Well, that did not last long. Two weeks ago, we wrote about Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan to require retrofits of existing buildings. After vehement opposition, Mayor Bloomberg has backed off of his plans to require retrofits:
"The plan, which the owners said was too costly, called for all buildings of 50,000 square feet or more to undergo audits to determine which renovations would make them more energy efficient, and for owners to then pay for many of those changes.
The mayor wants to go forward with the proposal to require energy audits, but now is leaving it up to the building owners whether to undertake the changes called for by those audits."
Not surprisingly, opponents cited the economy as one of the prohibitive factors to implementing the mandatory retrofitting:
“It’s another unfunded mandate, and this is just not the time for it,” said Stuart Saft, chairman of the Council of New York Cooperatives and Condominiums, an opponent of the plan. “Come back in five years when we’re past this recession. At this point it’s just a slap in the face.”
Green building legislation has developed quickly over the last ten years. Cities like New York City and Washington, D.C. previously pushed the envelope by requiring all new construction achieve green building certification. The New York City proposal would have taken the next step in requiring existing buildings to incorporate green building features, like energy efficient windows and HVAC systems.
Opposition to the New York City legislation suggests the real estate industry is not prepared to retrofit all existing building stock. The legislation was an enormous leap for an industry that continues to wobble through the recession.
What do you think the rejection of the New York City legislation suggests? Related Links: Cities Will Soon Regulate Energy Use (GBLU) Bloomberg Drops an Effort to Cut Building Energy Use (NY Times) Photo: danihollaender