The New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) recently announced that $1 million is available for net zero energy performance in new buildings.
According to NYSERDA, the money can go to large real estate portfolio owners – such as real estate developers, colleges and universities, retailers, public sector agencies, and other private, public, or non-profit entities – for support with developing energy performance standards and institutional mechanisms to enable the design, construction and operation of net zero buildings across their statewide portfolios.
Net zero energy buildings consume no more energy, on an annual basis, than they produce onsite through renewable energy technologies. Today’s announcement supports Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s ambitious goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2030.
This Net Zero Energy pilot program is part of NYSERDA’s approach to support the design and construction industry as it moves to net zero energy and net zero carbon construction, renovation and operations. Designed to help developers embrace net zero initiatives, the program will support advanced high-performance building development methods and technologies while creating a group of leading institutions that publicly commit to adopting these practices.
To spur net zero energy performance across the state, NYSERDA, on a first come first served basis, will provide each approved applicant with a maximum amount of $250,000 towards technical guidance to be provided by a consultant with expertise in net zero building design and construction. Approved applicants will also receive help with identifying other NYSERDA programs that can offer additional financial and technical assistance for the construction projects themselves. Those businesses and institutions awarded funding will serve as an example for others to follow by demonstrating the technical feasibility and cost-effectiveness of net zero buildings.
According to NYSERDA, approximately 100 million square feet of new construction is built per year in New York State. Once a building is constructed it is in operation for about 50-100 years, and it becomes much more expensive to execute significant energy saving measures after a building is already built. Therefore, it is essential to incorporate energy efficient measures as soon as possible during the initial predevelopment, design and construction of new buildings.
Currently, a significant portion of construction does not meet the current New York State Energy Conservation Construction Code (ECCCNYS), let alone more advanced efficiency standards. This creates a significant opportunity to achieve substantial energy savings over the business as usual approach that will last for several decades. NYSERDA’s pilot program will support the new construction industry in building and demonstrating cost-effective net zero construction techniques that can be used to help justify the adoption of codes with higher performance goals and ultimately, to achieve a net zero energy code in the next 15-25 years.
Funding for this program is part of the New York’s 10-year, $5.3 billion Clean Energy Fund.