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Trump Tower Among City’s Worst Energy Hogs

Midtown, Manhattan

Trump Energy Hog
Dec. 11, 2018

It’s big. It’s tacky. It’s crawling with cops, and a resident died recently in a fire in one of its sprinkler-less apartments. Now Trump Tower can add something new to its long list of virtues: it’s one of the city’s worst energy hogs

At a time when the city council is debating legislation that would require building owners, including co-op and condo boards, to install retrofits to meet stringent energy-efficiency requirements, Trump Tower stands out as one of the worst polluters in a city where buildings produce 70 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, Crain’s reports.

Trump Tower, the 58-story office and residential condo building on Fifth Avenue where the Trump Organization has its headquarters, has an Energy Star score of 44, 30 percent below the median, according to energy data released by the city. An Energy Star score is based on a formula developed by the federal Environmental Protection Agency to evaluate energy efficiency while taking into account extenuating factors such as property type and how densely a building is occupied. Energy Star scores will be a major factor in computing the letter grades New York City buildings will receive to rate their energy efficiency beginning in 2020. 

According to city data, the building consumed 208,000 BTUs per square foot last year, almost 68 percent more than the median figure. It produced 7.2 metric tons of greenhouse gases per square foot, nearly 40 percent above the median. The Trump World Tower near the United Nations and the Trump International Hotel & Tower at Columbus Circle have even lower Energy Star ratings. 

Trump Tower's abysmal performance was pointed out last week by city councilman Mark Levine during a hearing to discuss legislation that would require buildings to install energy-efficient systems that will reduce their emissions 40 percent by the year 2030. That legislation is intended as a booster shot to the city’s ambitious goal to reduce its total carbon output 80 percent by the year 2050. The Real Estate Board of New York has already pushed back, saying the legislation would make “overwhelming” demands on building owners. 

"The smokestacks in New York City are tall, big buildings, which are producing upwards of two-thirds of the greenhouse gases," Levine said at the hearing. "Exhibit A on this actually is Trump Tower. Shockingly, Trump Tower is amongst the least energy-efficient buildings in New York City.” 

Or maybe it’s not so shocking – when you consider that the man whose name is on the black-and-gold tower scoffs at the science of climate change, works hard to roll back environmental protections, promotes the burning of fossil fuels as well as increased oil and gas drilling.

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