If New York City hopes to achieve the ambitious goals it set to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it will have to dramatically improve the energy efficiency of its building sector, which accounts for nearly three-quarters of the city’s total emissions.
This policy brief argues that requiring owners of small residential buildings to perform simple energy efficiency upgrades prior to sale could go a long way toward meeting New York City’s climate commitment. Drawing on interviews with 14 experts in jurisdictions that have enacted residential energy upgrade requirements elsewhere in the U.S. and around the world, it contends that a similar law in New York City could meaningfully cut energy use and utility bills without unduly burdening property owners. The authors also provide guidance on how the proposed regulation could be structured and evaluate legal claims that may be raised against it.
Authors: Danielle Spiegel-Feld & Augusta Wilson