Back in December, the City Council of New York passed a proposal requiring landlords to audit their buildings' energy use once a decade and publish the results (good), but made making investments to reduce their energy waste optional (not so good). We recently came across an interesting article in The New York Times about individuals and organizations that are working to help landlords and tenants negotiate a "green lease" as a way to share the costs and benefits of energy upgrades.
It's hardly surprising that while many tenants might prefer their building to be energy-efficient (for global concerns as well as for their own check book), many property owners aren't wiling to shell out money for the necessary energy upgrades. So last fall, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Environmental Defense Fund, and Cycle 7, a consulting company, held a forum with major landlords, tenants, and brokers to discuss how a new "green lease" might work. It's tricky because many landlords are hesitant to ask any more of their tenants in an unstable economy, but it's possible that in the future there might be a time when a list of useful retrofits and their shared cost might make its way into your lease agreement.
What do you think about this? Would you be willing to help pay for the cost of retrofitting your apartment building to make it more energy-efficient?
Read the whole article here.
(Image: Flickr member Sashfatcat licensed for use under Creative Commons)