Yesterday I attended an orientation seminar for building professionals seeking to become partners in NYSERDA’s Multi-Family Building Program. I felt somewhat like a spy since my actual goal is to enroll my co-op building in this program, making me a customer rather than a vendor; but it was very illuminating to learn of NYSERDA’s new plan to help buildings to install energy efficiency improvements by providing incentive-based grants (the goal is to reduce energy consumption by at least 20%!), low-interest loans, and consultation all the way through the process. This program sounds like exactly what I have been looking for (and complaining about the lack of!) ever since my building commissioned an extensive energy audit last year and was unable to follow through with any of the recommendations.
One of the ideas they mentioned that I think will be really positive is the creation of an “Energy Smart Building” award for buildings that go through the program and reduce their energy use by 20% or more. It may seem superficial, but a title like that allows the whole idea to be promoted and marketed the way that LEED ratings are used to promote new construction projects as “green” (a proven sales booster).
I will continue writing on this topic as I learn more, and hopefully will be reporting from the trenches on the energy-efficiency retrofit process.