Energy Conservation

We are committed to supporting the City’s goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by:

  • 35 percent as of 2025
  • 80 percent by 2050

The Energy Team in the Sustainability Office works closely with other City agencies, non-profit partners, school staff and students to raise awareness around climate change and energy conservation. We also work in partnership with the Department of Citywide Administrative Services Division of Energy Management (DCAS DEM) to implement:

  • Energy efficiency programs in school buildings
  • Energy conservation programs at schools through:
    • Energy Benchmarking
    • Demand Response Management
    • Solar photovoltaic projects
    • Education and Outreach
    • Turning off unnecessary overhead lighting
    • Reducing elevator service and other equipment loads
    • Increasing space temperatures

Building Energy Benchmarking

DOE benchmarks its buildings' energy consumption using the EPA's Energy Star Portfolio Manager in order to track and analyze current building energy performance against the baseline.

Demand Response Program

The Demand Response program is an electricity grid and utility-run program which not only reduce energy usage but also offer financial incentives to partner City facilities. During times of peak electricity demand or an emergency, participating buildings are paid to shed electric load to reduce the strain on New York City’s electricity grid.

Over 290 our buildings participate in the program by:

  • Turning off unnecessary overhead lighting
  • Reducing elevator service and other equipment loads
  • Increasing space temperatures

We are dedicated to reducing 18 megawatts of power as part of the City’s 50 megawatt goal.

Solar PV Projects

More than 30 of our school buildings are running off of solar power generated from solar photovoltaic panels installed on the roof. Through Mayor de Blasio’s OneNYC goal goal to install 100 megawatts of solar capacity, 24 projects at DOE schools have been completed, with another 100 solar projects to be completed at schools over the next few years. School buildings are ideal candidates for solar PV as such, a large portion of the 100 megawatt goal will be performed at NYC schools.

Education and Outreach

Every person in a DOE building can contribute to reducing energy usage through simple actions, such as shutting off the lights. Schools can participate in one of a few energy challenges held every year. Schools that reduce the most energy wins money for their school.

We partner with other city agencies and non-profits such as Solar One to work with schools by:

  • Integrating solar education into existing curriculum
  • Enhancing STEM education around renewable energy
  • Using Solar One’s Green Design Lab Energy curriculum to
    • conduct professional development workshops
    • deliver hands-on training and resources as needed 
    • Plug your electronics into power strips.
    • Turn off the lights when you leave a room.
    • Set your thermostat to 68° F in the winter.
    • Close windows when you have the heat or A/C on.
    • Take the stairs.
    • Use daylight instead of artificial light when possible.

We train and support Sustainability Coordinators, Custodial Engineers, school staff and students to promote energy conservation in our school buildings.

Tips for Energy Conservation

  • Plug your electronics into power strips.
  • Turn off the lights when you leave a room.
  • Set your thermostat to 68° F in the winter.
  • Close windows when you have the heat or A/C on.
  • Take the stairs.
  • Use daylight instead of artificial light when possible.
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