Projects Aim at Reducing NY Greenhouse Gas Emissions

December 3, 2009 Updated: December 3, 2009

NEW YORK—Mayor Bloomberg announced on Wednesday that more than a hundred projects to reduce energy consummation in the city have been launched or are finished.

Sixty-two of the projects that have been completed so far, totalling $16 million in costs, will save the city $2.3 million each year, and reduce the city’s greenhouse emission by 8,600 metric tons, according to a press release.

The projects are part of the sustainability program PlaNYC, aimed at reducing the greenhouse gas emissions of city government buildings and operations by 30 percent in 2017, equalling 1.68 million metric tons of CO2.

The program was launched in 2007 by the mayor. Part of the plans are to upgrade the city’s lighting, and heating and cooling systems in schools, sanitation garages, police precincts, and cultural facilities.

“Seventy-five percent of our overall carbon emissions come from buildings, older buildings are a major source of those emissions, and we have reduced them with energy-saving retrofits that will pay for themselves,” said Bloomberg in the press release.

In October 2007 it was decided that 10 percent of the city’s energy budget, between $80 and $100 million a year is used to reach the greenhouse emissions goal.

The total costs for the whole project are estimated at $2.3 billion, spent over a nine year period.

So far over $900 million has been committed by the city. In November the city received $87 million of funds as part of the Federal stimulus money.

Part of the federal funds is aimed at the implementation of new technologies to reduce energy consumption. The city is now looking into the possibility to use combined heat and power technologies in its highest energy-consuming city facilities.

The use of the funds also includes the installation of fuel catalysts and economizers at 200 schools to reduce fuel use.

Bloomberg will attend the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen later this month, presenting the PlaNYC program.

“In Copenhagen, I look forward to learning what other world cities are doing to reduce emissions, and also letting them know about the successes we have had with our PlaNYC projects,” said Bloomberg.