Empire State Building: class-leading project exceeds efficiency targets

A model for private-sector building owners – and cities – worldwide

The innovative energy efficiency project at the Empire State Building has exceeded guaranteed energy savings for the second year in a row, project partners announced today.

In 2009, the Empire State Building, President Bill Clinton and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg launched a comprehensive retrofit at the iconic property to reduce costs, increase real estate value and protect the environment. In 2011, the Empire State Building beat its year-one energy-efficiency guarantee by 5 percent, saving $2.4 million; in year two, it surpassed its energy-efficiency guarantee by nearly 4 percent and saved $2.3 million.

The project provides an important example of what can be achieved in large commercial buildings when owners, managers, tenants and partners come together to improve energy performance of buildings. Its success helped to build support for the passage of local laws mandating benchmarking and disclosure of energy consumption in buildings city-wide -- innovative policies put in place under the leadership of C40 Chair, Mayor Bloomberg, as part of New York’s long-term sustainability plan, PlaNYC.

Of today’s announcement, Terri Wills, Director of Global Initiatives, C40, said:

“The Empire State Building retrofit project is a shining example for C40 Cities the world over, helping them to make the case for wider policies and programs that advance building energy efficiency in the private sector. The positive results announced today will boost cities’ efforts by demonstrating—once again—the economic benefits of climate action.”

A group of more than 14 C40 Cities from around the world are tackling these very issues head-on by participating in the C40 Private Sector Building Energy Efficiency Network , which helps cities collaborate on locally-appropriate policies and programs to reduce energy consumption and associated emissions from private sector buildings. Facilitating the exchange of expertise and insights, such as the importance of building energy consumption data, the network helps cities to identify best practices. To this end, the Empire State Building project provides a compelling model for network members to study so that a critical mass of energy efficient buildings in every C40 City can be realized.

Click here for earlier C40 blog coverage on how the Empire State Building project supports sustainability efforts and economic growth in New York City.

As with the Empire State Building’s first year’s results, all information and monitoring and verification reports can be viewed here.