New York’s Empire State Building (ESB) – which was built in 1931 and so will be 80 this year – has announced that it will soon offset its energy use by purchasing wind energy credits.
Malkin Holdings, the company that manages the ESB, will purchase enough credits to offset 100% of the landmark tower’s annual energy use.
They sealed a deal this first week of 2011 to buy 55 million kilowatt-hours per year from Green Mountain Energy. According to Inhabitat, “The energy certificates are backed by NRG Energy‘s wind power facilities in New Jersey, and will cover the ESB’s entire annual energy usage.”
As Inhabitat’s article smartly notes, the Empire State Building is not now 100% wind-powered. It’s just offsetting 100% of its energy use through the purchase of green credits.
This move is part of a “green makeover” announced for the Empire State Building in 2009. Again, according to Inhabitat:
Some of the measures included the Empire State Building’s renovation agenda include a total overhaul of the HVAC system, improvements to the building envelope, triple-glazed windows, electronic readouts to make users aware of their personal energy consumption, maximized daylighting, tenant demand ventilation control, and occupant sensor controls.
The Empire State Building is in pretty deep need of an energy retrofitting. The New York landmark was completed in 1931.
A few million other buildings on Earth could use some additional work, too. In the United States, office buildings like the Empire State Building account for a full 40% of national energy use. Let’s hope the purchase of wind energy credits by the Empire State Building becomes part of a much-needed trend.
Beth Lebwohl researches, writes and helps produce science content in audio and video formats for EarthSky. She is one of the authors on EarthSky.org, a script-writer for our podcasts, and helps host our English science podcasts in 90-second, 8-minute and 22-minute formats. Beth came to EarthSky in 2006 from the American Museum of Natural History's Department of Astrophysics, where she was surrounded by some of the greatest telescope-building, equation-wielding, code-writing physicists of our time. And they made her think . . . this science thing . . . it's pretty cool.