Regulation Updates: NYC’s Energy Efficiency Laws Expand To Cover More Buildings. Is Yours Affected?

Oct 2016–NYC’s expanded energy efficiency laws will now cover more buildings than before. An additional 10,000 properties to be more precise, covering nearly 350 million square feet.

Chances are that your NYC building, portfolio of buildings, or your tenants WILL BE AFFECTED by these newest changes so take note.

For this next round, newly compliant properties under LL84 will not be retrieving data entirely on their own. The effective date (2018) is designed to allow local utilities time to release data into Portfolio Manager. Reliable and secure data exchange with properties will be important as the utilities look forward to major systems and communications re-design in the next decade or so.

What You Should Know:

  • Mid-sized buildings will now be affected:
    The cut-off for buildings required to benchmark energy and water use under LL84 has been lowered from 50,000 square feet to 25,000 square feet.
  • Businesses with smaller floor spaces will now be affected:
    The threshold for mandatory submetering of commercial tenant spaces has been lowered from 10,000 to 5,000 square feet. This means that the majority of commercial tenants, except for the very smallest, will be affected by this law.

What Should You Do?

  • For mid-sized buildings, keep an eye out for auto uploads of your benchmarking data to be released by your utility company sometime in late 2017 and 2018. These auto uploads’ availability will be followed promptly by a due date for submissions. See here for how to request aggregated building consumption data from ConEd and National Grid.
  • For LL88, Now is the time to pay attention to any new leases you sign with tenants, and to talk to your current lease holders about the new rules because preparing for benchmarking, submetering, and lighting upgrades can take extensive transaction time. Certain properties may also need to find third party metering and energy modeling expertise if they are not already under contract. So plan ahead and keep in mind that the best opportunity to install submeters and upgrade lighting is when you can avoid disruption to your tenant spaces.

Benefits Of New Rules

According to the Urban Green Council:

  • benchmarking prompts around three-quarters of facility managers to make operational improvements and equipment investments
  • Between 2010 to 2013, New York’s benchmarked buildings realized 6% energy savings and 8% carbon savings.
  • Submetering provides crucial information to help tenants manage their energy use.

Energy Efficiency Across the Country

As you can see in this pie chart below, energy efficiency ordinances are in place in many of the biggest cities across the country.  With NYC’s expanded laws, the City now leads the way with the most buildings covered — and the 350 million square feet expansion covers more than the annual total captured in cities such as Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, Philadelphia. Kansas City, Atlanta and Chicago.

Figures show millions of square feet Source: Institute for Market Transformation, via Urban Green Council
Figures show millions of square feet. Source: Institute for Market Transformation, via Urban Green Council

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