29 Apr How Much Will My Building Be Charged for Emissions Under Local Law 97?
NYC Local Law 97 was enacted in 2019 as part of the Climate Mobilization Act to essentially place hard carbon caps on various building types – residential or commercial, that are larger than 25,000 sq. ft. The law gets implemented in 2024, only to become more stringent with time to accomplish its grander goal of 80% carbon reduction by 2050. Many buildings have significantly reported being way over permissible limits requiring immediate intervention with retrofitting and alternative compliance.
Which properties are affected?
1. Buildings over 25,000 square feet
2. Two or more buildings on the same tax lot that together exceed 50,000 square feet
3. Two or more condominium buildings governed by the same board of managers that together exceed 50,000 square feet
The basic requirements of the law are:-
1. Determining how and when a building needs to comply
2. Conducting an energy audit & retro-commissioning of all the systems mandatorily will enable the owners to submit the Energy Efficiency Report. The report is to be compulsorily submitted to the City once every ten years.
An energy audit is an identification, survey, and analysis of the energy usage of a building that is carried out to optimize its efficiency. In other words, it helps maintain the same level of output while minimizing consumption. It also guarantees a reduction in terms of cost to the building owner and carbon footprint to the planet, respectively.
Non-compliance is deemed penal with fines designated by The City at $268 per metric ton for the exceeded carbon footprint! Fines are also designated for submitting false reports and worse, for not submitting a report.
1. 2024-2029 penalty = 54.1 tCO2e x $268/t = $14,498.80 / year
2. 2030-2034 penalty = 1,233.1 tCO2e x $268/t = $330,470.80 / year
How to calculate your building’s fine and emissions limit?
- Convert the building’s carbon footprint from Kg to metric tons by dividing by 1,000
- Multiply the difference between the limit and your actual carbon footprint by $268
As far as the emissions limits go, if you have a Business Building which falls under Group B, then it is to be subjected to 0.00846 tCO2e/SF (2024-29).
We understand how overwhelming this might seem, we highly recommend reaching out to experts like The Cotocon Group that can hand-hold you through the entire process.
This is How a Building Emits Carbon
“Carbon emissions or carbon footprint of a building is measured by totaling the carbon dioxide that is emitted into the atmosphere during the production of the energy that is consumed by a building for all its operations.” The emissions are usually a result of fuel combustion. They occur on-site as a result of an oil/gas boiler and off-site perhaps at a power plant to generate current.
The law aims to check on-site as well as off-site emissions in a single limit which will be facilitated by reductions in lighting, heating, cooling, etc.
How to Measure Carbon Intensity?
This is a rather complicated procedure and is best handled by an expert. US EPA’s free Energy Star Portfolio Manager is a good place to start after having submitted energy benchmarking data onto it by May 1 to comply with the LL84. The tool will then convert the submitted data into the building’s energy usage into carbon emissions. These figures are not the entire prerequisite of LL97, but they are a good place to start to compare your carbon limits with those of 2024 and 2030 (as long as the units used don’t vary).
After finding the total carbon emissions in the Portfolio Manager, you’ll have to calculate the carbon emissions limit to gauge whether or not you’re complying. Find your building type and simply multiply the limit by the gross square footage, and you will derive the permissible limit. If the total is higher than the limit, then you are in the need of immediate interventions.
How can I reduce carbon emissions?
Having a devoted carbon reduction strategy- for the near, medium and long term is non-negotiable these days. And requires coordination among all stakeholders. Follow these tips to help you kickstart the process.
1. Choose carbon sequestering materials
2. Maximize structural efficiency
3. Operator and occupant training
4. Optimized HVAC
5. Check water usage
6. Use recycled content
7. Use efficient lighting (sensors, LEED, PE, etc.)
We, The Cotocon Group, have a proven history of providing compliance services in New York City to building owners that helps acquire LEED certifications of all categories. Our highly skilled team ensures building owners meet all the requirements from strategizing, budgeting, and handling documentation along with curating the information that needs to be shared by conducting energy audits and retro-commissioning to generating and submitting the Energy Efficiency Report within the deadline. We will demonstrate that the greatest return on investment for building owners is investing in energy efficiency.