NEW YORK — The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) announced best practice standards to advance more resilient and energy-efficient buildings across the state. The release of the NYStretch Energy Code – 2020 (2020 NYStretch) toolkit will aid municipalities interested in voluntarily adopting higher efficiency standards for new and renovated building construction projects. Today’s announcement supports the state mandate for an 85% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s Green New Deal, the most aggressive clean energy and jobs plan in the nation that puts New York State on a path to a carbon-neutral economy.

“As New York moves forward in pursuit of Governor Cuomo’s nation-leading clean energy goals to combat climate change, we continue identifying new ways to partner with communities in an effort to drive statewide greenhouse gas reductions,” said Alicia Barton, president and CEO, NYSERDA. “The release of the 2020 NYStretch and the supporting toolkit creates an opportunity for communities to lead at the local level by adopting higher efficiency standards for buildings that result in carbon emission reductions and cleaner, healthier communities across the state.”

Energy efficiency is a fundamental component of Gov. Cuomo’s Green New Deal and essential to meeting New York's ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction goals to combat climate change. With 30% of the state’s overall emissions coming from on-site fuel combustion in buildings and 15% from electricity generation, today’s announcement will help broaden the adoption of energy efficiency measures by increasing awareness of and helping to set minimum energy performance requirements for designing, constructing, and renovating buildings.

With guidance from a 25-member advisory group comprised of public and private stakeholders, NYStretch was developed by NYSERDA as a cost-effective statewide model code to help local New York jurisdictions meet their energy and climate goals. Communities that adopt and implement NYStretch will accelerate energy cost savings, reduce emissions from buildings, improve resiliency from power disruptions, and lower utility bills for New York consumers. In fact, NYStretch is expected to provide savings of roughly 11% in energy costs over the model energy codes that will be the basis for the 2020 Energy Conservation Construction Code of New York State (2020 ECCC-NYS), with simple paybacks typically in the range of six to 12 years.

To assist interested municipalities in adopting 2020 NYStretch, NYSERDA is making available its toolkit to aid municipalities interested in voluntarily adopting and enacting NYStretch as a local requirement. The toolkit includes one-page fact sheets describing NYStretch and its benefits, a step-by-step adoption guide with model resolution language, estimated benefits and costs of meeting NYStretch for the most common new building construction projects, and frequently asked questions with responses. The toolkit is intended to aid municipalities in adopting higher efficiency standards in new and renovated construction projects in their community.

In addition to the toolkit, NYSERDA will provide direct, hands-on support to municipalities throughout the adoption and implementation process to help them make NYStretch a success. Communities will have access to staff and consultant support to more deeply understand the projected impacts and will have access to a wide-range of trainings for code officials and building professionals to effectively implement the new code.

A stretch energy code is an energy code that is more efficient than the state’s base energy code. Among the cost-effective measures NYStretch includes are improved window performance, reduced interior and exterior lighting power and controls, building energy use monitoring, renewable and electric vehicle readiness, and mandatory mechanical ventilation for residential buildings. When implemented and enforced effectively, a more efficient energy code requires higher performance levels for homes and commercial buildings, reducing the amount of electricity, natural gas, and fuel oil used, leading to lower energy costs for current and future homeowners and renters and lower operating costs for small and large businesses located within the community. When embraced by municipalities, NYSERDA’s 2020 NYStretch will help drive the adoption of codes with higher performance goals, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and ultimately, advance progress toward a net-zero energy code by 2030.

“The NYSERDA Stretch Code is a great tool for local governments to adopt a more restrictive local energy code in order to increase their efficiency and reduce their carbon footprint,” said Rossana Rosado, New York Secretary of State. “This is a first step in meeting the state’s aggressive clean energy goals of reducing 85% emissions by 2050. Thanks to the governor’s initiative, most buildings in the state will use renewable energy resources in another step to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, combat climate change, and ensure a cleaner and greener environment for future generations.”

Melanie E. La Rocca, commissioner of the New York City Buildings Department, said, “We are committed to driving down greenhouse gas emissions for the good of New Yorkers and the nation. We look forward to working with the state as we implement Mayor de Blasio’s groundbreaking Green New Deal to dramatically cut emissions in larger buildings – and dramatically improve the environmental health of our city and our people.”

Richard Yancey, FAIA, executive director, Building Energy Exchange said, “The Building Energy Exchange (BE-Ex) commends New York State's leadership in transforming our buildings to be more resilient and part of the climate solution. The new NYStretch energy code promises to help curb harmful emissions from our building sector, and get us another step closer to the state’s ambitious goal of an 85% overall reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. NYSERDA’s supporting toolkit will help the building community implement higher efficiency standards and adopt industry-leading best practices. BE-Ex looks forward to helping our state’s great building decision-makers meet this critical challenge.”

The energy code is a powerful tool for improving building performance, said John Mandyck, CEO of Urban Green Council. “Buildings play a critical role in addressing climate change, and NYStretch can help cities across the state move toward a lower-carbon future,” he said.

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