Memo Regarding Intro No. 722


BILL: Intro No 722-A (Williams)

SUBJECT: Amends the administrative code of the city of New York in relation to minimum

temperatures required to be maintained in dwellings.

DATE: January 13th, 2015

The Real Estate Board of New York (“REBNY”), representing over 17,000 owners, developers, managers and brokers of real property in New York City, is writing to voice our opposition to Introduction No 722-A.

The bill demands that between October 1 to May 31, residential building owners who are required to provide heat for their tenants must maintain certain minimum temperatures in areas of dwelling units that are used or occupied for living purposes. This bill would amend existing law to increase both the indoor minimum temperature and outside temperature that triggers the heating requirement. Between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., the indoor temperature would have to be kept at 72 degrees or above (raised from 68) and between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., the indoor temperature would have to be kept at 65 degrees or above (raised from 55).

Over the past two years, REBNY has been working closely with the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability and other stakeholders to reduce our city’s overall greenhouse gas emissions by an ambitious 80 percent by the year 2050. This task is critical as the planet becomes warmer, oceans begin to rise and every single living creature on this planet is under threat. It is estimated that 70 percent of New York City’s total greenhouse gas emissions are directly attributable to the city’s buildings. If enacted, this bill would only increase that share as heating and cooling constitute a significant portion of a building’s total energy consumption. It is not uncommon for a multi-family building of 100-200 units to have over half of its total energy consumption dedicated to heating and up to 10% of its total operating costs on heating alone. To put it simply, if this bill is enacted, it would defeat and minimize every effort that our membership has initiated to reduce the carbon footprint and reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions.

Indeed, this bill goes above and beyond the minimum indoor dwelling heating temperatures recommended by the US Environmental Protection Agency which are less than 70 degrees during the daytime and 62 degrees during the night.

Finally, the increases in minimum indoor temperatures mandated by this bill will not only increase greenhouse gas emissions but heating costs as well. Such additional costs could legally be passed on to tenants in the form of increased rents which could significantly impact the City’s affordable housing stock.

For these reasons, REBNY vehemently voices its strong opposition to Intro 722-A.