Empire State Building Beats Savings Estimates One Year After Innovative Retrofit Project

One of New York City’s most iconic buildings – the Empire State Building – is slated to cut its energy use by 38 percent, thanks to a retrofit project managed by a team of organizations, including the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) Cities program, an aligned partner of C40.

Measurements show that the Empire State Building is currently exceeding its year one energy-efficiency guarantee by five percent, creating savings of $2.4 million. These results are important as they establish a successful, commercial real estate model for reducing costs, maximizing return on investment, increasing real estate value, and protecting the environment.

Forty percent of energy in the United States is consumed by buildings, according to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. In dense urban settings like New York City, commercial buildings account for up to 75 percent of energy used.

Terri Wills, C40 Director of Global Initiatives, said of the retrofit project:

“These promising first-year results underscore the impact of this global flagship project, which continues to serve as a model for sustainable climate action, not only for other building owners in New York, but right across the global network of C40 Cities.”

While the main energy efficiency retrofit at the Empire State Building is complete, the building will increase its efficiency further as tenants upgrade to high-performance workspaces. Results of the retrofit include:

  • Already saving an estimated 4,000 metric tons of carbon – the equivalent of that offset by 750 acres of pine forests
  • Once all tenant spaces are upgraded, saving up to $4.4 million a year; and a 38 percent reduction of energy use that will cut carbon emissions by 105,000 metric tons over the next 15 years 

The retrofit project partnership team was comprised of the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) Cities program; Empire State Building Company, LLC; Johnson Controls, Inc.; Jones Lang LaSalle; the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority; and Rocky Mountain Institute.

To watch a video about the C40 partner, CCI’s work on the Empire State Building retrofit, watch below or click here.