First Company to Track, Rate Energy Efficiency of NYC Residential Buildings

Energy management company FS Energy LLC will issue energy report cards for hundreds of New York City residential properties managed by FirstService affiliate, Cooper Square Realty. The first of its kind, this initiative comprehensively monitors and analyzes energy consumption in residential cooperative and condominium high rise buildings, enabling owners and associations to quickly see how efficient their building is compared to others.

Energy Report Cards

Provided free of charge, "Energy Report Cards include an annual potential savings model that enables clients to make informed decisions about the best methods for improving their building's efficiency, rather than arbitrarily speculating about what might provide a good return on investment," said David Kuperberg, CEO of FS Energy. Energy Report Cards were developed using FS Energy's proprietary benchmarking database which for the past two years has tracked historical energy usage, cost and typology information on more than 450 New York City buildings.  This is the first time such a comprehensive database of residential properties has been developed to accurately measure energy efficiency based upon comparison to other buildings in FS Energy's database.

The BERG Score

A key aspect of the Energy Report Card is the Building Energy Rating Guide (BERG), a simplified energy score ranging from one to ten that allows building owners and associations to quickly gauge building efficiency relative to others.  The BERG reflects a building's standing within an extensive database of monitored properties.  

This rating system is comparable to Energy Star™ efficiency ratings for appliances. FS Energy created the BERG to address the need for benchmarking and rating of residential properties.

"In order to improve something, you have to measure it first. The BERG eliminates guesswork and arms our clients with measured data and a roadmap so that they can implement the right energy management strategies for their building," Kuperberg explains. This benchmarking initiative is a step ahead of New York City's Local Law 84 benchmarking initiative – which requires large buildings to benchmark their energy and water usage by May 1 of this year – because the results are provided to buildings now. FS Energy does not anticipate the city's results will be released for another two years.

Energy Report Cards and BERG scores will be issued at least annually to Cooper Square Realty's portfolio of managed residential properties, enabling tracking and measurement of a building's energy reduction initiatives over time. The BERG score is designed to be dynamic, reflecting any energy consumption changes among buildings in the database. This ensures consistently accurate benchmarking year after year, even as industry trends and standards change.

"The response to our Energy Report Cards and BERG scores has been overwhelmingly positive," Kuperberg says. "Clients are beginning to realize that a well designed energy management initiative is not only environmentally beneficial, but can be profitable as well. Our objective is to reduce energy consumption and cost by 25% in our New York City portfolio by 2013, and we are well on our way to reaching this goal," he concludes.

FS Energy is currently working on over two dozen energy efficiency projects as it strives to innovate and drive positive change, both financial and environmental. Solutions can range from no and low cost initiatives to larger projects such as oil to gas conversions, boiler replacements and installation of co-generation systems. In each case, the reduction of operating expenses and increase in property value provides boards and owners with both immediate and long-term savings.  In addition, a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions will lead to a healthier living environment for residents as well as the surrounding community.