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NYC Department of Buildings Releases Local Law 97 Regulations

Local Law 97 Nyc

By The Cotocon GroupPublished about a year ago 4 min read

What is Local Law 97

Local Law 97 is a New York City law passed in 2019 that sets ambitious carbon emissions limits for buildings larger than 25,000 square feet. The law is officially called the Climate Mobilization Act, and Local Law 97 is just one part of it.

The main goal of Local Law 97 is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings, which account for about 70% of the city's total emissions. The law sets carbon emissions limits for buildings based on their occupancy classification, which is determined by the building's use, such as residential or commercial. Buildings that exceed the emissions limit will face fines.

Local Law 97's emissions limits are set to take effect in 2024, and will become increasingly stringent over time. The law is expected to have a significant impact on the city's built environment, and will likely lead to the retrofitting and upgrading of many buildings to meet the new emissions standards.

Local law 97 regulations

Local Law 97 regulations establish specific carbon emissions limits for buildings in New York City based on their occupancy classification, as I mentioned earlier. The occupancy classifications are broken down into three categories:

  • Group 1: Office buildings, banks, data centers, and similar uses.
  • Group 2: Hotels, dormitories, and residential buildings with four or more units.
  • Group 3: Retail, warehouses, and manufacturing facilities.

The emissions limits for each group are calculated based on the building's gross square footage, and are measured in kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent per square foot per year (kgCO2e/ft2/yr). The limits become progressively more stringent over time, as shown in the table below:

Occupancy Group Emissions Limit (kgCO2e/ft2/yr)

Group 1 2024: 46; 2030: 23

Group 2 2024: 33; 2030: 15

Group 3 2024: 67; 2030: 33

Building owners must measure and report their building's carbon emissions annually, starting in 2025. Failure to comply with the emissions limits can result in significant fines. To meet the emissions limits, building owners may need to implement energy-efficient upgrades such as replacing lighting, installing efficient HVAC systems, and improving insulation. They may also consider using renewable energy sources such as solar or wind power.

Local Law 97 Compliance

Complying with Local Law 97 can be challenging for building owners, but there are several steps they can take to meet the emissions limits. Here are some strategies for Local Law 97 compliance:

Energy efficiency upgrades: Building owners can reduce their energy consumption by making upgrades to their lighting, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, and improving insulation. This can include replacing old equipment with more energy-efficient models, upgrading to LED lighting, and installing smart building controls.

Renewable energy: Building owners can generate their own renewable energy through solar panels, wind turbines, or other sources. They can also purchase renewable energy credits (RECs) from a third party provider.

Carbon offsets: Building owners can purchase carbon offsets to balance out their emissions. Carbon offsets are investments in projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as renewable energy projects or forest conservation initiatives.

Compliance flexibility options: Local Law 97 offers several compliance flexibility options, such as purchasing carbon offsets, participating in green roofs and renewable energy programs, and participating in the energy storage incentive program.

Building owners should begin planning for Local Law 97 compliance as soon as possible, to allow adequate time to implement the necessary upgrades and changes. They should also consult with energy consultants, engineers, and other professionals to ensure compliance with the law.

Local Law 97 Fines

Building owners who fail to comply with Local Law 97 could face significant fines. The fines are calculated based on the amount that the building's emissions exceed the allowable limit. The fines for non-compliance are as follows:

  • In the first year of non-compliance (2025), the fine will be $268 per metric ton of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) over the limit.
  • In the second year of non-compliance (2026), the fine will be $536 per metric ton of CO2e over the limit.
  • In the third and subsequent years of non-compliance (2027 and beyond), the fine will be $268 per metric ton of CO2e over the limit.

The fines for non-compliance can add up quickly and could be significant, especially for larger buildings. Building owners may face additional fines if they fail to report their building's emissions or if they provide false or misleading information in their reports.

It's important for building owners to take Local Law 97 compliance seriously and to begin planning for compliance as soon as possible to avoid fines and potential legal action.

Solutions of Local Law 97 Fines

Building owners who face fines for non-compliance with Local Law 97 have a few options for addressing the situation. Here are some potential solutions for Local Law 97 fines:

Retrofits and upgrades: Building owners can invest in energy efficiency upgrades and retrofits to reduce their building's emissions and bring them into compliance with the law. This may include upgrading lighting, HVAC systems, and insulation, as well as installing renewable energy systems such as solar or wind power.

Carbon offsets: Building owners can purchase carbon offsets to balance out their emissions and reduce their overall carbon footprint. This involves investing in projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as renewable energy or forestry projects, to offset the emissions generated by the building.

Legal action: In some cases, building owners may choose to challenge the fines through legal action. This may involve working with an attorney to dispute the fines or negotiate a settlement with the city.

Payment plans: Building owners who are unable to pay the fines in full may be able to work out a payment plan with the city to spread the cost out over time.

Regardless of the solution chosen, building owners should take Local Law 97 compliance seriously and work to reduce their building's emissions to avoid fines and legal action. This may involve investing in energy efficiency upgrades, renewable energy systems, and other solutions to reduce their carbon footprint and comply with the law.

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About the Creator

The Cotocon Group

Sustainability Consulting Experts in NYC. Leading the Real Estate Industry in Reducing GHG Emissions & Increasing Property Value.

Website :- https://www.thecotocongroup.com

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    The Cotocon GroupWritten by The Cotocon Group

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