Energy Efficiency

Guidelines aim to help N.Y. municipalities boost efficiency

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has released a guide for municipalities in the state interested in voluntarily adopting higher efficiency standards for new and renovated buildings.

The guide, NYStretch Energy Code – 2020, is expected to provide energy cost savings of about 11% over the model energy codes that will be the basis for the 2020 Energy Conservation Construction Code of New York State (2020 ECCC-NYS) and have “simple paybacks” in the range of six to 12 years, according to NYSERDA.

NYSERDA says the NYStretch energy code that it developed is more efficient than the state’s base energy code. Among its cost-effective measures are improved window performance, reduced interior and exterior lighting power and controls, building energy use monitoring, renewable and electric vehicle readiness, and mandatory mechanical ventilation for residential buildings.

The NYStretch code, though voluntary, would also set higher performance levels for homes and commercial buildings that could lead to reductions in the amount of electricity, natural gas, and fuel oil they use and could lower energy costs for current and future homeowners and renters and lower operating costs for small and large businesses.

NYSERDA said it hopes its new guide will help broaden the adoption of energy efficiency measures by increasing awareness of and helping to set minimum energy performance requirements for designing, constructing, and renovating buildings.

If put in place, the NYStretch guidelines would help municipalities drive the adoption of codes with higher performance goals, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and advance the state’s progress toward a net zero energy code by 2030, NYSERDA said.

The NYStretch Energy Code – 2020 also supports the state’s mandate for an 85% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Green New Deal.

A total of 30% of New York’s overall emissions come from on-site fuel combustion in buildings and 15% of emissions come from electricity generation, according to NYSERDA.

As part of the NYStretch 2020 program, NYSERDA is also offering a toolkit to aid municipalities interested in adopting and enacting NYStretch as a local requirement. The toolkit includes a step-by-step adoption guide with model resolution language, and estimated benefits and costs of meeting NYStretch for the most common new building construction projects. The toolkit is intended to aid municipalities in adopting higher efficiency standards for new and renovated construction projects.

“The release of the 2020 NYStretch and the supporting toolkit creates an opportunity for communities to lead at the local level by adopting higher efficiency standards for buildings that result in carbon emission reductions and cleaner, healthier communities across the state,” Alicia Barton, president and CEO of NYSERDA, said in a statement.

Additional information is available here.