NYC Local Law 87

New York City Local Law 87 – Compliance Deadline

Local Law 87 Compliance – December Deadline for Buildings with Tax Block Ending in “0”

With the deadline just over a month away, it is now or never for building owners to comply with the New York City Local Law 87 of 2009! Many building owners are aware, but those who are unaware are almost out of time and may receive large DOB fines for non-compliance.

Local Law 87 Compliance

Local Law 87 (LL87), enacted in 2009, requires an energy audit and retro-commissioning every 10 years for all commercial and residential buildings over 50,000 square feet in New York City. These two components of the law make up the Energy Efficiency Report (EER) of a building. The deadline for submitting reports to the NYC Department of Buildings is December 31 of the year they are due, once every ten years. To understand which buildings are due to comply, check the building’s reporting year, which is determined by the last digit of the tax block number.

To understand the requirements of the law better, take a deeper look into it’s two main components: Energy Audit (EA) and Retro-Commissioning (RCx)

Energy Audit

An energy audit is a systematic and regular analysis of a building’s energy equipment and systems, as well as an analysis of energy consumption during the past two years. The energy equipment and systems include heating equipment, boilers, chillers, electrical and lighting systems, ventilation and HVAC systems and building envelope.

An energy audit is done with the purpose of determining the most energy-efficient solutions and cost-effective improvements that will eventually reduce the annual energy costs. The energy audit report comes with a list of recommended strategies on how to save energy, how much it will cost, and what will the eventual payback be.

To carry out a high-quality and proper energy audit you will need a qualified energy auditor. This person will be responsible for creating a full technical proposal based on the monitoring of your building’s systems and equipment. As a result of the work from a qualified specialist, your building’s technical and operational needs will be detected and improved in the best way possible.


Retro-commissioning will ensure the proper installation and smooth performance of all your equipment. The process includes diagnostic monitoring, functional upgrading, and repairing defects in existing base building systems. This is expected to lead to the improvement of performance and the optimization of existing controls, sensors, valves, and such systems, which cannot be fully replaced.

Compared to an energy audit, the goal of which is to determine the complex problems for reaching a building’s optimal functionality, retro-commissioning aims at upgrading all existing systems and controls to reach the highest energy efficiency.

Energy Efficiency Report

It is also important for every building owner to understand the details of an Energy Efficiency Report. An EER is made up of Professional Certification Forms and Data Collection Tools, which need to be filled in electronically. The Professional Certification Forms represent the details about your building’s filing status, the structure of the auditing and retro-commissioning teams, a professional seal and qualifications, as well as a statement of compliance from you as a building owner. Information regarding your building being exempt from conducting an energy audit or retro-commissioning should also be included.

Data Collections Tools are comprised of many sections that include the introduction, submitting, team and building information, and details regarding the building’s equipment.

Who should comply with Local Law 87

  • All commercial and residential buildings over 50,000 square feet.
  • Two or more buildings that exceed 100,000 square feet together (this implies buildings on the same tax lot) and are owned by the city or at least, the city pays the annual energy bills for them – either completely or partially.
  • Two or more buildings held in the condominium form of ownership having the same board of managers and exceeding 100,000 square feet together (again, owned by the city or having their energy bills paid by the city; partially or fully).

Buildings Exempt from Complying with Local Law 87

  • Tenant interim lease apartment purchase program
  • Buildings a part of the HPD program
  • Buildings that are governed by NYC Health and Hospital Corporation
  • Cultural institutions that are included in the Cultural Institutions Group as per the Department of Cultural Affairs
  • Class 1 residential property which includes 1,2 and 3 family homes, condos and co-ops with no more than 3 dwelling units


As a building owner, an EER is due according to the last digit of your building’s block number:

       Last Digit in Block Number                                           Compliance Deadline

8                                                                                    2018

9                                                                                    2019

10                                                                                   2020

11                                                                                   2021

12                                                                                   2022

So if your Building Block is ending in 0, you need to be compliant this year.

Penalties of Non-Compliance?

  1. If your building doesn’t comply with LL87 in the first year, you will be fined $3,000. Non-compliance will result in $5,000 (for every additional year) until you submit your EER to the Department of Buildings.
  2. Failing to comply with the law will not only result in financial penalties but a Class 2 violation. A Class 2 violation can stop construction permits from being issued. Your building refinancing will also receive a negative impact.

Other important points regarding Local Law 87 that will surely interest building owners are the following:

  • ENERGY STAR Certified? Good news, you don’t need to conduct an energy audit for 2-3 years preceding the filing of an EER. However, you will still need to submit a retro-commissioning report.
  • An energy audit will also not be required for those buildings which possess a certification under the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) 2009 rating system for Existing Buildings published by the USGBC (US Green Buildings Council), or any other rating system for existing buildings.
  • You won’t have to submit an EER report within 4 years prior to the filing of your building’s EER.
  • No retro-commissioning needed if your building has received the LEED point for Existing Building Commissioning investigation, analysis, and implementation.
  • If your building is less than 10 years old, you still must carry out an energy audit and retro-commissioning.
  • To be exempt from submitting an EER is when all the base building systems comply with the NYC energy conservation code. This is in effect for new buildings constructed on or after July 1, 2010.

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