With the rising concern for climate change and energy consumption, global, national, and local policies attempt to reduce carbon emission and energy usage. Starting in 2010, the city of Rochester established a climate action plan which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% in the year 2030 (City of Rochester, NY, 2017). The city recognizes rental homes are a promising source to mitigate energy consumption and carbon emissions, a type of greenhouse gas. Minimum energy standards for rentals (MESR) are a relatively new type of policy which can help achieve energy and carbon reduction goals. By using an existing framework outlined by the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), this research aims to investigate the energy and carbon savings as well as an assessment of costs to the city of Rochester. The results help determine that a MESR is a viable policy solution for the city of Rochester to reach its energy and environmental goals. Comparisons to other cities will verify the that the preliminary results are realistic. Conclusions from the results of the cost analysis provides insight on how the city of Rochester should proceed with developing a MESR to address energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. Due to Rochester’s dense population of low-income households and rigorous climate goals, several aspects of the MESR need to be carefully designed, so rental units become more affordable for tenants and the city can achieve their 2030 greenhouse gas reduction target.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Rental housing--Energy consumption--New York (State)--Rochester; Energy consumption--Government policy--New York (State)--Rochester; Carbon dioxide mitigation-- Government policy--New York (State)--Rochester

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Science, Technology and Public Policy (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Public Policy (CLA)


Eric Hittinger

Advisor/Committee Member

Nathan Lee

Advisor/Committee Member

Jenna Lawson


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes