Lights Out for NYC Office Towers?

New York City Councilman Donovan Richards recently introduced a bill to require commercial buildings to turn off the lights at night when no one is working inside. The rules would affect approximately 40,000 buildings—mostly office buildings. The bill includes a fine of $1,000 for violators.

Landmark buildings with more than 20 floors could apply for an exemption, thus preserving New York’s nighttime skyline. Exemptions would also be available for buildings with proven security needs and stores with holiday displays.

Under similar rules, Paris cut 250,000 tons of carbon emissions, and has a quarter of the buildings New York does, according to Richards. His bill, he says, would help New York reach its goal of slashing emissions by 80 percent by 2050.