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All this will have to be in place by 2030, though the city has yet to give many concrete details, such as what, exactly, the cap will be.
The mayor’s office hasn’t responded to an interview request from City Lab, and has generally been mum on specifics.
The proposed mandate doesn’t have full support across the board, at least not yet.
In a statement to City Lab, John Banks, president of the Real Estate Board of New York, says his organization supports the effort to curb climate change but added that “these proposals require careful analysis, discussion, and debate,” as the city’s goals "could inadvertently promote buildings that use less overall energy without regard to how the energy is used." The board says the metric used to determine energy efficiency—a measure called the Energy Use Intensity—fails to take into account the number of people who occupy a building and how they use the energy.
“I suspect that there won't be that that many instances where you're taking a boiler and ripping it out prematurely,” he tells City Lab, adding that the 2030 deadline should allow time and flexibility for owners to decide what to do. What this [mandate] is saying is at the time you're doing your upgrades, upgrade to the point where you meet this cleaner standard.” Though the upgrades should eventually pay for themselves—the Sunnyside apartment building upgrades, for example, reportedly save the owners $325,000 a year—the financial help will be key to the mandate’s success, says Darrell.