DEP has partnered with National Grid to clean up the biogas to pipeline quality for injection into the local natural gas distribution system. At this same location DEP will begin co-digesting domestic sludge with food scraps to boost gas production and quality. DEP expects gas output to double providing enough gas to heat over 5,100 homes a day and offset greenhouse gas emissions from the reduction in long-haul trucking, landfill emissions, offsetting of fossil-fuel derived gas and flaring by approximately 90,000 metric tons per year – the equivalent of removing 19,000 vehicles from the road.

Green Stormwater Infrastructure

The city has a sustainable stormwater management plan that includes 30 pilot projects to test promising source control technologies. Changes to city building codes and zoning since the launch of PlaNYC include zoning amendments initiated by the Department of City Planning, requiring new commercial parking lots to include perimeter and interior green infrastructure, prohibiting buildings in lower-density districts from having paved yards, and requiring new developments city-wide to include street trees and, in lower-density areas, include sidewalk planting strips.

The DEP Green Infrastructure Grant program has committed a total of $11.5 million in grant funding for 29 projects since 2011. In 2013, DEP committed $4.7 million to 11 new grant recipients. In 2013, five grant projects completed construction, including a one-acre rooftop farm, three green roofs, and a community garden

In 2013, DEP worked the Department of Buildings and other city agencies to extend the 2008 New York City Green Roof Tax Abatement -with some modifications -for an additional five years. This provides a one-year tax abatement, or tax relief, of $4.50 per square foot (up to $100,000 or the building's tax liability, whichever is less) to property owners that install green roofs.

Last Updated: December 2014

Score: 17.5 out of 28 points
Transportation Summary List All

The transportation authority serving New York City is MTA New York City Transit. MTA manages the public transportation system of New York City including bus, rail, and subway service. The New York Metropolitan Transport Council is the MPO in charge of conducting metropolitan transportation planning. Its area of jurisdiction encompasses New York, Long Island, and the Lower Hudson Valley. The New York City Department of Transportation is the city agency charged with managing the city’s transportation network.

Last updated: December 2014

Location Efficiency List All

PlaNYC, New York City’s zoning code, designates a number of special-purpose districts for the creation of mixed-use development in the city. Developers are required to provide less than one/half of a parking space per each new housing unit constructed in NYC with no required parking in the Manhattan Core. New York City's Complete Streets Policy is the Department of Transportation's Sustainable Streets Strategic Plan for 2008 and Beyond. To promote construction with a focus on location efficiency, New York City’s R-10 program provides density bonuses to developments in medium- to high-density commercial neighborhoods that provide a certain number of affordable housing units.

Last updated: December 2014

Mode Shift List All

Transportation and Land Use Planning

While New York City has no codified VMT or mode shift goals, the PlaNYC and Sustainable Streets plans show that the city is dedicated to creating a multi-modal transportation system that moves travel away from single occupancy vehicles to more efficient modes of transport.

Car and Bicycle Sharing

There are three car sharing programs currently available to the residents and visitors of New York City, enterprise CarShare, Mint, Connect by Hertz, and ZipCar. The city is served by a bikesharing program, Citibike, with 375 stations in lower Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Transportation Demand Management Programs

New York City’s tunnels and bridges employ HOV 2 or 3 passenger lanes, to reduce the frequency of single-occupancy trips.

Last updated: February 2015

Transit List All

The MTA transit system that serves New York City received $19,149,219,656 in total funding in 2012. This funding level is $2,261.36 per resident in the service territory of the agency. In comparison, 2011 spending on roads and parking by the city was $2,586,509,933, or $309.97 per city resident. This results in a ratio of per capita regional transit funding to per capita city highway and parking funding of 7.30 to 1.

The Transit Connectivity Index measures how many transit rides are available per week within walking distance from the average household. New York City’s Transit Connectivity Index value is 131,548, putting it in the highest possible category (>50,000) available in the City Scorecard.

Last updated: December 2014

Efficient Vehicles and Driver Behavior List All

At this time, New York City does not offer incentives to purchase hybrid, plug-in, or EV vehicles. The city's Local Law No. 10 passed in 2013 requires electric vehicle charging ports to be added to all parking lots. The local government has made over 260 EV recharging stations available for public use, with 30+ chargers in 10 of its public lots. 

Title 24-163 of the NYC Administrative code places restrictions on idling of private vehicles. New York City is an active participant in the Empire Clean Cities Coalition

Last updated: February 2015

Freight List All

There are five intermodal freight facilities within New York City’s boundaries, two of which we classify as efficient because they are port- or rail-capable. New York City’s share of regional freight traffic in 2012, normalized by population, is 71,418 ton-miles. As a result there are 0.028 efficient intermodal facilities per thousand ton-miles of freight traffic, putting the city in the second lowest category for this metric (>0 to 0.499) available in the City Scorecard.

Last updated: December 2014