Optimize Building Operations

In 2017, approximately 39% of total U.S. energy consumption occurred in residential and commercial buildings, which equates to about 38 quadrillion British Thermal Units (BTUs) of energy use. (U.S. Energy Information Administration) The easiest way to reduce operating costs and lower our environmental footprint is to optimize the performance of New York State's office buildings. By doing so, we avoid wasting energy while supporting the health, comfort, and productivity of building occupants.

New York State owns and operates a wide variety of building types and ages, with varied uses. While each building has its own challenges in operations and maintenance, there are many things that facility managers, energy managers, maintenance staff and building tenants can do in any building to improve energy use, save money, and make the space more comfortable and healthy for the occupants. Learn more about how you can help to reduce yearly energy costs and increase the usability and comfort of your buildings.


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Use Renewable Energy

Using renewable energy instead of fossil fuels whenever possible will not only help New York State meet its clean energy goals, lower greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality by reducing particulate emissions, but it can also improve New York State's economy through the creation of new, local jobs in the renewable energy sector. The following resources will help energy managers and other financial decision-makers in your agency to identify opportunities to increase your use of renewable energy.


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Green Your Fleet

Transportation represents the largest source of carbon emission in New York State at 34% of our total, which makes changes in this sector critical to achieving our emissions reduction goals, protecting the health of New Yorkers, and being responsible stewards of the environment. In addition, by using New York State’s clean mix of electricity for powering our vehicles, instead of out-of-state fossil fuels, we can keep billions of fuel dollars in New York State - a boost to the state’s economy. The resources linked below will help fleet managers and other fleet planning decision makers to green their fleet in many ways, including through appropriate purchases of greener vehicles, strategic fleet planning and fleet use management strategies.


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Green Employee Commuting

Five percent of the world's population lives in the U.S., but we own and operate 20% of the world's personal automobiles. Approximately 28% of our total energy consumption is used to move people and goods from one place to another. The largest share of that (nearly 60% in 2013) is consumed by cars, light trucks, and motorcycles.

By encouraging green commuting practices by New York State employees, your agency can help contribute to the state's overall sustainability goals by helping to reduce traffic congestion, emissions, road repair costs, and employee stress levels.

This section includes important tips and resources to help your agency's human resources staff, policy makers and sustainability teams reduce the miles traveled in single-occupancy vehicles (SOVs) to and from work, as well as help drivers transition to electric vehicles (EVs):


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Refrigerant Management

Refrigerants are chemicals used to manage space or water temperatures in equipment such as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) units, chillers, and industrial and commercial foodservice refrigerators and freezers.

If leaked to the atmosphere, refrigerants contribute to climate change, and some are thousands of times more efficient at trapping heat than carbon dioxide.

Leaked refrigerants are now estimated to make up 5% of New York State’s greenhouse gas emissions. They are of growing concern as the adoption of new refrigeration equipment outpaces population growth, and existing systems continue to age.

This section includes the basics of refrigerant management, along with information on how to conduct an inventory of the refrigerants used at your facilities, how to minimize their climate impact, and how to look for more climate-friendly refrigerants.