Real Estate Weekly
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Saving money is clear as daylight

By Steven Spinola

For one hour, New York lowered its lights to raise awareness.

REBNY staff get ready to switch off the lights.
REBNY staff get ready to switch off the lights.

Green Light New York, an ambitious non-profit organization that connects the real estate industry to energy and lighting efficiency solutions, recently organized the Daylight Hour.

For this campaign, which took place Friday between noon and 1 p.m., office buildings turned off their lights in day-lit spaces for one hour to raise awareness about the energy and money that can be saved by not using lighting when it isn’t needed .

“On average, about 30 percent of NYC office space can easily accommodate daylight controls,” said Yetsuh Frank, managing director of Strategy & Programs at Green Light.

“Taken together, this chunk of square footage is larger than any other central business district in the United States.

“Green Light offers lots of resources to help people navigate the technical issues of retrofitting daylight controls, but the first road block is just making people aware of how often we subconsciously leave the lights on when we don’t need them.

“The Daylight Hour is designed to raise awareness and get people thinking about what they might do to use their lights less when daylight is available.”

The event was intended to draw attention to the availability of daylighting, a strategy which could save tremendous amounts of money if practiced correctly.

Green Light New York’s recent study, “Let There Be Daylight,” states that at least 114 million square feet of New York City office space could easily adopt daylighting controls and achieve annual electric peak demand reduction of up to 160 megawatts, and electricity savings of 340 gigawatt hours.

To put this in perspective, 1 gigawatt hour could sustain roughly 1,000,000 U.S. homes for one hour. Green Light New York estimates that this energy use reduction would result in annual savings of over $70 million for building owners and tenants in New York City. In addition, the time when daylight is most available is also when our demand for energy is highest. This ‘peak demand’ occurs on summer afternoons when we are all in our offices running the air conditioning and our computers.

Replacing electric lighting with daylighting would greatly reduce the strain placed on the grid, and at the time when we are running the oldest, least efficient power plants.

“Taking advantage of daylighting saves energy, of course, but most importantly the times when daylight is most available coincides with peak demand,” said Frank. “Daylight is the perfect lighting system. It’s reliable, low maintenance, wireless, and it’s free.”

Organizations that participated in the Daylight Hour, including REBNY, posted pictures of their offices at the beginning and end of the hour to social media.

Green Light New York will be estimating the energy and money saved by the participants turning the lights down and recognizing those that have had the greatest impact.

On June 25, Green Light New York is hosting the Efficiency Demo Rodeo, a singular event that brings together presentations by Federal, State and local agencies offering significant funding for energy efficiency demonstration projects.

To register, or for information on their other programs and the Daylight Hour initiative, please visit

In other REBNY news:

July 9 is the Residential Sales Council, which will be taking place between noon and 2 p.m. in the REBNY Litwin Classroom. Open to all REBNY Sales Agents and Broker C members (Associate Broker) providing an opportunity to be more active and share their ideas concerning business practices and examining market trends. For more information contact Yesenia Perez at

July 11 is the RSC Executive Committee, from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the REBNY Burton Resnick Conference Room. The RSC Executive Committee is a subcommittee of the Residential Sales Council, and is open only to RSC executive members and by invitation. For more information, contact Jeanne Oliver Taylor at

July 15 from 9:30am – 11am: Eric Barron, CEO of Keller Williams NYC will lead our Residential Sales Agent Boot Camp: “Don’t Be Afraid of the Phone” Sales Agent Boot Camp is a free seminar offered to Residential REBNY members and geared towards agents who have been licensed 3 years or less. To register contact:

From now through Friday August 29: REBNY is partnering with The Food Bank for New York City for our annual Summer Donation Drive. Help us fight hunger in New York City.

More than 400,000 meals are served to hungry New Yorkers daily through the Food Bank’s network of over 1,000 food pantries, shelters, and soup kitchens. We’re collecting canned goods at our office, 570 Lexington Avenue, 2nd floor.

For more information on how you can participate contact:


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