City Announces New Energy-Efficiency Program for Apartment Buildings

Mayor de Blasio recently announced the launch of the NYC Building Operator Training Program to help residential buildings cut energy costs up to 20 percent. The new program offers a no-cost, 30-hour training program for small, multifamily building maintenance staff on ways to reduce energy consumption. Participants will learn about energy and resource conservation techniques related to a building’s heating, electrical, and water systems. This training model is designed to reduce energy costs between 5 percent and 20 percent without any major capital expenditures. The first group of participants will begin training on Dec. 6 and the program will fully launch early next year.

Residential buildings are responsible for roughly three-quarters of New York City’s greenhouse gas emissions. As part of Mayor de Blasio’s One NYC plan to create a more equitable, resilient, and sustainable city, the city has set a goal of achieving an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels by 2050. The Mayor also has recently signed a package of legislation spurring retrofits to help buildings become more energy efficient.

The program is available to multifamily buildings with five to 50 apartment units or that have between 5,000 to 50,000 gross square feet. The training curriculum is designed to upgrade the skills of building operators to realize building energy savings and lower greenhouse gas emissions. Building owners and management companies may apply to have their maintenance personnel trained through this program.

Training curriculum will include the following:

  • Recognizing and correcting common flaws in a building’s structure that can result in wasted energy consumption;
  • Identifying and correcting ventilation problems;
  • Instruction on understanding the various components of a boiler, their functions and proper maintenance techniques;
  • Understanding heat distribution and control throughout a building;
  • Techniques for conserving water; and
  • Learning how electric system and fixture maintenance can result in greater energy efficiency.

All applicants for the program will be considered, but employers that agree to provide a wage gain for their operators and maintenance staff will be prioritized. Along with no-cost training, employers and their staff will also receive other incentives to support the operational efficiency of their building when the program fully launches in 2017.

The training course will be offered in locations throughout the city and will also provide flexible options for scheduling on-site training. Building owners and management companies that are interested in participating in this program may visit New participants for trainings will be accepted on a rolling basis.