While many cities only have one or two Energy laws and programs, New York City sets itself apart with three – Local Law 84 (LL84), Local Law 33 (LL33), and Local Law 87 (LL87). With three existing Energy laws, the two questions we often hear are: what’s the difference and do I need to complete all three? We’re here to answer these questions and break down each law.
The Couple – What Is Local Law 84 (LL84) and What Is Local Law 33 (LL33)?
“In New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of … there’s nothin’ you can’t do … Let’s hear it for New York” -Alicia Keys
Let’s start with the annual Energy laws – LL84 and LL33.
In 2009 the City of New York drafted Local Law 84, which states that properties 25,000 sq. ft. or more are required to report how much Electric, Gas, Water, Steam, and Oil was used during the previous calendar year. This data, in conjunction with the property’s details, is used to give the property a score ranging from 1-100. This score indicates how “Energy Efficient” the property is when compared to properties of similar size and type.
Each year property owners and managers are given four chances to file their annual LL84: May 1, August 1, November 1, and also February 1 of the following year. For each missed deadline, the city will issue a $500.00 violation for non-compliance. There are two reasons why the city would deem a property non-compliant: either they did not file on time or the report was filed inaccurately. In many cases, the violations can only be resolved by paying the fee, though that doesn’t necessarily mean it is impossible to challenge. There are a few reasons you can challenge a violation for dismissal, for instance if you have proof that the property was demolished you may want to challenge the violation. You can read more about challenging a violation on the city’s site: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/buildings/business/benchmarking.page
As mentioned above, a property is scored from 1-100 upon its Energy Benchmark submission. Previously LL84 was the only yearly Energy requirement. Last year – in 2020 – NYC launched its newest Energy Law – Local Law 33 (LL33). This new law takes the score received from completing your LL84 and assigns it a corresponding letter grade – refer to the below chart for reference. This letter grade will be released on October 1 and must be printed and displayed in an easily visible area of the property by October 31.
Failure to print and display your properties letter grade will result in a $1,250.00 fine. Think of LL33 like the food letter grades that some restaurants are required to display, only this grade is for Energy Efficiency. It is important to note that if you fail to meet the first Energy Benchmark (LL84) deadline of May 1 you will automatically receive a letter grade of F until the next year’s cbdeadline. Read more on the LL33 requirement: https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/buildings/pdf/ll33_faqs.pdf
Score of 85 or higher
Score of 70-84
Score of 55-69
Score of 54 or lower
Property failed to meet the deadline
Properties that are exempt from LL84 or not covered by the Energy Star program (i.e., Manufacturing/Industrial and Mixed-Use properties)
Flying Solo – What Is Local Law 87 (LL87)?
While LL84 and LL33 are annual Energy requirements, LL87 – Energy Audit and Retro-Commissioning (RCx) – is only filed every 10 years. This requirement started back in 2014. Compliance is required of Commercial, Mixed-Use, and Residential properties that have also had to comply with LL84 and LL33. As there are so many buildings that need to file, the city created a system to put properties into deadline groups based off the last digit of the property’s assigned tax block number – see the below chart for the latest deadlines. Like LL84 and LL33, failure to meet your deadline will result in a violation of $3,000.00 the first year, and $5,000.00 each year thereafter until you file.
Through your Energy Audit and RCx, you’ll be able to identify potential opportunities and improvements for the property – which could help save money in the long run. This is done by analyzing the property’s existing systems and equipment to determine if it’s running at its most optimal level in tandem with the property type, environment, and occupancy.
Last Digit of Tax Block Number
*It is important to note that the deadline year will cycle through and re-start – the deadline will always be the year ending in the same digit as your Tax Block Number. For example: properties with Block Number 0 will report in 2020, 2030, 2040 and so forth.
We understand that this is a lot of information to sort through and comprehend – that’s where we can help. You can read more about what the Energy Benchmark and Audit process entails in Volume 01, 02 and Volume 03 of the Vert Report. The City of New York’s website also provides a lot of helpful resources to read up on if you want to educate yourself further on LL84, LL33, and LL87.
So will we see laws like these three start popping up in other cities across the United States? In short, we do expect to see similar laws applied during the next four years. What those laws look like and what cities adopt them remain to be seen.
Want to get started on meeting your Energy deadlines but don’t know where to start? We can help you! Just click over to VertPro to get started on your LL84 and LL33 processes. To speak to a representative, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-585-2690.
To learn more about the new Audit and RCx requirements, request a free 1-on-1 webinar. You’ll get an opportunity to learn new Audit/RCx requirements, review the upcoming deadlines, and focus on exemptions specific to your building(s). Schedule a meeting today at https://calendly.com/vertenergygroup/ll97