Modifications to New York City’s century-old zoning law to promote energy efficient and solar-powered buildings will save residents $800 million a year, reports Maria Gallucci at InsideClimate News. The city council recently adopted the country’s most sweeping green building plan, approving citywide zoning regulations that encourage energy efficiency retrofits and widespread adoption of rooftop solar and wind. The initiative, called Zone Green, will help the city slash annual energy costs of $15 billion and achieve its goal of trimming global warming emissions by 30 percent by 2030. The city’s roughly one million buildings are responsible for almost 80 percent of carbon dioxide emissions, compared to 40 percent for the national average. The Zone Green rules involve 10 modifications to the city’s arcane and archaic zoning ordinance. The changes will make it much easier for real estate developers and property owners to upgrade buildings and generate energy from renewable sources, primarily by cutting red tape and permitting costs. Energy efficiency advocates say they could set a national precedent for overhauling antiquated zoning laws. And this could mean greener times for many more US cities, environmentally and economically.
NYC Takes the Red Tape Out of Building Green Read More http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20120503/this-week-clean-economy-new-york-city-green-buildings-rooftop-solar-wind-turbines-energy-efficiency-zoning