The Energy-Benchmarking Grades Are Out. Do They Really Matter?
Under Local Law 84 of 2009, large buildings must record and keep track of their energy and water use — and then the city posts the results for all to see. The letter grades are linked to a numerical score called theEnergy Use Intensity (EUI), which measures the energy used by a building per square foot, per year. The median EUI for multifamily buildings in New York City is 132.1. Score a 109 or lower and you earn an A; higher than 160 is a D. But in practical terms, how well do these grades translate to real-life energy use?
Warren Schreiber, board president of Bay Terrace Cooperative Section 1, a 200-unit garden apartment complex in Queens, says he was not surprised by the “D” his co-op earned with an EUI score of 248.2. The co-op board is now considering submetering, which would require unit-owners to pay for the power they use, hopefully convincing them to use less. Schreiber notes that retro-commissioning of the heating system is also under consideration, but the board isn’t ready to pull the trigger on a major job right now.