Housing accounts for more than a third of our community’s overall energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. To reduce New Rochelle’s city-wide reliance on fossil fuels (and to cut down on wasteful spending), we have to encourage sensible conservation measures. That is why New Rochelle’s draft sustainability plan, GreeNR, contains a host of initiatives intended to give residents and property owners information, tools, and options for achieving greater efficiency.
At a press conference today, the City announced a great new partnership aimed at achieving these goals. We are teaming up with Local 32BJ, the union that represents building superintendents, to offer a “Green Supers” training program to teach supers about managing efficient buildings. Supers who complete the five-week, forty-hour course will receive certification from the Building Performance Institute.
Efficient buildings use less energy and water while providing a more comfortable and healthful environment for residents. With more than fifty multi-family buildings in New Rochelle that are managed by Local 32BJ’s superintendents, the improvements achieved through this program will benefit a significant share of our population.
New Rochelle’s program is modeled on a similar effort undertaken by 32BJ and Mayor Bloomberg in New York City. This is the first time the program has been offered outside the Big Apple, and that’s a credit to our Sustainability Coordinator, Deborah Newborn, who was instrumental in forging this local partnership.
Funding for the program comes through a green workforce development component of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (a.k.a. “the stimulus bill.”) No City funds are being used, but we are happy to make our City Hall Annex available as a venue for the classes.