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New York City’s decarbonization accelerator

We provided New York City with technical assistance to engage with building managers and owners, showcasing data-driven pathways for them to undertake affordable decarbonization projects on their properties.

square feet of building space in NYC engaged via NYC Accelerator
metric tons of CO2 emissions potential in the pipeline

New York City’s iconic skyline is made up of thousands of buildings, each serving as a lightning rod for ambitious, creative, and innovative thinkers to come together. Most of the buildings' heating, cooling, and power systems will require application of that same cutting-edge thinking in order to decarbonize their building systems.


The vast majority of New York City’s overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions—more than six times that of the transportation sector—stem from inefficient buildings of all sizes and use types. To reach its goal of citywide carbon neutrality by 2050, New York City needs its building sector partners to decarbonize and eventually electrify their properties.

NYC accelerator client story - logo

Earlier policies and pilot projects in New York City made meaningful progress toward eliminating or reducing buildings’ overall emissions. The phase-out of just one type of fuel oil alone in over 5,000 buildings between 2011 and 2015 helped bring about the city’s best air quality in over half a century, subsequently preventing hundreds of early deaths and thousands of hospitalizations every year in the city. And nearly 3,000 buildings underwent major decarbonization projects through the NYC Retrofit Accelerator between 2015 and 2020.

However, additional momentum was needed. New York City enacted LL97, the law requiring buildings to fall below established carbon emission thresholds or face fines of $268 per ton of carbon emitted over the limit. That could add up to millions for some of the worse emitters. New York City needed to light a clear path forward for its building partners to comply with local efficiency policies and avoid penalties for noncompliance.


To incentivize building administrators to launch efficiency and clean energy projects, we helped New York City develop NYC Accelerator, a support system that helps them turn the "complicated" into the "completed." Recognizing that successful policy implementation doesn’t end with its passage, we're leading a market support program that assists decision makers with decarbonization planning and project implementation.

NYC accelerator client story - image 1

Our team employs data-driven approaches to identify and reach out to different decision-making building stakeholders, from large corporate building management teams to small co-op and condo boards. After attracting potential partners through a multimedia, multi-channel marketing campaign, we showcase available financial and technical tools/resources and provide individualized expert guidance that demystifies the process. One of those tools includes an award-winning website for the Accelerator, which has a search function showing whether specific New York City addresses comply with current decarbonization policies, in addition to potential savings opportunities.

“Buildings are the majority of New York City's carbon emissions. NYC Accelerator is so important to us. It allows us to target buildings with a heavy lift ahead, and engage them early to meet carbon efficiency targets.”

Rohit (Rit) Aggarwala
New York City's Chief Climate Officer and the Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner

Where we are now

Since we kicked off the new NYC Accelerator in early 2021, our team of field account managers has engaged with the administrators of approximately 17,000 buildings in every borough of New York City, representing over a billion square feet of real estate. Around half of those buildings have already taken action to plan or implement their projects, 70% of which happened in affordable housing buildings. Those already completed projects are on track to save nearly 8,500 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions and $3.5 million annually.


buildings in every borough of New York City engaged to date


of the buildings engaged are affordable housing


building decision makers and service providers trained

NYC accelerator client story - image 2

But there’s far greater reward coming down the pike, as the pipeline of projects is expected to achieve over 100,000 metric tons reduction and over $30 million in savings annually, creating lift for the tens of thousands that have to take action before the end of the decade.

Along the way, we’ve trained close to 2,000 building decision makers and service providers and placed close to a hundred interns into clean energy economy roles. Our team has also vetted and enrolled more than 200 local contractors into a supporting service provider program. All program-generated leads and activated buildings are referred to program providers, supporting and growing the local green economy. These actions don’t just benefit the city’s immediate pollution reduction goals: we’re strengthening communal knowledge and ensuring a skilled, local talent network.

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