Benchmarking and the LAW New York City's benchmarking law is formally known as Intro. No. 476-A, Benchmarking Energy and Water Use. The measure requi


Benchmarking and the LAW

New York City's benchmarking law is formally known as Intro. No. 476-A, Benchmarking Energy and Water Use. The measure requires commercial facilities of more than 50,000 gross square feet to benchmark their energy and water use each year, beginning May 1, 2011. City-owned buildings larger than 10,000 square feet should have begun annual benchmarking by May 1 of this year. Public disclosure of energy use has a two-fold rationale, says Rohit Aggarwala, director of the NYC Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability (OLTPS). First, putting the energy benchmarking score on the tax roll makes energy efficiency an immediately visible asset to a prospective tenant or buyer. The Energy Star score should be "one of the first things that a potential tenant or purchaser looks at or thinks about," says Aggarwala. "And that makes energy efficiency a valuable component to a building in the market."

The second rationale is to drive performance through competition: The fact is that real estate managers will be looking over each other's shoulders and the competitive nature of the real estate community will compel some people to tell their building staff; The other guy in a very similar building is doing much better than you are, so get your act together.

The message for facility managers is simple: Don't wait for the benchmarking deadline to get started with the process. "If you don't know your energy performance, find out soon because soon the world will know," says jimmy Carchietta, CEO of The Cotocon Group. Starting early will also help avoid any crunch-time headaches related to gathering data. "That way they won't have any surprises later when it does turn out that some buildings don't have all of the information they need," says Carchietta.

Have you benchmarked yet??? Let us know: BLOG


Reasons to Benchmark

In the United States, the EPA’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager is the most commonly used benchmarking tool for commercial buildings. Portfolio Manager allows users to enter basic property information and annual energy use (based on a year of utility bills) to calculate the property’s energy use index, (EUI). For many common commercial building types, Portfolio Manager will rate a building on a scale from 1-100. This rating can be compared to others in a national database called CBECS (Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey) or other data sets chosen by EPA for specific building types. Buildings scoring over 75 are in the top 25% of energy performers and can qualify for the Energy Star label.

Reasons to Benchmark:

Measures energy performance to compare future performance and verify savings.
Compares energy performance across similar properties.
Prioritizes energy retrofits at poorly performing properties within a portfolio.
Identifies upgrades with the greatest energy & cost-savings potential.
Meets regulation requirements or government codes.
Accesses funding, incentives, and rebates for energy retrofits.


Benefiting From Solar Energy


What is an SREC?

SREC stands for Solar Renewable Energy Certificate and is a tradable certificate that represents all the clean energy benefits of electricity generated from a solar electric system. Each time a solar electric system generates 1000kWh (1MWh) of electricity, an SREC is issued which can then be sold or traded separately from the power. This makes it easy for individuals and businesses to finance and invest in clean, emission free solar power.

For example, the New Jersey SREC Registration Program provides a means for SRECs to be created and verified on your behalf. The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities has designated an SREC Administrator who tracks production from individual generators, issues SRECs, and records the sale (or other transfer of ownership) of SRECs from generators to other account holders.

A market for SRECS is driven primarily by New Jersey’s electricity suppliers who are required to purchase SRECs annually under New Jersey’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). This requirment increases each year, so that SRECs from the equivalent of a total of 90MW of solar generation capacity will be required by 2009. That’s enough electricity to power approximately 8,000 homes!

All solar system owners in New Jersey with grid-connected generators can participate in New Jersey’s SREC Program. If you plan to manage you own SREC account, you must first register for an SREC account. If you have an arrangement with someone else to manage your SREC account (for example your solar installer, or an SREC aggregator or broker) that person will establish an account for you.

Once your account is established, SRECs will be deposited into your account based on estimated or actual monthly energy production, and the account holder will be able to transfer ownership of SRECs to other account holders when SRECs are sold.

Want to find out more about benefiting from SREC? Please email Daryl Dworkin.

Spotlight LEED Project of the Week

Bank of America Tower

One Bryant Park Tower Gets LEED Platinum Certification!


Last year the world's greenest skyscraper, One Bryant Park opened its doors in midtown Manhattan to rave reviews celebrating its innovative design. Today we're thrilled to announce that the green tower has just achieved LEED Platinum certification, making it the world's first office tower to reach the USGBC's highest rating! Designed by Cook+Fox Architects and built by Tishman Construction Corporation, the building has set a historic precedent for sustainable tower design by being the largest of any skyscraper to reach LEED on


Green News

Campbell Soup is planning with BNB Napoleon, a subsidiary of Exton, Pennsylvania-based BNB Renewable Energy, to construct a solar project worth $21.6 million in Napoleon to supply electric energy for its food production on

NASA reports 2010 hottest year on record so far - Last month, NASA reported it was the hottest January-September on record. That followed a terrific analysis, “July 2010 — What Global Warming Looks Like,” which noted that 2010 is “likely” to be warmest year on on

New York Harbor, Then and Now - Since 1909, the city has tested the waters within New York Harbor to measure their overall quality. The effort started when the harbor, with nearly 600 miles of waterfront and about 240 miles of shipping channels, received hundreds of millions of gallons of raw sewage discharged straight from the sewer on

Trees grow in Brooklyn - A natural form of relief for overworked city sewers - Like other post-industrial areas in the city, New York’s Gowanus neighbourhood is getting stylish. But those who venture there after a heavy rainstorm might rethink their plans to buy that loft. When the city’s ageing sewerage system is overwhelmed, untreated storm-water and sewage flood into local waterways, including the Gowanus Canal. The resulting whiff is sure to keep property prices at a level starving Brooklyn artists can on


Gold Nanoparticles Could Transform Trees Into Street Lights - Street lights are an important part of our urban infrastructure — they light our way home and make the roads safe at night. But what if we could create natural street lights that don’t need electricity to power them? A group of scientists in Taiwan recently discovered that placing gold nanoparticles within the leaves of trees, causes them to give off a luminous reddish glow. The idea of using trees to replace street lights is an ingenious one – not only would it save on electricity costs and cut CO2 emissions, but it could also greatly reduce light pollution in major on


The LEED'r is a green newsletter owned by The Cotocon Group that is written and published by Daryl Dworkin. The Leed'r is a weekly publication which reports on a wide range of environmental interests. In future newsletters, we will continue to provide compelling information, relevant news, interviews with industry professionals, and a whole lot of other interesting material. Please enjoy and feel free to contact us with any comments, questions, or ideas that you may have regarding green building or any environmental issues at

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