New York city officials to impose air conditioning waste ban

Shops and restaurants must close their doors while running their air conditioning or else face a fine

Sustainability officials for the US city of New York have said they will be getting tougher on city businesses who open their front doors while running their air conditioning systems.

City wardens will be handing out fines of up to $250 to any businesses found “air conditioning the sidewalk”, as the practice has been sarcastically termed.

Air conditioning is one of the most damaging technologies for the earth’s ozone layer. Powering the energy-guzzling units generates worrying amounts of greenhouse gas emissions.

To tackle the issue, new air conditioning solutions which are significantly more environmentally-friendly are being developed. However, as the world slowly undergoes the transition to these more sustainable options, the city of New York is taking matters into its own hands.

Sustainability officials successfully got a law passed in Autumn last year which makes it a finable offence for shops and restaurants to open their windows and doors whilst also operating their air conditioning system.

Up until July 1 this year, city wardens could only issue warnings to businesses which violated the rule. However, the new law has now come into full effect and city officials will be on the prowl looking for shops and restaurants who flout the rules in favour of wastefulness.

As is to be expected, many New York city business owners are irritated by the new law, as they believe opening their front doors helps to increase customer footfall.

The Natural Resources Defence Council for the city says that preventing shops and restaurants from opening their doors and running their AC simultaneously can help save them up to $1,000 each summer in energy bills.

However, Brooklyn sandwich shop owner, Paul DiSpirito, told the “It’s not the government’s place to tell me to keep my energy bills low. Me, as a businessman, to survive, I have to keep my energy bills low.”

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