News Brief

New York State Launches Initiative to Scale Net-Zero Retrofits

The state has budgeted $30 million to develop a self-sufficient, private sector-based market for deep energy retrofits of multifamily buildings.

The RetrofitNY program is meant to accelerate deep energy retrofits of New York State's existing building stock, starting with multifamily affordable housing projects.

Photo: Jim.henderson. License: Public domain.
The goal of RetrofitNY is to transform the state’s building industry over the next decade by driving the development of scalable solutions for deep energy retrofits of large residential buildings. It’s an initiative of New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) Multifamily Performance Program. RetrofitNY is part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s energy plan, “Reforming the Energy Vision,” which includes an effort to perform deep energy retrofits on 100,000 affordable housing units by 2025.

The core of the initiative is an ongoing design-build competition—starting in August 2017—for affordable, replicable retrofit solutions that are able to reduce energy use by 70% or more. The state will subsidize the implementation of selected solutions on pilot buildings within New York’s affordable housing portfolio.

The results of these initial pilot projects will inform the next iteration of the competition. NYSERDA will organize successive competitive rounds until performance goals are met and the retrofit solutions become cost-effective. When that milestone is met, the goal is for the private sector to retrofit these buildings without additional public subsidies.

RetrofitNY is based on the Dutch program Energiesprong (“energy leap”), which developed a method for rapidly renovating the existing public housing stock in the Netherlands to achieve net-zero energy performance. The RetrofitNY program is working with Energiesprong International to adapt this approach for New York, and to address regulatory and financial challenges particular to the state.

For more information:


Published July 25, 2017

Wilson, J. (2017, July 25). New York State Launches Initiative to Scale Net-Zero Retrofits. Retrieved from

Add new comment

To post a comment, you need to register for a BuildingGreen Basic membership (free) or login to your existing profile.