Major New York City businesses, building owners, and facilities managers - who control more than 300 million sq ft of office space - are turning up the thermostat and turning off the lights to ensure an uninterrupted supply of electricity this summer.

The voluntary conservation program, led by the New York City Partnership & Chamber of Commerce and the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), is designed to reduce power demand without disrupting business. Each participant has agreed to take the following measures, some of which would be instituted only during periods of critical demand:

  • Raise thermostats two degrees, which typically reduces cooling energy usage by 5 percent. Cooling typically accounts for one-third of building energy use.
  • Reduce lobby and perimeter lighting as well as other non-essential lighting (such as conference and server rooms). These lighting reductions can produce energy saving of between 5 and 10 percent. Lighting typically accounts for one-third of building energy use.
  • Activate Energy Star power management (sleep) feature on computers. Computers in sleep mode consume 40% less energy.
  • Turn off 25-30% of escalators and elevators.

If all measures are fully employed, typical office buildings should be able to reduce loads by .55 watts per square foot.