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Energy Efficiency: How to Comply With Local Law 87


New York is a city with over 8 million people living within thousands of buildings and getting transported in thousands of cars as well. As you can imagine, the carbon footprint of the city is not negligible.

Actually in 2016, New York City (NYC) buildings were responsible for 67 % of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by using natural gas, steam, heating oil and consuming electricity from fossil fuels, representing over 35 megatons of carbon dioxide (CO2) released into the atmosphere. The transportation sector was responsible for the remaining 30% of GHG emissions accounting for almost 15 megatons of CO2 emissions.As a way to reduce these GHG emissions, the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability released in 2009 the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan(GGBP)  which focuses on targeting energy efficiency goals on the large buildings of New York that represent less than 2% of its properties. As little as it may sound, 2% actually represents over 15,000 buildings with over 50,000 square feet that account for almost 50% of NYC total energy consumption.

The GGBP consists of four principal regulatory pieces supported by the New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation that can be seen below:

  • Local Law 84: Benchmark building energy and water consumption

  • Local Law 85: NYC Energy Conservation Code

  • Local Law 87: Complete Energy Audits & Retro-commissioning

  • Local Law 88: Lighting & Sub-metering

What is Local Law 87?

Local Law 87 (LL87)  consists of a regulatory frame in NYC that requires large buildings to audit, retro-commission and submit an energy report to the NYC Department of Buildings (DoB). This local law is enacted in order to help New York achieve its sustainability goals by auditing the energy performance of the most demanding buildings and improving (if needed) the efficiency of the building’s equipment, systems or electrical installations.

How to Effectively Comply With Local Low 87. 1

Who needs to comply with LL87?

There are three categories of buildings that fall under the jurisdiction of LL87:

  • Any building that exceeds 50,000 gross square feet.

  • Two or more buildings on the same tax lot that together surpass 100,000 gross square feet

  • Two or more buildings held in the condominium form of ownership that are governed by the same board of managers and that together exceed 100,000 gross square feet.

Are there any exceptions for LL87?

A building covered under LL87 can be exempted to comply with this Local Law 87 if the building has received an Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) Energy Star label for at least two of three years preceding the filing of the building energy efficiency report that is to be issued under LL87.  

The building can also be exempted to comply if a registered design professional submits documentation to prove that the building’s energy performance is 25 or more points better than the performance of an average building of its type.

How is the energy audit performed?

During the energy audit, a specialized energy auditor needs to develop a technical process to identify the building operational needs including temperature and humidity set points, operating hours and electricity consumption to develop proposals and improvements to the base building systems such as:

  • HVAC systems

  • Conveying systems

  • Hot water systems

  • Building envelope

  • Electrical and lighting systems.

Proposals might include modifications to correct deficiencies such as cleaning, adjustments of valves, sensors, controls or changes in operational practices. Moreover, proposals could also include the installation of new energy-efficient equipment, insulation or energy management system that allows optimizing the energy performance of the building.

What are the requirements of LL87?

The requirements are stated as:

  • The building owner must submit all pertinent information in an electronic Energy Efficiency Report (EER)

  • How to Effectively Comply With Local Low 87. 2

    Buildings covered under LL87 must submit an audit and retro-commissions every 10 years.

  • The year to comply is established according to the last digit of the building's tax block number. For instance, buildings with the tax block number of 8 must submit their EER by December 31, 2018, and buildings with number 9 must submit by December 31, 2019. More information on the LL87 covered building list can be found here.

  • After submitting EER, fees must also be paid to fully comply with LL87. Fees can include an initial filing fee ($375), an extension request ($155) or an amendment ($145). Further information on how to make the payments can be asked to  LL87@buildings.nyc.gov.

What are the consequences of not complying with LL87?

According to the LL87 rules, failure to submit an EER to the corresponding due date will result in a penalty of $3,000 on the first year and $5,000 for each additional year until EER is submitted to the DoB. 

Why do you need an energy auditor to comply with LL87?

To comply with LL87, a certified energy auditor by the DoB needs to develop a complete proposal and report that includes:

  • All current deficiencies of the building energy performance and the solutions to improve the energy efficiency of the building.

  • All capital improvements and methodologies that would reduce energy operating costs of the building if they were implemented.

  • Associated annual energy savings, cost of implementation and payback times of new upgrades.

  • A breakdown of energy usage by type of system after the implementation of upgrades, as well as, the predicted energy savings by type of system.  

As you can see, an energy auditor is a professional company qualified to develop these proposals and to optimize your energy performance. All of this will allow you, as owners, to annually save thousands of dollars and contribute to the reduction of NYC carbon footprint.

What can we do for you?

Phoenix Energy Group as a certified energy auditor under the jurisdiction of the DoB of NYC specializes in providing solutions to its customers to achieve energy efficiency goals. With over 25 years of experience, our specialists perform energy management analysis and procedures according to Local Law 84 and 87.

We use approved methodologies to calculate annual energy savings and propose certified energy savings technologies to help you improve the efficiency of your building and reducing your carbon footprint.

Sign up with us and start saving thousands of dollars annually while complying with LL87 by requesting an energy audit with Phoenix Energy Group. We are a green energy guru located in NYC that truly understands the needs, the market and the alternatives that you need to maximize your profits and energy efficiency.

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