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NYC Passes Energy-Efficiency Bills for Buildings

Among the legislation passed Wednesday is a law that requires owners of buildings larger than 50,000 square feet to conduct energy audits once every 10 years and to make environmental "tune-ups" to operations and maintenance systems, like replacing weather stripping and insulating hot and cold steam pipes. The legislation initially required building owners to make more costly environmental improvements to their buildings, like major overhauls to heating and ventilation systems or replacing windows, but the Bloomberg administration dropped that because of opposition from building developers and real estate interests. Building owners said the plan was too expensive and would have saddled them with extra costs at the worst possible time. Some 22,000 buildings in the city would be covered by the plan. A third bill requires buildings larger than 50,000 square feet to upgrade their lighting systems to comply with the new energy code by 2025. 12/09 AP