New York City’s Local Energy Performance Laws

New York City Mayor Bloomberg, in December of 2009,  signed the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan which is aimed to increase the energy efficiency of the city’s existing buildings and new construction.

The target of the law is aimed at reducing greenhouse gas of CO2 emissions by 4.5 million metric tons by 2030.  This is the equivalent to nearly 7.5 percent of citywide 2005 baseline emissions. As CO2 emissions are directly proportional to energy usage, the plan incorporates laws that pertain to benchmarking energy and water use (since water also uses a lot of energy in it’s processing and transport). The Greener, Greater Buildings Plan incorporates Local Law 84, which centers around benchmarking energy and water use to provide a baseline for the future energy efficiency measures to be implemented.

Under the new Local Law 84, all New York City buildings greater than 50,000 square feet must report energy usage benchmarks to the City’s Department of Finance by May 1, 2011 and every year thereafter.  Water usage benchmarks also must be reported in buildings equipped with Department of Environmental Protection automatic meter reading equipment for the previous year.  The purpose of the benchmarking, which is part of New York City’s greening initiative, is to provide usage information to the City and help board members make fully informed decisions.  There is no disruption to building operations when benchmarking is performed, and the law does not require any further action after the benchmarks have been reported.

Under the new Local Law 87, also part of the City’s greening initiative, buildings are required to submit to the Department of Finance an energy efficiency audit of the building’s central systems (e.g., HVAC, elevators, hot water and electrical and lighting systems), once every 10 years.  The audit must be performed by a professional certified in accordance with the standards of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers.  One benefit of the audit is the required presentation by the auditor to the Board of what was found and how the building can be made more energy efficient.  The first cycle of Local Law 87 will be due at the end of December 2013.  Your individual building’s required due date will be determined by the last number of your block.

Related Links:

The Benchmarking Law
The Greener, Greater Buildings Plan

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