We’ve all caught a blast of cool air while walking by the open doors of an air-conditioned store during the summer, but did you know that it’s actually illegal for NYC stores to let AC escape so wantonly? The very common practice among retailers may not seem like a big deal but it can mean the expenditure of 25% more energy to compensate for lost cold air. The law regulating the waste of AC has been in effect since 2008, and violating stores can face $200-$400 fines.
The “open door” policy is a familiar problem around the world. Stores want to lure over-heated shoppers inside their cool interiors with the hope that they’ll buy a thing or two while cooling off. New York City has shown its dedication to reducing energy as much as possible by cracking down on the issue since 2008. Almost 30 percent of America’s greenhouse gas emissions are caused by the heating and cooling of large buildings. With this data in tow, the city is on a quest to cut back, starting with simply shutting the doors of our buildings.
Other cities around the world have also tried to advocate this closed door policy, but through citizen-led campaigns, rather than through legislative measures. Volunteers in Seoul and Toronto have rallied to ask retailers and restaurants to personally keep doors closed, putting up congratulatory posters for participants. Both citizen campaigns, nicknamed Doors Closed, have proven successful.
So this summer when you’re window shopping in SoHo, speak up and let stores know it’s the law to keep their doors closed!