New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine October 2020 free digital issue

HABITAT

NEW YORK CITY

New audit reveals the city is not following its own strict new rules.

DOB Inspectors Are Exempt From Onsite Temperature Checks

Written by Bill Morris on November 20, 2020

New York City

Co-op and condo boards learn that their diligence has its limits.

Pandemic and low interest rates combine to raise the bar for homebuyers.

Residents of San Francisco, Austin and Elizabeth, N.J., pay more.

City services could be squeezed by pandemic-induced revenue loss.

 
 

Earth Day is just a few weeks away. In fact, it's exactly one week after tax day, April 15. And that's a great opportunity for co-op and condo boards to do bit of good for the planet while earning some tax deductions by giving to charity. How?

One way is for co-op and condo boards to coordinate with The United War Veterans Council (UWVC) Recycling Program, the largest recycling program of its kind in New York City. In 2014 alone, program organizers collected a scale-tipping 1,488 tons — that's more than 2.9 million pounds — of clothing and household goods. And they are still hard at work collecting. 

The new water rates are kicking in this year, and much like rents in the city that never sleeps, they are skyrocketing. We've already told you how boards can save money by taking a cold, hard look at the, erm, toilet. Another obvious place where boards might translate water savings into dollar savings, however, is in the shower. Right now, a 20-minute shower costs $95 per year in water alone, not including the cost of heating it. And if you're thinking low-flow means low pressure, we have some good news for you.

Ask the Attorney: Has Local Law 87 Gone Loco?

Written by Geoffrey R. Mazel on April 07, 2015

New York City

I am a board member of a co-op in the city of New York that contains multiple blocks and lots. We just submitted our first energy audit under Local Law 87 and the professional fees have become extremely expensive, since the city's Department of Buildings (DOB) keeps sending us more and more objections. If we have to go through this for numerous years we will be spending tens of thousands of dollars. Is there anything that can be done?

For nearly a decade, NYSERDA has led the charge in the green energy business for multifamily buildings, offering buildings hefty incentives for making improvements that reduce a building's energy usage. To participate in the programs, buildings must first select a partner that has been approved by NYSERDA. The partner, frequently an engineering firm, conducts an initial energy audit of the building's systems; helps the building decide which projects to tackle and in what order; vets the work done by various vendors to make sure they meet NYSERDA's standards; and files necessary paperwork so a building can get the coveted rebates.

Besides dwindling rebates, there are other changes on the horizon. The application process, for example, could change or be phased out. And local utilities will probably fill the incentive void. The state's Public Service Commission clean energy fund is currently reviewing NYSERDA's proposal, which includes changes to how the agency operates.

On April 22, Earth Day marks its 45th anniversary. This year, Earth Day Network, the folks behind the green initiative, are encouraging everyone to be more environmentally friendly. So, what can your co-op or condo board do to make a difference? 

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