How COVID -19 Affects your NYC Local Law 97 Compliance

How COVID -19 Affects your NYC Local Law 97 Compliance

The aftermath of COVID-19 has brought on a unique challenge for the NYC building owners with regard to utility bills. The Work From Home environments enabled lesser energy consumption which reflected rather positively on their benchmarking data for the year 2021.

According to the data, the overall consumption had reduced by 9% and the cumulative emissions by another 7%. Speaking specifically for office buildings, the energy consumption was brought down by a staggering 14%!

These statistics are interesting in the context of Local Law 97 which is to duly come into effect in 2024 wherein the building owners will face an exorbitant penalty of $268 per metric ton of CO2 equivalent. The benchmarking process is thoroughly carried out in order to achieve and derive these emission particulars.

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

A problematic theme that has come into effect is that while some buildings are genuinely working towards incorporating the sustainability narratives and thereby reducing emissions, some buildings have shown to report low emissions merely by the virtue of low occupancy. While that might look good on paper, it is a huge setback for green policy because of its nondurability. Therefore, it is increasingly important to have your building get tested from an authentic source to confirm whether or not you are getting swayed by “greenwashing” numbers.

It is with the credibility of a professional energy consultant that can truly differentiate and source the cause of emissions reduction. It is crucial to have credible sources because the contribution to energy efficiency is permanent and that of low occupancy is temporary. Therefore compliance with LL97 is non-negotiable in the wake of office buildings getting inhabited again and the operations under normal conditions might mean an unprecedented spike in the emissions level.

The first step to the said compliance is getting a professional Energy Audit. There are specialized professionals/green consulting engineers who can be trusted for the job. They will assess the building operations properly and devise the energy estimates in both contexts – under normal conditions as well as during WFH times or lower occupancy times. The audit will enable the understanding of how skewed the data is and the trend has shown that it is largely unexpectedly skewed (between 2020 & 2021).

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, The Cotocon Group, have a proven history of providing commissioning & 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 coming 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.

Get Savvy to Measure and Verify Your Building's Emissions.