New York Local Law 87, which was established in 2009 with the aim of enhancing energy efficiency in buildings throughout New York City. According to the law, building owners are required to conduct energy audits and retro-commissioning studies on their properties at least once every ten years. Additionally, they are required to submit Energy Efficiency Reports (EERs) to the Department of Buildings (DOB) as evidence of their compliance. This piece provides a comprehensive overview of Local Law 87, focusing on its main objectives, how it differs from Local Laws 84 and 97, the necessary steps for building owners to meet the requirements, the associated compliance costs, potential penalties for non-compliance, and the role of building analytics in facilitating adherence. By addressing these aspects, we gain insights into the overall impact of Local Law 87 on New York City’s constructed environment.
What Is Nyc Local Law 87?
New York Local Law 87 (LL87) is a regulation in New York City that requires buildings over 50,000 square feet to undergo energy audits and retro-commissioning studies every ten years. Building owners should be aware of the following key aspects of LL87:
- Energy Audit: An energy audit assesses various aspects of your building, such as lighting, heating, cooling, and ventilation systems, to identify potential energy-saving opportunities.
- Retro-commissioning: Retro-commissioning aims to optimize the performance of your building’s existing systems by fine-tuning and adjusting them, resulting in reduced energy waste and improved efficiency.
- Energy Efficiency Report: Building owners are required to submit an Energy Efficiency Report (EER) to the Department of Buildings (DOB) within the designated deadline. The EER should include the findings and recommendations from the energy audit and retro-commissioning study.
Key drivers behind Local Law 87
The enactment of LL87 in New York City is motivated by several key factors:
Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction: LL87 plays a crucial role in helping New York City achieve its ambitious goal of an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Given that buildings contribute approximately 70% of the city’s emissions, LL87 focuses on mitigating this impact by mandating energy audits and retro-commissioning. These measures help identify and implement energy-saving opportunities, ultimately leading to emissions reduction.
Enhanced Building Performance: LL87 strives to enhance the overall performance of buildings in New York City. By conducting energy audits and retro-commissioning, building owners can identify and rectify inefficiencies in energy consumption and equipment operation. This proactive approach promotes improved energy efficiency, reduced energy costs, and increased occupant comfort within the buildings.
Economic Advantages: LL87 offers economic benefits to building owners. By implementing energy-saving measures, building owners can experience significant energy cost savings and operational efficiencies. Additionally, enhancing a building’s energy efficiency can boost its market value and appeal to tenants who prioritize sustainability and eco-friendly practices.
Overall, LL87 is driven by the objectives of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving building performance, providing economic advantages, and ensuring regulatory compliance. The law aims to foster sustainability, energy efficiency, and competitiveness for New York City buildings in the evolving real estate market.
What is the difference between Local Law 87, Local Law 97, Local Law 84?
LL87, LL97, and LL84 are all part of New York City’s comprehensive approach to enhancing building energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. However, each local law has distinct requirements and objectives. Here are the key differences between these laws:
- Local Law 87: This law requires every ten years, structures larger than 50,000 square feet must undertake an energy audit and retro-commissioning assessment. The focus is on identifying energy-saving opportunities and optimizing existing systems to improve efficiency.
- Local Law 84: Owners of buildings larger than 50,000 square feet (or with multiple buildings on the same tax lot totaling over 100,000 square feet) are obligated to annually benchmark and report their energy usage to the city. Benchmarking involves tracking energy consumption and disclosing the data to encourage transparency and facilitate comparisons.
- Local law 97: Buildings larger than 25,000 square feet are subject to LL97, which sets progressively stricter limits on greenhouse gas emissions, starting in 2024. The law aims to drive substantial emissions reductions in these buildings and incentivize the adoption of clean energy solutions.
Each law tackles different aspects of energy efficiency and emission reductions, addressing areas such as auditing, retro-commissioning, benchmarking, and emissions limits. By implementing these laws, New York City aims to achieve significant improvements in building performance and contribute to its broader sustainability goals.
What are the processes for completing an energy audit?
Completing an energy audit typically involves several key steps. While the exact process may vary depending on the specific requirements and complexity of the building, here is a general outline of the energy audit process:
Pre-Audit Preparation: Gather relevant information about the building, such as architectural drawings, utility bills, equipment specifications, occupancy patterns, and maintenance records. This data will help establish a baseline for energy consumption and guide the audit process.
Site Visit and Data Collection: Conduct a thorough on-site assessment of the building, including its envelope (walls, windows, insulation), HVAC systems, lighting, controls, and other energy-consuming equipment. Collect data on energy usage, operating schedules, and occupancy patterns. Use instruments and measurements to evaluate system performance and identify areas of potential improvement.
Energy Analysis: Analyze the data collected to identify energy-saving opportunities. This may involve using energy modeling software, calculations, and benchmarks to assess the building’s current energy performance and estimate potential savings from various efficiency measures.
Recommendations and Report: Based on the energy analysis, prepare a comprehensive report outlining the findings, recommended energy-saving measures, and estimated cost savings. The report should prioritize measures based on their feasibility, cost-effectiveness, and potential impact on energy efficiency.
Implementation Planning: Collaborate with building owners, managers, or energy consultants to develop an implementation plan for the recommended measures. This may involve evaluating the financial feasibility, identifying available incentives or rebates, and considering the operational and maintenance aspects of the proposed changes.
Monitoring and Verification: Implement the recommended measures and establish a system for ongoing monitoring to track energy consumption and verify the effectiveness of the implemented improvements. Periodic evaluations can help ensure that the energy-saving goals are being achieved and identify any areas that require further adjustments.
It is important to note that energy audits can be complex and may require the expertise of qualified professionals, such as energy auditors or consultants, to ensure accurate assessments and reliable recommendations.
What are the Plans of fulfil the retro- commissioning requirement?
- Engage a Qualified Retro-Commissioning Professional: The initial step involves hiring a qualified retro-commissioning professional (RCx) with appropriate certifications from recognized organizations such as the Building Commissioning Association (BCA) or the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE). This ensures expertise in identifying and resolving operational and maintenance issues in building systems.
- Develop a Retro-Commissioning Plan: The RCx professional will collaborate with the building owner and operations and maintenance team to devise a detailed retro-commissioning plan. This plan outlines the necessary steps to optimize the building’s systems. It includes assessing the current state of systems, identifying operational or maintenance concerns, and recommending system improvements.
- Execute the Retro-Commissioning Plan: The RCx professional, working in coordination with the building’s team, will implement the retro-commissioning plan. This involves adjusting the building’s HVAC systems, lighting systems, and other energy-consuming systems to enhance their performance and reduce energy waste.
- Validate Results: The RCx professional will verify the outcomes of the retro-commissioning process through testing, adjusting, and balancing (TAB) of the systems. This ensures optimal performance and resolution of identified issues.
- Generate a Comprehensive Report: The RCx professional will compile a comprehensive report summarizing the findings of the retro-commissioning process. The report will include a list of recommended measures to enhance the building’s systems, along with a cost-benefit analysis, energy savings calculations, and suggestions for implementation.
By following these steps and engaging a qualified RCx professional, building owners can effectively fulfill the retro-commissioning requirement and achieve improved energy efficiency and performance in their buildings.
What is an Energy Efficiency Report (EER) and how can building owners submit one to the Department of Buildings (DOB)?
An Energy Efficiency Report (EER) is a document that building owners are required to submit to the Department of Buildings (DOB) in compliance with regulations such as New York Local Law 87 (LL87). The EER provides a comprehensive overview of the building’s energy usage, energy-saving measures, and the results of energy audits and retro-commissioning studies.
The process for submitting an EER to the DOB typically involves the following steps:
- Compile the Required Information: Gather all the necessary data and documentation for the EER, including the findings from energy audits and retro-commissioning studies, energy consumption data, equipment specifications, and any other relevant information requested by the DOB.
- Use Approved Software or Templates: The DOB may provide approved software or templates for preparing and submitting the EER. Check the DOB’s website or contact them directly to ensure compliance with their specific requirements. These tools often help structure the report and ensure it contains the required information.
- Complete the EER: Use the approved software or template to input the relevant data and complete the EER. Include details such as building information, energy usage, energy-saving measures implemented, and any recommendations for further improvements.
- Review and Verify Accuracy: Review the completed EER for accuracy, ensuring that all information is correctly entered and calculations are precise. Double-check data entries, calculations, and any supporting documents to minimize errors.
- Submit the EER to the DOB: Once the EER is finalized and verified, follow the DOB’s guidelines for submission. This may involve uploading the report through an online portal, mailing a physical copy, or following any other specified submission method.
- Maintain Documentation: Keep a copy of the submitted EER and any supporting documentation for your records. It is essential to have these documents available for reference and potential future audits or compliance verification.
Building owners should stay informed about the specific submission requirements and deadlines provided by the DOB to ensure compliance with regulations and facilitate the smooth submission of the Energy Efficiency Report.
Please note that the exact process for submitting an EER may vary based on the jurisdiction and the specific regulations in place. It is advisable to consult the DOB or relevant local authorities for detailed instructions and guidelines pertaining to EER submissions in your specific area.
What are building owners’ costs associated with compliance?
The compliance costs for building owners under regulations such as New York Local Law 87 (LL87) can vary depending on factors such as the size and complexity of the building, the extent of required energy audits and retro-commissioning studies, and the implementation of recommended energy-saving measures. Here are some potential cost considerations:
- Energy Audits and Retro-Commissioning Studies: Building owners will need to hire qualified professionals to conduct energy audits and retro-commissioning studies. The costs will depend on the size and complexity of the building, the number of systems and components to be assessed, and the level of expertise required. Larger buildings or those with more intricate systems may incur higher costs for comprehensive assessments.
- Professional Fees: Building owners may need to engage energy auditors, retro-commissioning agents, engineers, or consultants to perform the necessary assessments, analyses, and documentation. These professionals may charge fees for their services, which can vary depending on their experience, qualifications, and the scope of work involved.
- Implementation of Energy-Saving Measures: The EER may include recommendations for energy-saving measures, such as equipment upgrades, system improvements, or operational changes. Implementing these measures will incur additional costs, including the purchase and installation of energy-efficient equipment, labor costs for system modifications, and any associated project management expenses.
- Equipment and System Upgrades: In some cases, the energy audit and retro-commissioning process may identify the need for equipment upgrades or replacements to improve energy efficiency. Building owners may need to invest in more energy-efficient HVAC systems, lighting fixtures, controls, or other energy-consuming equipment. The costs will depend on the specific requirements and market prices for the chosen equipment.
- Ongoing Monitoring and Maintenance: Building owners may need to establish systems for ongoing monitoring and maintenance to sustain the improved energy performance achieved through retro-commissioning. This may involve investing in energy monitoring tools, software, or engaging maintenance contractors to ensure optimal system operation. These ongoing costs should be factored into the compliance expenses.
It is important to note that the actual compliance costs can vary significantly from one building to another. Building owners should obtain cost estimates from qualified professionals, assess the potential energy savings and long-term benefits, and consider available incentives or rebates that can offset some of the expenses. Additionally, evaluating the return on investment (ROI) and considering the potential cost savings in terms of reduced energy consumption and operating expenses can help justify the compliance costs associated with energy audits and retro-commissioning.
Are there plans to assist building owners in lowering their expenses of compliance:
Building owners can explore various programs and resources to help reduce the costs of complying with LL87:
- NYSERDA: The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority offers programs and incentives to support building owners in implementing energy efficiency measures, including those required by LL87. These rewards can assist in defraying the costs of energy audits, retro-commissioning, and system improvements.
- Energy Efficiency Financing: The NYC Energy Efficiency Corporation (NYCEEC) provides financing options specifically designed to assist building owners in funding energy efficiency projects, including those mandated by Local Law 87. These financing options can help alleviate the upfront costs associated with implementing energy-saving measures.
- Benchmarking Help Center: The New York City Benchmarking Help Centre provides building owners with helpful materials and technical support to help them comply with Local Law 84, which mandates annual benchmarking Of energy and water usage. The Help Center can provide guidance on data collection and reporting requirements for both Local Law 84 and LL87.
Building owners are encouraged to collaborate with energy auditors, retro-commissioning professionals, and other service providers who can offer additional insights and information regarding available resources and incentives. By leveraging these programs and services, building owners can effectively reduce the financial burden associated with compliance and make progress towards improving energy efficiency in their buildings.
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What are the penalties for non-compliance?
The penalties for non-compliance with Local Law 87 (LL 87) in New York City can vary depending on the specific circumstances and the severity of the violation. The New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) enforces LL 87 and has the authority to impose penalties on building owners who fail to comply. Here are some potential penalties:
- Violation Notices: Building owners who are found to be non-compliant with LL 87 may receive violation notices from the DOB. These notices typically outline the specific violations and provide a deadline for corrective action.
- Monetary Penalties: Failure to comply with LL 87 can result in monetary penalties. The exact amount of the penalty can vary depending on factors such as the size of the building, the extent of non-compliance, and any previous violations. The DOB has the authority to assess fines, which can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
- Compliance Filings: In some cases, building owners may be required to submit a compliance filing to demonstrate that they have addressed the non-compliance issues. Failure to submit the necessary documentation within the specified timeframe can result in additional penalties.
- Building Performance Grades: The New York City Energy Conservation Code (NYCECC) assigns building performance grades based on energy efficiency. Non-compliance with LL 87 can negatively impact a building’s grade, potentially affecting its reputation and marketability.
It’s important to note that the specific penalties and enforcement procedures can be subject to change. Owners should consult the official guidelines provided by the DOB and seek professional advice to ensure compliance with LL 87 and avoid penalties.
Building analytics software help building owners to comply with Local Law 87?
Building analytics software, such as CIM’s PEAK Platform, offers valuable assistance to building owners in achieving compliance with New York LL 87. Here are several ways in which this software can be beneficial:
- Automated Data Collection: Building analytics software automates the process of gathering data from various sources, including energy management systems and sensors within the building. This data serves as a foundation for establishing an energy consumption baseline and identifying areas that can be improved.
- Energy Audits: The software streamlines energy audits by conducting automated analysis of energy consumption data. It identifies potential opportunities for energy savings, allowing auditors to prioritize their recommendations and provide accurate estimates of potential energy savings.
- Retro-Commissioning: Building analytics software assists building owners in recognizing areas that require retro-commissioning. By analyzing the performance of building systems, the software identifies areas where optimization or upgrades are necessary. This simplifies the retro-commissioning process and ensures full compliance with LL 87.
- Ongoing Monitoring: Continuous monitoring of building systems is made possible with building analytics software. This ensures the ongoing efficiency of operations and compliance with the requirements of Local Law 87. By identifying potential issues early on, building owners can prevent them from escalating into major problems and avoid costly repairs.
In summary, building analytics software facilitates compliance with Local Law 87 by automating data collection, analysis, and reporting. This streamlined approach enhances the efficiency of the compliance process and ensures that buildings are fully optimized for energy efficiency.
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