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New York City Buildings Now Required To Display Recently Released Energy Efficiency Grades

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The grades are in and half of New York City's buildings are considered energy deficient.

Now you can know exactly where they are, as they are targeted to address climate change, CBS2's Aundrea Cline-Thomas reported Thursday.

When it comes to a building's energy efficiency you may have recently noticed. Now, there's no hiding if they're making the grade.

"Our city has over 1 million buildings, and the energy that it takes to heat and cool those buildings are responsible for the lion's share of our contributions to climate change," said New York City Director of Sustainability Mark Chambers.

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From an "A" to a "D," new ratings are now required to be posted on large buildings or else the building owners could face fines of more than $1,200.

NYC building efficiency grades
Buidlings in New York City are now required to display the grades they have received for energy efficiency. (Photo: CBS2)

It's part of Mayor Bill de Blasio's "Green New Deal," which was first touted last year.

"The more we understand where buildings are on that path, the better understanding we have of what steps we need to take to make improvements," said John Mandyck of the Urban Green Council.

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But One Bryant Park, the first LEED Platinum skyscraper, which set a standard for green construction, earned a "D."

Grades are generated based on how similarly sized buildings perform across the country.

"Because the system is a one-size-fits-all that measures us against half-empty buildings in suburban office parks in Arizona, New York City skyscrapers don't score particularly well," said Jordan Barowitz of The Durst Organization, a leading commercial and real estate company.

The city acknowledges the grades don't always tell the full story, but said it's the first step is starting the conversation and getting a commitment from everyone to do their part to help the environment.

Some are concerned the cost of building upgrades could be passed onto tenants, but advocates say making buildings energy efficient actually saves money long term. The city is providing building owners with resources, like low-interest loans, to help.

Right now, there is still a grace period, but eventually fines will be handed out.

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