“A central strategy for improving our energy system is to reduce energy consumption in existing buildings.”

Should we focus on reducing energy consumption in existing buildings, or start focusing on the buildings that are in the process of being built/ will be built in the future? Another words, should we focus on going back to fix things, or should we make sure future infrastructures will be “green” from the very beginning? Either way, even if we focus on both, how do we motivate business owners to get on board with reducing energy consumption? What are the arguments that will be attractive to them? If we want to make a change, we need to make sure everyone finds reducing energy consumption as an important topic that they want to take a part in.

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2 Responses to

  1. jmukofsky says:

    While I think it is important to focus on both the structures that are being built and the buildings already standing, I believe more emphasis should be placed on the constructions in the planning stages and the ones in progress. After reading “PlaNYC”, it has come to my attention of how hard it may be to go back and fix some of the older establishments, especially the ones that have been recorded as landmarks. It will take a lot of time and effort to figure out how to make landmarks “greener” without angering anyone, and to convince building owners to change their ways.

    By focusing on buildings in the process of being built, owners will not have to go back and find a way to update their establishment. Also, these buildings that have “green” infrastructures from the very beginning will be role models, showing old building owners what this new “green” technology can do and how much money they can save from it. Thus making a “greener” system more desirable in the long run. If there is enough proof of low risk of a “green” system failing and high proof of money being saved over time, not many would turn down updating their buildings especially if the government were assisting them financially to do so.

  2. Phoebe Lau says:

    I believe it is more important to focus on building new “greener” infrastructures rather than correcting the old ones. Construction on older establishments may take too much time and resources. PlaNYC proposes offering GreeNYC campaigns to educate New Yorkers on energy efficiency. However, I believe just raising awareness will not be enough incentive for businesses to reduce energy consumption. Tax abatement on solar energy is a better idea since businesses run on policy of maximizing profits and minimizing costs. Increasing taxation on GHG emissions would also encourage businesses to rethink their energy usages.

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