Summary of the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan Legislation

The City Council of New York City passed major green building legislation on December 9, 2009 that places New York City at the forefront of municipal efforts to improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings.
Under the umbrella of PLANYC, which outlined measures to reduce our city’s total carbon footprint 30% by 2030, the four bills are known as the “Greener, Greater Buildings Plan” and are among the most aggressive adopted in the United States.

The Legislation Details for each bill, which effect buildings greater than 50,000 square feet, known as “covered buildings”, are attached below. You can see if your building is on the City’s ” 2016 Local Law 87 Covered Building List for compliance in 2017 – Energy Audits and Retro-commissioning” (PDF) or on the “2016 Local Law 84 Covered Building List for compliance in 2017– Energy and Water Benchmarking” (PDF).

The Laws

A summary of each local law is as follows:

1. Local Law 84 Benchmarking (PDF) as amended by LL133/2016 requires buildings to benchmark their energy and water efficiency annually by May 1st, and disclose that ranking information publicly on the Internet beginning no later than September 1, 2012 for commercial buildings and September 1, 2013 for residential buildings, so consumers can compare performance among buildings. Starting in 2018, owners of mid-size buildings that are larger than 25,000 sq ft and smaller than 50,000 sq ft will be required to benchmark for the first time. Learn more by reading the NYC Benchmarking Law Frequently Asked Questions.

2. Local Law 85/09 (PDF) establishes a New York City Energy Conservation Code and eliminates a former loophole that allowed for no energy efficiency improvements if the renovation applied to less than 50% of a building’s systems.

 As national and state energy laws become updated periodically, New York City’s energy laws must also be updated to reflect equal or more stringent regulations. No longer exempting renovations affecting less than half of the building system, Local Law 85 (LL85), the second law in the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan (GGBP), now requires buildings to meet the most current energy code for any renovation or alteration project. LL85’s requirement is based on a series of local energy laws, collectively called New York City Energy Conservation Code (NYCECC). NYCECC currently comprises the 2010 Energy Conservation Construction Code of New York State (ECCCNYS), Local Law 85 of 2009, Local Law 48 of 2010 and Local Law 1 of 2011.

Read Local Law 85: NYC Energy Conservation Code (in PDF)
Read Detailed Summary of Local Law 85 (in PDF)
For updates to NYCECC, visit the Energy Code page

3. LL87/09 EA and RCx Law and Rules (PDF)  requires buildings to pay for energy audits and retro-commissioning or “tune-up” of their base building systems every ten years (building envelope, boilers, furnaces, HVAC, conveying (e.g. elevators, escalators), domestic hot water, electrical and lighting systems). These processes must not be less stringent than the Level II Energy Survey and Engineering Analysis of the 2011 edition of the Procedures for Commercial Building Energy Audits published by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-conditioning Engineers Inc. (ASHRAE).

4. Local Law 88/09 Lighting Upgrades and Submetering (PDF)  requires lighting upgrades in non-residential buildings and non-residential spaces within residential buildings (i.e. ground floor retail, professional office, etc.) but excludes common areas and dwelling units; and requires the installation of electric sub-meters in commercial tenant spaces in certain buildings.

5.  Local Law 43/10 Emissions from No. 4 and No. 6 Heating Oil (PDF)
New York City Department of Environmental Protection’s rule phasing out No. 4 and No. 6 heating oil and switching to the cleanest heating fuels by July 1, 2015. In 2011, approximately 10,000 boilers in New York City burned grades Number 4 and 6 oil, the dirtiest heating oil types available.  Approximately 5,200 of these buildings burned Number 6 oil. According to research conducted by the Environmental Defense Fund, 1% of the city’s buildings cause 87% of the city’s heating oil soot pollution. If you are using either No. 4 or No. 6 oil, IGP can assist you with an “oil to natural gas” or “oil to dual fuel (No. 2 oil and natural gas)” conversion feasibility and cost analysis. Armed with facts and the  final DEP heating oil rules (PDF), you can make a decision that is best for your building.

The NYC Department of Environmental Protection announced Initiatives to Further Improve Air Quality on March 26, 2014. Increasing the efficiency of large buildings will result in less pollution and build upon the progress that saw 2013 register the cleanest air in New York City in the last 50 years. Boilers that run more efficiently will use less fuel and reduce costs for building owners.

Smoke Gage for boiler

LL87/09 – Energy Auditor uses the Dwyer Smoke Gage Comparison Chart to determine boiler’s combustion efficiency.

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