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Local Law 133: How Will NYC’s LL133 Impact Your Bottom Line?


Starting from 2016 the NYC Benchmarking Law was expanded by the new Local Law 133. Previously, under the New York City’s Greener, Greater Buildings Plan or GGBP, 4 Local Laws were accepted in 2009: Local Laws 84, 85, 87 and 88. Each of these represents certain requirements from building owners for reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions and for using energy and water more efficiently.

LL84 is the basis that laid foundations for the creation of LL133. Local Law 84 requires building owners to submit data about the energy and water usage of their buildings annually. However, this law refers to those buildings which have an area of 50.000 square feet and more, while midsize buildings are left out.

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Now that Local Law 133 has been enacted, owners of buildings with an area of 25.000-50.000 square feet are also required to make annual energy reports. The law has added nearly 11.000 buildings to the list of those that already undergo benchmarking.  

The first session of reports under LL133 was made on May 1, 2018. The first reports were optional for building owners, but starting from May 1, 2019, they will be obligatory. Failure to meet the deadline will result in a penalty.

So, if you don’t submit your report until the deadline you will be sent a Notice of Violation from the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) and will have to pay $500. In case you keep failing to submit the report afterwards, you will have to pay a penalty every three months. The penalty can rise up to $2000 a year.

Local Law 133 Unveiled

As a building owner, you should know the precise requirements of every law your building needs to comply with. LL133 can be summed up in the following points:

  • Submission of energy and water usage data to the benchmarking tool (the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager). The data should include details from all utility accounts and addresses connected to the building, even the ones that are for separately metered tenant spaces. The submitted information should show the energy usage details of the previous calendar year.

  • Only buildings in the following 5 boroughs of New York are covered by LL133: Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, and Brooklyn.

  • As already mentioned, the floor size of the buildings should be from 25.000 to 50.000 square feet.

  • The collection of data should be done every year from January 1 to April 30 for the previous calendar year. This way you will manage to submit the information on time i.e. until May 1 of each year.

  • The aim of LL133 is to find out the relative efficiency of underlying systems. This will help in the evaluation of the operational performance of a building compared with other similar buildings. The information is useful for all parties involved: building owners, managers, potential buyers, and tenants.

  • As a building owner, you are also required to keep records of your building’s energy usage for 3 years.

LL133: Scoring System and More

world-trade-center-1210003_1920You are probably wondering what’s the sense of putting so much effort and time in the completion of the requirements of Local Law 133? What are its expected results in the end and why are they beneficial for your property?
These questions arise in the minds of all building owners who have to comply with LL133 and other Local Laws as required. As part of New York’s Greener Greater Buildings Plan, the requirements of Local Law 133 are directed at making the city better, cleaner and at helping building owners cut energy and water costs.

A few relevant points should be mentioned:

  • Benchmarking Score: When you submit the benchmarking reports, you will receive a benchmarking score. The score range starts at 100 as being the best and goes down to 1 as the worst. These scores tell the energy efficiency level of your building as compared to other similar buildings. This way you will be able to evaluate the state of your building in terms of energy usage. Every saved dollar is beneficial for your bottom line.

  • Score Details: If your building has received 60 benchmarking scores, it means you are in a medium state among the rest of the buildings. If you have a higher score, it means your building is among above-average energy-efficient buildings. You will qualify for the designation of Energy Star if you get a score of 75 and higher. Your building has a low energy performance if your score is lower than 60.

The low scores are a sign that you are wasting money and not using the energy efficiently. There are a couple of ways to improve this situation and aim for higher scores:

  • Upgrade your building to LED lighting. You will have to do so no matter what because it is also demanded by LL88.

  • Install a stand-alone, domestic hot water production for your building. This will be quite advantageous as it has a quick payback and will also let your boilers rest when the weather is hot.

  • If your score doesn’t increase after this, it means you need to hire a certified energy auditor who will carry out a detailed energy audit.
    Phoenix Energy group will provide you with a professional auditor and make sure your building gets higher ranks in terms of LL133 compliance. Our services are of high quality and quite affordable.  

How to Comply with Local Law 133?

The process of submitting an energy report can be both time- and energy-consuming and may distract you from more important tasks that you have to do as a building owner. This is why we advise you to outsource the completion of LL133 to a consultant.

Phoenix Energy Group will provide you with highly qualified and trustworthy consultants who will do all the benchmarking process for you. Here is what we offer:

  • High-quality and professional consultancy

  • Annual energy planning

  • Identification and implementation of energy efficiency opportunities

  • Updates on market conditions

This is only a small part of what Phoenix Energy offers to help you manage your energy efficiency performance and compliance with the Local Laws. Don’t think twice - consult with one of our energy specialists and get the answers to all your questions in no time. Our team is always willing to help you solve your energy-related issues.

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