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Mayor launches green retrofit assistance program

Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks onstage during the

Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks onstage during the celebration of God's Love We Deliver returning to Soho with a dedication of the new Michael Kors building on June 9, 2015 in New York City. Photo Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images for God's Love We Deliver

New York City will offer free assistance and advice to building owners in a program to make the city greener, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday.

The NYC Retrofit Accelerator created a team of "efficiency advisers" that will provide building owners with tips and financial options for retrofitting their properties to emit less carbon. The initiative is a part of the mayor's plan to cut the city's greenhouse emissions by 80% by 2050. "Business as usual simply won't do when our very survival is at stake," the mayor said in a statement. "We're ensuring that building owners have the tools they need to go green." New York City buildings produce nearly three-quarters of the city's emissions, according to the mayor's office. De Blasio's environmental plan is expected to cut greenhouse gas emission by around one million metric tons in 10 years by speeding up retrofits in up to 1,000 buildings per year.

The administration noted that the retrofit plan could save New Yorkers $350 million a year in utility costs and add 400 construction jobs.

The retrofit push dovetails with the city's upgrade of building heating systems. No. 6 heating oil, the most polluting heating oil, was phased out of the city during the summer. Bbout 6,000 buildings converted to the greener No. 4 oil, the mayor's office said.

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