In New York City, almost two thirds of heat-trapping pollution comes from buildings. The Greener, Greater Buildings Plan set the critical groundwork for subsequent climate legislation around building energy efficiency, energy and water consumption, and more.
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Local Law 84: Benchmarking
The NYC Benchmarking Law requires owners of large buildings to annually measure their energy and water consumption in a process called benchmarking. The law standardizes this process by requiring building owners to enter their annual energy and water use in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) online tool, ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager® and use the tool to submit data to the City. This data informs building owners about a building's energy and water consumption compared to similar buildings, and tracks progress year over year to help in energy efficiency planning.
Benchmarking data is also disclosed publicly, analyzed in reports, visualized in the NYC Energy & Water Performance Map, and used to develop free resources to help building owners use less energy and save money.
Follow the Benchmarking Compliance Instructions to complete your annual benchmarking process. Building owners are subject to a penalty if usage data is not submitted by May 1 every year.
The annual benchmarking process includes:
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 85;
B – score is equal to or greater than 70 but less than 85;
C – score is equal to or greater than 55 but less than 70;
D – score is less than 55;
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.
Local Law 133 of 2016 amended the Administrative Code of the City of New York in relation to 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).
NYC Energy Conservation Code (NYCECC): Local Law 85
No longer exempting renovations affecting less than half of the building system, Local Law 85 (LL85), the second law in the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan (GGBP), now requires buildings to meet the most current energy code for any renovation or alteration project. LL85's requirement is based on a series of local energy laws, collectively called New York City Energy Conservation Code (NYCECC). NYCECC currently comprises the 2010 Energy Conservation Construction Code of New York State (ECCCNYS), Local Law 85 of 2009, Local Law 48 of 2010 and Local Law 1 of 2011.
Energy Audits and Retro-Commissioning: Local Law 87
Local Law 87 requires large buildings to audit, retro-commission, and submit information to the City. The audit and retro-commissioning information includes the following:
The New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) has published a rule to provide more details on how to perform energy audits and retro-commissioning to comply with LL87.
The energy audit and retro-commissioning process requires the following:
In alignment with annual benchmarking, these measures will work to optimize buildings' energy performance.
Local Law 88: Lighting Upgrades & Sub-metering
Local Law 88 requires large non-residential buildings to upgrade lighting to meet current New York City Energy Conservation Code standards, and to install electrical sub-meters for each large non-residential tenant space and provide monthly energy statements.