New York City in December 2009 saw Mayor Bloomberg sign Local Law 84 on Benchmarking Energy & Water Usage and Local Law 87 Energy Audits & Retro-commissioning, also called the Greener Greater Buildings Plan.  The NYC energy laws require building owners to benchmark and report building energy and water use, perform energy audits and retro-commissioning. 

The compliance schedule for the laws has already begun, and non-residential building owners (per guidelines below) should currently be benchmarking their energy and water usage to be reported next year.

Below is a summary of the laws and the intent behind them. 

 

Background

Currently, 75-80% of NYC carbon emissions come from buildings – compared to 39% nationally.  The intent behind the laws was to encourage building owners to measure, diagnose and develop a cost-effective capital plan to reduce their carbon emissions and to transform the building market in NYC for both lease and sale properties. 

 

Buildings Required to Comply

According to the New York Department of Finance (to whom the scores are reported) the following buildings are the required to comply:

  • One building larger than 50,000 square feet
  • Two or more buildings on same tax lot larger than 100,000 square feet
  • Two or more buildings in condo ownership larger than 100,000 square feet

New construction and retrofitting must also comply with the city’s energy code.

 

Energy Benchmarking Policy

Building owners must annually benchmark buildings’ energy usages using EPA ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager and provide a New York City Benchmarking Compliance Report.  The public disclosure of the energy benchmarking is required per the timetable below:

  • City-Owned Buildings – May 2011
  • Non-residential buildings – May 2012
  • Residential buildings – May 2013

Sample data displayed publically must include Energy Use Index (EUI) for residential buildings (energy use per square foot) and Energy Star Rating for non-residential buildings. 

When a building changes ownership, the new owner must benchmark that building for the first full calendar year following transfer of ownership, then must submit the New York City Benchmarking Compliance Report by May 1 of the following year and by the same date every year after.

 

Violations and Penalties

Failure to benchmark may result in a penalty of $500.  Continued failure to benchmark may result in additional violations on quarterly basis, including a penalty of $500 per violation.

 

Energy Audits and Retro-Commissioning

Energy audits and retro-commissioning are required once every 10 years.  Initial compliance is being phased-in between 2013 and 2022 based on the last digit of the building’s tax block number. Buildings owners must submit an energy efficiency report to the city to demonstrate compliance. 

Buildings less than ten years old (as of their first scheduled calendar year for compliance), or those that have undergone significant rehabilitation in the same time frame, may defer the date of their submissions.

An energy audit is not required if:

  1. The building received the ENERGY STAR level for two of the three years preceding the filing of an energy efficiency report
  2. The building is ineligible for an ENERGY STAR rating but demonstrates superior energy performance as compared to buildings of the same type
  3. The building obtains LEED for Existing Buildings certification four years prior to filing an energy efficiency report

Retro-commissioning is not required if the building obtains LEED for Existing Buildings certification two years prior to filing an energy efficiency report and has achieved LEED points for Existing Building Commissioning Investigation and Existing Building Commissioning Implementation. 

 

Auditor Requirements

The auditing team must include the following:

1. A registered design professional (professional engineer, PE, or registered architect, RA) performing or supervising the audit and certifies the audit when it is complete

2. An individual with one of the following criteria:

            a. A NYSERDA-approved Flex Tech contractor

            b. A Certified Energy Manager (CEM) or Certified Energy Auditor (CEA), certified by the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE)

            c. A High-Performance Building Design Professional (HPBD) certified by ASHRAE, or

            d. For audits of multifamily residential buildings only, a Multi-family Building Analyst (MFBA), certified by the Building Performance Institute (BPI)

3. An individual with at least three years of professional experience performing energy audits on buildings larger than 50,000 gross square feet

4. The building’s operations and maintenance staff must be consulted at the start of and during the audit process

 

The retro-commissioning team must include the following:

1. A registered design professional (professional engineer, PE, or registered architect, RA), certified Refrigerating System Operating Engineer, or a licensed High Pressure Boiler

2. An individual with one of the following criteria:

            a. Certified Commissioning Professional (CCP) certified by the Building Commissioning Association (BCA)

            b. A Certified Building Commissioning Professional, certified by the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE)

            c. A Commissioning Process Management Professional (CPMP) certified by ASHRAE, or

            d. An Accredited Commissioning Process Authority Professional (ACPAP) approved by the University of Wisconsin

3. An individual with at least one year of professional experience performing retro-commissioning on buildings larger than 50,000 gross square feet

4. The building’s operations and maintenance staff must be consulted at the start of and during the retro-commissioning process

 

My company, Partner Energy, is working with several NYC clients to comply with the energy laws.  I’d be happy to answer any questions, feel free to email me at jmandler@ptrenergy.com.

 

Next week I’ll be posting a detailed breakdown of San Francisco’s energy disclosure law.