Benchmarking


The NYC Benchmarking Law requires annual energy and water consumption data to be submitted for public disclosure annually by May 1st by owners of buildings that meet the criteria outlined in the law. This increases transparency regarding energy and water usage – the first step for building owners and tenants in making their buildings operate more efficiently.

Local Law 133 of 2016 amended the Administrative Code of the City of New York by expanding the list of buildings required to benchmark for energy and water efficiency. In addition, as of October 31, 2016, the term ‘covered building’ shall not include real property, not more than three stories, consisting of a series of attached, detached or semi-detached dwellings, for which ownership and the responsibility for maintenance of the HVAC systems and hot water heating systems is held by each individual dwelling unit owner, and with no HVAC system or hot water heating system in the series serving more than two dwelling units (also known as ‘garden style’ apartments).

Local Law 33 of 2018 amended the Administrative Code of the City of New York in relation to energy efficiency scores and grades for buildings required to benchmark their energy and water consumption. Energy efficiency scores and grades for these buildings shall be obtained, assigned and disclosed in accordance with the new section §28-309.12 annually, based on benchmarking reporting consistent with Federal energy efficiency standards.

An energy efficiency score is the Energy Star Rating that a building earns using the United States Environmental Protection Agency online benchmarking tool, Energy Star Portfolio Manager, to compare building energy performance to similar buildings in similar climates. Grades based on Energy Star energy efficiency scores will be assigned as follows:

  • A – score is equal to or greater than 90;
  • B – score is equal to or greater than 50 but less than 90;
  • C – score is equal to or greater than 20 but less than 50;
  • D – score is less than 20;
  • F – for buildings that didn’t submit required benchmarking information;
  • N – for buildings exempted from benchmarking or not covered by the Energy Star program.

The energy label will include both a letter grade and the building’s energy efficiency score.

Read Local Law 84: Energy and Water Benchmarking, Local Law 133 of 2016, and Local Law 33 of 2018.


Compliance

Building owners may assign a representative to work in accordance with the operating staff to benchmark the energy and water use of a building. Upload consumption data into the EPA’s online tool, Energy Star Portfolio Manager (ESPM), and submit a report to the City of New York. Submission must be made through ESPM using a unique template created for each compliance year. To retrieve a link to the template as well as for other compliance instructions, visit the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan (GGBP) website.

To find out if you are required to benchmark, please review your property tax bill from the Department of Finance (DOF) for a section called One City Built to Last - Compliance Notification. You may also review the Covered Buildings List published annually on the GGBP website for your borough, block and lot (BBL) number.

If you believe your property is erroneously listed on the Covered Buildings List, contact DOF at benchmarking@finance.nyc.gov to dispute any of the following: square footage of the building, number of buildings on a tax lot, ownership, address or mailing information. Please include the following in the email:

  • borough, block, and lot number of the building
  • contact information: name, email address or/and telephone number
  • reason for dispute.

The DOB Rule provides details on compliance with Local Law 84 (LL84/2009). §103-06 Amendment of Reporting Requirements for Energy and Water Use reflects the expansion of the list of buildings required to benchmark under Local Law 133 (LL133/2016) and has an effective date of June 6, 2018. The updates reflecting Local Law 33 of 2018 will be available at a later time.


Violations for Non-compliance

The Department may issue a Notice of Violation to any property on the Covered Buildings List that has not provided a benchmarking report by the May 1 deadline. Failure to submit a Benchmarking report by May 1 will result in a penalty of $500.00. Continued failure to report usage by the next quarterly deadline will result in additional violations penalties of $500 per violation, up to $2000 per year.

Important Dates:

May 1

1st Deadline

August 1

2nd Deadline

November 1

3rd Deadline

February 1

Last Deadline


NOTE: 2018 Benchmarking Compliance Deadline for the 2017 Calendar Year has been extended. The 2017 calendar year data is now due no later than December 31, 2018. For more information, read the Department’s Service Notice.


Challenging Violations

If you believe a violation was issued in error, you may submit a Benchmarking Violation Challenge Form. This form must be sent to the Department within 30 days of the violation postmark. Email the form to sustainability@buildings.nyc.gov. If you do not have access to email, please mail the form to:

NYC Department of Buildings
Attn: Sustainability Enforcement Unit
280 Broadway 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10007

To follow up on a challenge, please call the (212) 393-2574 or email sustainability@buildings.nyc.gov.

Documentation substantiating a challenge must accompany the challenge form. A challenge may include, but is not necessarily limited to, one of the following:

  1. Proof from the Department of Finance that the building in question is not a covered building as defined in NYC Administrative Code §28-309.2;
  2. Proof of timely benchmarking as indicated by a confirmation email from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Portfolio Manager that includes a date-stamped copy of data released to the city;
  3. Proof that the building was demolished, or was a new building with a NB permit and has not yet obtained a first TCO;
  4. Certification to the Department by a registered design professional (use this Form) where real property is not more than three stories, consisting of a series of attached, detached or semi-detached dwellings, for which ownership and the responsibility for maintenance of the HVAC systems and hot water heating systems is held by each individual dwelling unit owner, and with no HVAC system or hot water heating system in the series serving more than two dwelling units;
  5. Proof of each factor listed in the ‘Exception’ provision of section 28- 309.4.3 of the Administrative Code, including proof of a request for benchmarking assistance, as defined in section 28-309.11 of the Administrative Code. Such proof shall consist of a completed copy of the submitted Request for Benchmarking Assistance form; or
  6. Documentation to be submitted in the case where an Owner is a subsequent bona fide purchaser for the year in question:
    1. Copy of the deed
    2. Notarized affidavit stating that there is no relationship between the previous Owner and the subsequent bonafide purchaser. If the subsequent bonafide purchaser is an entity, the affidavit must be on the entity’s letterhead and signed by the Owner or an officer of the entity. The affidavit must include:
      1. The name of the subsequent bonafide purchaser
      2. The location of the property
      3. A statement that the subsequent bonafide purchaser did not receive the property as a gift
      4. A statement that the subsequent bonafide purchaser had no interest or relationship with the prior owner at the time of purchase; and
      5. A statement that the subsequent bonafide purchaser is not acting in any way for the benefit of the prior Owner.

Resolving Violations

Pay the penalty for failure to file the Benchmarking Report by either certified (bank) check or money order payable to NYC Department of Buildings for the penalty amount stated, as per Title 1 of the Rules of the City of New York §103-06(l).

Mail your payment to:
NYC Department of Buildings
Attn: Sustainability Enforcement Unit
280 Broadway, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10007

NOTE: All payments must be mailed in; hand- delivery will not be accepted.

Please include a copy of the violation in your mailing.

The status of a violation can be found online by using the Department’s Building Information System at any time. To follow up by email, please send inquiries to sustainability@buildings.nyc.gov with the building’s BBL, BIN, address and violation number.


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