Local Law 87 a Stepping Stone for LL97

NYC Local Law 87: A Stepping Stone for NYC LL97 Compliance

It was in 2019 when the city council of New York approved a broad set of energy efficiency and carbon footprint limitations. The NYC council passed these legislations to aid in developing more eco-friendly, sustainable infrastructures. The objective is noble, but it can be challenging for building owners and property managers to navigate this brand-new, convoluted regulatory environment.

This article intends to make the most of the chance to not just reflect on Local Law 87, the city’s first set of energy-efficient building laws, which was a key component of the driven Greener Greater Buildings Plan. Moreover, it also intends to gaze ahead and create compliance routes for Local Law 97, recognizing the important framework built to address greenhouse gases from buildings in NYC.

Local Law 87 New York City: What Is It?

According to New York City Local Law 87, all structures larger than 50,000 square feet must undergo an energy assessment and retro-commissioning at the end of each decade.

Let’s say you own not one but multiple buildings within the same campus. Now, assume each building is less than 50,000 sq. ft in dimension. So, even in such a scenario, you must abide by the local law 87 NYC, provided the total building size is over 100,000 sq. ft.

An Energy Efficiency Report (EER), which must be submitted to the NYC Department of Buildings by December 31 of the building’s stated reporting year, must be assembled after the energy assessment and retro-commissioning processes are finished.

Local Law 97 New York City: What Is It?

As part of a green energy initiative known as Local Law 97 NYC, most structures larger than 25,000 square feet are required to satisfy new energy efficiency standards and lower their carbon footprints by 2024. Stricter standards will then take effect by 2030. The following structures are normally covered by Local Law 97, with a few exceptions:

  •  Building structures with more than 25,000 gross square feet
  • At least two structures on one tax lot with a combined square footage of more than 50,000 ft.
  • Two or more condo association-owned structures that are over 50,000 square feet in total and are overseen by the same board of managers

Local Law 87: A Stepping Stone For The LL97 Under the Climate Mobilization Act

At first, the City council had to determine how to create laws around building assessments and find energy-efficient solutions that might reduce expenses while accomplishing the carbon reduction objectives.

All these are outlined in the city’s then-mayor, Mayor Bloomberg’s, PlaNYC 2030, which he planned with the help of the driven team from the Mayor’s Office of the “Long-Term Planning and Sustainability” and other consultants.

The City Council adopted the law titled Local Law 87 New York City of 2009 following months of talks about the methodology, measurements, industry standard procedures, and instructions and the real-world application of these services.

This new law required that structures larger than 50,000 gross square feet be subject to periodic assessments to inform building owners about their energy usage via energy audits.

It was hoped that the market would gradually favor more effective, high-performing structures by providing building owners with a far better awareness of their structures’ performance.

The City’s desire to lead the charge in achieving the carbon reduction targets was evident from the outset. Buildings owned, controlled, and managed by New York City account for 75 percent of all GHG emissions in the city.

Additional Insights

By undertaking a Local Law 87 Energy Efficiency Report and Retro-Commissioning projects across its sizable portfolio of city buildings, the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) resolved to take the initiative in combating the issue of anthropogenic climate change from the beginning.

The City also increased the funding program’s outreach to a large number of organizations, supported cutting-edge projects, and provided the additional costs of energy efficiency improvements in anticipated capital construction projects.

Adding more solar energy to City rooftops, adopting combined heat and power (CHP) projects to produce energy more dependably and efficiently, enhancing building operations and maintenance, and testing out innovative clean energy technology in City structures are some more activities.

The City also aspires to increase adherence to current laws, raise the bar for energy efficiency in new buildings and renovations, and encourage resilience enhancements during efficiency upgrades. In 2020, NYC local law 87 was seen by many as a helpful instrument for enhancing building operations and realizing energy savings instead of just a forced requirement.

Local Law 97: The Climate Mobilization Act

After over ten years of local law 87 New York projects, it became clear that the potential for energy savings could produce even bigger gains, which catalyzed yet another legislative amendment.

The OLTPS looked for a way to advance the city’s transition to further energy cuts and a significantly higher carbon impact. This is where The Climate Mobilization Act comes into play. As part of the Climate Mobilization Act, the City of New York passed Local Law 97 (LL97) in 2019 to limit building carbon emissions.

Most structures greater than 25,000 sq. ft—around 50,000 residential and commercial properties throughout NYC—are subject to carbon restrictions under this cutting-edge rule. Starting in 2024, these caps will get stricter over time, eventually cutting emissions by 80% by 2050.

In contrast to Local Law 87 compliance services, where energy audits and retro-commissioning initiatives were intended to raise awareness and recognize energy efficiency solutions, Local Law 97 goes a step further by requiring buildings to execute the recommended measures and upgrades.

The Climate Mobilization Act 2019’s building provisions are also considered to be harsh, given the severe penalties. A compliance timeline has been issued for direction and a line of sight into significant milestones, even if most of the law is being updated through a 16-member Climate Advisory Board to create areas of the law that have been left up to rulemaking.

So, How Is Local Law 87 NYC Related To The Local Law 97?

Local Law 87 compliance consulting differs from Local Law 97 yet is closely related to it. Once every decade, LL87 requires buildings larger than 50,000 square feet to undergo an energy-efficiency audit and retro-commissioning process.

Building owners risk paying hefty fines if they don’t arrange for these audits to be done. Consider the purpose of each of these distinct regulations once more to help simplify everything. In other words, building owners will attempt to comply with LL97 and other regulations in the package if they are seeking to modify their structures to avoid the penalty for local law 87 due date compliance failure.

With the assistance of an organization like The Cotocon Group, you can create a long-term energy-efficiency plan that will enable you to achieve all compliance objectives.


After ten years, we are honored to be an active member of the action team assisting market leaders in institutional, industrial, and commercial sectors to achieve their sustainability, carbon reduction, and energy efficiency objectives.

Do you need NYC local law 87 compliance consulting services for your building? Do you know how to compute the LL97 emissions penalties? For more information on performing an audit of your facilities, contact The Cotocon Group engineers in NYC here, or go here to obtain our LL87/97 fact sheet.


     ⦁ What level of NYC’s Local Law 97 compliance exists?

The city aims to identify and eliminate these emissions and make New York City carbon neutral by 2050, including Local Law 97 (LL97). Most structures larger than 25,000 gross square feet that exceed the emission limitations are subject to annual fines starting in 2025 under LL97.

     ⦁ What is compliance with NYC Local Law 87?

According to Local Law 87 (LL87), all structures with a gross floor area greater than 50,000 must periodically undertake an energy audit and retro-commissioning procedures. Once every ten years, they must submit energy efficiency and retro-commissioning reports to the Department of Buildings.

      ⦁ Who is not subject to local law 97?

Up until 2035, certain limited-profit housing corporations’ ownership of income-restricted structures is immune from the restrictions. Buildings in project-based federal housing programs, HDFC coops, and structures with more than 35% rent-regulated units are exempt from any compliance requirements.

      ⦁ Who is exempt under local law 87?

If a building meets any of the following criteria, it is exempt from the LL87 energy audit requirement. The US Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR label for at least two of the three years preceding the report delivery year.

      ⦁ Which structures are governed by Local Law 97?

Buildings larger than 25,000 square feet in New York City will be subject to Local Law 97 beginning in 2024, which mandates carbon reporting and caps emissions to achieve the city’s climate goals by 2050.

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