Bloomberg backs down on compulsory greening, not pricey energy audits

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After months of bitter opposition by building owners, Mayor Bloomberg has backed down on his plan to require nearly half the city’s buildings to invest in costly renovations to reduce greenhouse gases, the New York Times reported in a front-page story this weekend.

Co-ops and condos over 50,000 square feet (roughly 40-60+ units) would have been forced to undertake energy conservation projects that would in theory pay off within five years.   

“It’s well intentioned but there couldn’t be a more wrong time for this,” Mary Ann Rothman, the executive director of the Council of New York Cooperatives and Condominiums, told BrickUnderground in August.  (See Reality check needed on Energy Audit bill))

In addition to soaring property taxes suffering a schizoid break with reality, “the housing market is down, people who were lucky enough not to lose their jobs almost certainly didn’t get their raises or bonuses, and people are hanging on tooth and nail,” Rothman said this summer. “And what if your building is full of octogenarians on fixed incomes without a nickel to spare?”

Unfortunately for fiscally challenged co-op and condo buildings, the mayor still wants to require buildings over 50,000 square feet to conduct energy audits, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars.   

The City Council is expected to consider the new legislation starting Wednesday.

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Reality check needed on city Energy Audit bill