empstNew York City was built up a long, long time ago when energy efficiency wasn’t part of the plan. So nowadays buildings consume a lot of power, costing owners millions of dollars each year.

That’s why New York is all set to retrofit skyscrapers to help reduce carbon emissions, most notably the Empire State Building, which is slated to get a $20 million green makeover:

On the outside, the building will get 6500 windows refurbished into triple-glazed insulated modules, dramatically improving summer and winter efficiency. On the inside, the 78 year-old building is getting upgraded lighting, lighting controls and lighting design; upgraded or overhauled furnaces, chillers, and air-handlers. There will also be an emphasis put on demand-side management systems, allowing tenants to use their energy efficiently.

“Commercial and residential buildings account for the majority of the total carbon footprint of cities around the world – over 70 percent in New York City,” said Anthony E. Malkin of building owner, Empire State Building Company. “Most new buildings are built with the environment in mind, but the real key to substantial progress is reducing existing building energy consumption and carbon footprint.”

Actually, New York has been very active in the green revolution, such as instituting a statewide recycling program for plastic bags, subway rides that donate money to environmental programs and an apartment building in Brooklyn just got a solar roof.

Via CleanTechnica.