New York City Buildings – A New Era of Decarbonization

Building owners are facing Multimillion-dollar fines. How will New York city achieve the GHG EUI Emission targets?

We recently crossed the one-year anniversary of the passage of perhaps the most ambitious law ever adopted by New York City to reduce carbon emissions from buildings.

Local Law 97, one of 10 bills in the Climate Mobilization Act, requires New York City’s 50,000 largest buildings to reduce their carbon emissions by 40 percent by 2030 and by 80 percent by 2050. Non-Compliant buildings will face multimillion-dollar fines starting from 2024.

With New York City staying indoors due to COVID-19, electricity demand in New York City has declined by as much as 18 percent compared to typical levels. When life returns to normal and electricity demand comes back to the normal level, the first emissions compliance deadline will still loom at large for New York City’s building owners.

How can one comply with these laws and what are the implications of these laws?

Building Energy Audit

What is an Energy Audit?

An Energy Audit is the process of identification, survey and the analysis of Energy usage in a building. Its purpose is to optimize the energy usage of the system i.e. Keeping the outputs the same while reducing the energy consumption. A successful energy audit results in energy and cost saving while also reducing the overall carbon footprint.

During an energy audit, health and safety are the primary concerns, while reducing energy consumption and maintaining human comfort. An energy audit seeks to prioritize the energy uses according to the most cost-effective technique while keeping in mind the comfort levels.

Under Local Law 97, buildings larger than 25,000 square feet are required to meet emissions caps beginning in 2024. The 50,000 covered buildings — out of 1 million total buildings in New York City — account for about 60 percent of both the city’s floor area and building emissions.

Multimillion-dollar penalties

Local Law 97 has to be universally accepted by the building owners. In case of non-compliance, Building owners face fines of $268 per ton of emissions above their designated cap beginning in 2024. Fines could reach as high as $5 million annually for individual buildings.

Retro-Commissioning – Cost Effective Way to Save Energy

Retro-Commissioning (RCx)

Retro-Commissioning is an existing building system process for investigating, analysing, and optimizing building systems performance. The Retro-Commissioning process ensures building systems perform interactively to meet the Current Facility Requirements (CFR) and provides the tools to support the continuous improvement of system performance over time through the implementation of low/no cost and capital intensive Facility Improvement Measures (FIMs).

The  majority of existing buildings have not undergone any type of commissioning or quality assurance process. Additionally, over time the facility requirements change and the operational efficiencies of buildings tend to degrade. Because of these factors, many buildings are performing well below their potential, use more energy than necessary, and cost more to operate than they should.

Benefits of Retro-Commissioning

  • Improved Building Systems Efficiency and Extended Equipment Use Lifetime.
  • Improved Occupant Comfort and Productivity.
  • Improved Building Operation.
  • Documented Building Condition and Deficiencies.
  • A List of Recommendations for Improvements.
  • A Road Map for Capital Improvements.
  • Potentially Reduced Carbon Footprint.

Retro Commissioning In NYC

Retrofitting is the most cost-effective way to reduce Energy Usage and make your building Energy Efficient, save money and increase your property value.

Building owners are seeing dramatic savings from tenant retrofits — upward of 30 percent energy savings just by bringing those tenant spaces up to current code.

Energy Efficiency Awareness

There is only so much time left, so understanding your equipment, how your building consumes energy is important. You need to fix what is deficient to be efficient.

The Cotocon Group has various resources, video guides and experts that you can explore to understand the latest laws and take immediate action.

If you are a building owner who is looking to get compliant, get in touch with us today. The Cotocon Group has 10 years of expertise in Local Law Compliance, Energy Audits, Commissioning and Energy Efficiency Solutions.