Empire State Building Switches To 100% Renewable Energy

Caretakers of the Empire State Building announced that the architectural icon recently set a new standard for excellence by becoming the largest commercial purchaser of renewable power in the state.

According to the New York Times, the Empire State Building will purchase over 50 million kilowatt-hours worth of renewable energy certificates annually — enough to cover its yearly electricity consumption.

The two-year renewable energy contract was purchased from carbon offset retailer Green Mountain Energy Company (recently acquired by NRG Energy New Jersey), and will be sourced through wind power facilities.

The iconic building occupies about 2.85 million square feet and is estimated to use approximately 55 million kilowatt-hours of energy each year (Seer Press). By offsetting all of its electricity consumption, the Empire State Building will avoid 100 million pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

That’s the equivalent of:

  • Nearly every house in New York State turning off all their lights for a week;
  • Taking approximately 40 million fewer cab rides; or
  • Planting nearly 150,000 trees–more than 6 times the number of trees in Central Park.

In July 2010, the Empire State Building unveiled a $2 million interactive, multi-media sustainability exhibit at the second floor visitor’s center, which showcases a $20 million energy retrofit project aimed at educating the millions of people who visit the building every year on the positive global impact of both energy-efficient building and sustainable living practices.

“It was a natural fit for us to combine 100% clean energy with our nearly completed, ground breaking energy efficiency retrofit work,” said Anthony E. Malkin, president of Malkin Holdings which supervises the Empire State Building.

“Clean energy and our nearly 40 percent reduced consumption of watts and BTUs gives us a competitive advantage in attracting the best credit tenants at the best rents,” Malkin continued. “Our program of innovation at the Empire State Building shows simple, replicable, non-proprietary steps for other landlords to follow to be more energy efficient, cleaner and greener.”

Image Credit: Flickr - Ami's

109 comments

Erin H.
Erin H.5 years ago

Interesting article, thanks

Charles B.
Charles B.5 years ago

Excellent! Thank you Beth.

jane richmond
jane richmond5 years ago

About time!

Lelle T.
Lelle T.5 years ago

this is really inspiring and what a great and informative article - i am so happy to have read it!

Cesar V.
Cesar Villanueva5 years ago

very smart

Don Isaksen
Don I.5 years ago

While the announcement of the Empire State Building switching to 100% renewable energy sounds good, they are still not going to be running completely on renewable energy. Buying Carbon Offset Certificates doesn't mean anything other than they support the idea that buying carbon offsets (another big government fiasco to create revenue from bad science) will change the world. In reality, the electricity being produced by the supposed green sources, goes into the huge electrical grid system every other electricity providers electricity goes into. It only means the Empire State Building is paying a lot of extra money for the electricity they're consuming in support of a company whose green energy farm of windmills is having an unnecessarily bad effect on the wildlife that lived in the area the farm was built upon. Frankly, ... I feel Wind Farms and Solar Farms are a blight on the once pristine, natural countrysides they're being built on.
I have a hard time understanding why people are trying to get rid of one of the best, ORIGINAL, sources of renewable energy (dams that generate huge quantities of electricity), in favor of much more expensive, less reliable, wind and solar energy.

If the people managing the Empire State Building feel better paying much more money for their electricity by buying Carbon Offset Certificates so they can CLAIM they are using 100% renewable energy, I guess it's a good think for them. It doesn't impress me alot, but it's obviously important

Phyllis vargo
Phyllis vargo5 years ago

That's great news - not only is the building an icon, it's also hopefully a trendsetter.

Phyllis vargo
Phyllis vargo5 years ago

This is wonderful news - not only is the building an icon, it's now also hopefully a trendsetter!

Tonya Freeman
Tonya Freeman5 years ago

Fantastic! Slowly but surely things are changing for us and future generations. I give thanks!

Niculescu Bogdan
Niculescu Bogdan5 years ago

good to hear