NYC LOCAL LAW 84 of 2009

NYC passed several municipal ordinances in 2009 as part of its Greener, Greater Buildings Plan. These ordinances deal with energy waste in existing buildings. Also, it helps the city reach its target of decreasing emissions by 80% from 2005 levels by 2050. One of these laws is the New York City Benchmarking Law, also known as Local Law 84.


The Local Law 84 benchmarking requires owners of large buildings (those larger than 50,000 square feet) to annually gauge and reveal how much energy and water they use using the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. For those who don’t know, this is a free online benchmarking tool provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


It is crucial to have an idea and knowledge of the NYC Local Law 84, its standards, and objectives. So, if you’re a building owner, use this knowledge to boost your buildings’ energy efficiency. Not only will you avoid penalties, but also contribute to a sustainable future for the city. So, learn what Local Law 84 is and how our compliance solutions work in your interest.

NYC Local Law 84: What Is It?

As part of a larger drive to increase the energy efficiency of the NYC buildings, the City Council approved Local Law 84 (LL84) in 2009. One must use the Portfolio Manager tool to benchmark and report the city’s energy usage each year. 


However, it’s only for owners of building structures greater than 50,000 square feet. During the benchmarking process, the portfolio manager collects data on numerous aspects. It collects various data types, from the building’s energy usage to its size and occupancy. 


So, once you enter this information, the Portfolio Manager tool determines the building’s energy efficiency using a standardized energy use intensity (EUI) metric. Every year, by May 1st, the city must receive the benchmarking report. 


Local Law 84 NYC emphasizes increasing transparency across the building energy usage. It does so to help building owners, occupants, and the general public understand and gauge the energy performance of different buildings. 


Consequently, this next-level transparency will inspire building owners to spend more on improving their buildings’ energy efficiency. They can contribute to helping NYC achieve its greenhouse gas reduction goals. 

Benchmarking Law (LL84): What Does It Require?

The Local Law 88 requires all NYC structures with over 50,000 square feet to benchmark their annual water and energy use. City-owned properties have a lower threshold. This law covers nearly 2,350 city-owned assets and 13,000 private properties. 


The city’s Local Law 133 of 2016 revised LL84 in 2016. As per the amendment, there has been a reduction in this reporting property size criteria. From 50,000 sq. ft., it has now come down to 25,000 square feet. 


So, this extension will contribute 10,000 properties to the benchmark data set once it goes into effect with 2018 data. This will bring the floor space to nearly 60% of New York City’s gross square footage.

NYC Benchmarking Law: Does It Cover My Building?

So, anyone would agree that collecting stats and data on energy and water usage for every NYC property is impossible. Given this, the Benchmarking Law emphasizes structures with the greatest environmental impact. 


Here is the Local Law 84 covered buildings list to know about: 

    • Specific structures with a floor size greater than 25,000 gross square feet. 
    • Buildings with a combined area of over 100,000 gross square feet that are located on the same tax lot. 
    • A condo comprising two or more buildings with an overall area of over 100,000 gross square feet run by the same board.
    • Any city-owned structures larger than 10,000 gross square feet. 


The law’s original scope covers individual structures greater than 50,000 square feet. However, LL133 of 2016 took it down to 25,000 square feet. Also, Local Law 87, which mandates energy audits and retro-commissioning every ten years, is a part of the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan (GGBP). 


Both LL84 and LL87 are applicable on buildings with over 50,000 sq. ft. However, with a new exception added by the LL133, the LL84 is now applicable on structures between 25000 and 50000 sq. ft. Buildings that satisfy all of the requirements below are no longer needed to benchmark their water and energy use: 


    • Real estate with a maximum height of three stories. 
    • Attached, detached, or semi-attached homes where the HVAC and hot water systems are likewise owned and maintained by the owners of each home.
    • More than two homes are not served by HVAC or hot water systems. And even if the area criterion is met, properties that meet these requirements and are larger than 25,000 sq. ft. are not subject to the benchmarking rule.

NYC LL84 Benchmarking Report Submission For Your Building: Checklist

    • Before preparing and submitting your benchmarking report, you must confirm the data is accurate. 
    • This report must include each variable being metered full calendar year, from January 1 to December 31. 
    • Leverage the Energy Star Portfolio Manager’s error-checking feature to verify the data before submission. 
    • Create and submit the benchmarking report while automatically filing the relevant years’ data using the Portfolio Manager. 
    • However, ensure uploading the most recent report format from the NYC administration. Go to the NYC Mayor’s Office of Sustainability website to download the report format. 


Additional Notes

You must confirm that your BBL and BIN have been properly added to the Portfolio Manager to comply with the Benchmarking Law. Even if the remainder of the procedure was carried out successfully, fines for non-compliance will apply if your BBL or BIN is incorrect. 


Too much hassle, right? Too much paperwork and legal complexities for you? This is where the Local Law compliance consulting solutions from The Cotocon Group come to your aid. Explore the next section to understand how we can help.


Get The Best LL84 Compliance Solutions With The Cotocon Group

With decades of experience and specialty, The Cotocon Group provides the best NYC Local Law 84 compliance solutions. We help our clients reduce operating costs and improve the marketability of their buildings.


NYC environmental goals and compliances are the only focus of our strategic and technical services. From gathering data to submitting the energy and water benchmarking report to the NYC Department of Finance, we will ensure your compliance satisfies all standards.

Local Law 84 Compliance Consulting Services: How It Works?


With expertise and specialization in LL84’s procedures and complexities, The Cotocon Group is always ready to offer the best Local Law 84 compliance consulting services. As the most knowledgeable and experienced group of energy efficiency engineers, we will adapt our compliance solutions to the requirements and particular features of your office or home building. 


Here’s how our LL84 compliance process works when you trust your compliance needs to us:


Step 1: Benchmarking

We will conduct a thorough assessment of the energy use in your building. This report will cover all tenants who are directly metered and all energy sources, including electric, solar, fuel, gas, steam, etc. The most advanced instrument for monitoring energy use in buildings is the EPA Portfolio Manager, which we will take care of.


Step 2: Logistics

Beyond collaborating with our experienced experts, your building benchmarking must be accurate and completely compliant. The Cotocon Group will collaborate with your renters to obtain the documentation for filing LL84. 


Step 3: Energy Compliance Statement

We provide a bird’s eye perspective of your building’s energy use and the necessary benchmarking. The Cotocon Group provides insightful, actionable choices, upgrades, and modifications to increase energy use reduction. Also, we provide above and beyond these Local Law 84 compliance solutions, all while ensuring energy prices are as low as possible under the law.


Step 4: Removing Any Violation

If you receive a violation notification, we will give you a detailed plan of action to remove them during the next quarter to fully comply with Local Law 84 and avert any potential penalties.

LL84 Non-Compliance Penalty

The NYC building owners who disregard LL84 risk fines and penalties. The particular penalty depends on how long the building owner has been in violation and whether or not the structure has violated the LL84 before. 


So, if you’re late filing the benchmarking report, you’ll get a violation notification and a civil penalty of $500 for the quarter. However, if you fail to submit the report within May 1 (deadline), you may have to pay up to $2000 as a penalty. Also, if you don’t show the Building Energy Efficiency Rating Label on time, you may have to pay a $1250 fine. 


So, here is a table better representing the penalties one must pay upon failure to submit the benchmarking report:

Deadline Penalty
May 1st $500
August 1st $1000
November 1st $1500
February 1st $2000


Building owners can contest deadlines if they think there is an error. The NYC Department of Buildings now avails a Benchmarking Violation Challenge Form that you must complete and file within 30 days. If it seems too much hassle, seek assistance from our local law 84 compliance consulting experts.


How Much Time Do We Take To Resolve Your Problems?


Once we get your energy bills, it usually takes us one or two weeks to resolve your benchmarking issue and deliver a report. 


Building Energy Grade For Buildings Covered By The Benchmarking Law

According to Local Law 95, buildings subject to the Benchmarking Law now have energy grades that are derived from the given information. Each building’s energy data is provided through the Portfolio Manager. As a result, this generates an Energy Star Rating. So, you can use this rating to establish the building energy grade.

Energy Star RatingBuilding Energy Grade
85 or AboveA
70 – 85B
55 – 70C
No submission of benchmarking dataF
Buildings’ Exempted from the Benchmarking LawN

Building owners should prioritize raising energy ratings because it boosts their company’s reputation. A higher energy rating gives residences and commercial buildings a marketing advantage over less energy-efficient structures. And tenants may agree to a lease if they anticipate saving money on gas and electricity. 



What building types need to comply with LL84?

Any building that is more than 25,000 square feet in size can be found in one of New York City’s five boroughs.


What is the frequency of benchmarking report submission?

You must submit the annual Benchmarking report to the NYC Department of Buildings in accordance with Local Law 84.


What is the best way to file a benchmarking report?

When you deal with us, The Cotocon Group prepares, produces, and files the report on your behalf. From providing logistics to find tenants and removing violations to giving actionable insights for making your building more energy-efficient, we will help you in every way possible.


How much penalty do I have to pay for LL84 non-compliance?

You’ll have to pay a $500 fine if you don’t submit the Benchmarking report by May 1 each year. If you still do not submit the report after three attempts, there will be extra fines of $500 each quarter, a total of $2,000 yearly. 

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