City Officials Push for Greener Zoning Rules

This month, New York City community boards will hold hearings on a proposal that city officials say will give building owners more freedom to increase their buildings' energy efficiency and produce their own power. The plan is to amend city regulations by removing some zoning requirements that are said to hamper new green construction and energy-related upgrades in existing buildings. The proposal would make it easier for owners to add insulation to exterior walls, for example, and install awnings, skylights, green roofs, solar panels, and greenhouses.

The plan is one of several efforts by the Bloomberg administration to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from buildings, which account for a greater share of greenhouse gas pollution in New York City than cars and other transportation do. The city's roughly one million buildings cost $15 billion a year to power and heat, and account for 80 percent of the city's heat-trapping emissions, city officials said.