LOCAL LAW 87 of 2009

What is the NYC Local Law 87?

Local Law 87 (LL87) mandates buildings larger than 50,000 square feet to submit an Energy Efficiency Report (EER) every 10 years. It reports energy audit results & retro-commissioning measures that validate the operating conditions of building systems.


What are you required to do under LL87?

– Determine whether your building needs to comply as well as which year is the compliance due.
– Conduct periodic energy audits & retro-commissioning of base building systems.
– Complete and submit the EER – Energy Efficiency Report, electronically.
– Submit the EER once every 10 years to the city by December 31st.


An Energy Audit is a survey of energy equipment, systems, envelope and operations in a building. It identifies energy efficiency improvement opportunities and provides recommendations on energy saving strategies. Retro-commissioning focuses on fixing existing systems or equipment. Take HVAC system as an example. As the chart displayed below, more than 40% of a commercial building’s energy is consumed by HVAC system. Therefore, it’s imperative to check the HVAC system’s operating condition and identify any deficiency.

The Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs) uncovered during Retro-commissioning typically involve reprogramming controls, repairing dusty dampers, and replacing faulty actuators, valves, variable speed drives, and sensors. Retro-commissioning also takes a thorough look at how building operators are using the controls, as poor operational procedures usually lead to energy waste. ECMs discovered are low cost or no cost measures. The purpose of retro-commissioning is to optimize existing system performance through fine-tuning and upgrades rather than relying on major equipment replacement (which energy audits sometimes do).

Basic Retro-commissioning Information includes :-

– Existing equipment inventory
– Detailed Energy usage & its breakdown
– Basic team information/ general building information
– Energy conservation measures that have been identified from the audit
– Lastly, retro-commissioning measures

According to Local Law 87, the compliance date is determined by the last digit of a buildings’ tax block number. It repeats every 10 years. For example, if the block number ends in 2, the EER report is due by the end of 2022 and the next compliance is due in 2032.

LL87 Penalties

Non-submission automatically results in violations, which charge a fine of $3,000 in the first year and $5,000 every year after. The Department of Buildings is responsible for the enforcement of the local law 87 and it deems non-compliance a class 2 violation. The DOB also intends to conduct random reviews of the documents that have been submitted under the law. 

What benefits do energy audits & retro-commissioning create?

1. Buildings that waste energy can result in high energy costs. The earlier you fix any deficiency, the more you save on energy bills.

2. An energy efficient building increases building and occupant comfort, while maintaining indoor air quality. It improves your building’s value and helps you achieve high occupancy rate.

3. As the NYC Local Law 97 sets limits on buildings’ Greenhouse Gas emissions, it’s urgent to study your building thoroughly and identify any energy waste. Remember, a failure to stay below the limits can result in hundreds of thousands of penalties.

NYC Local Law 87 Extension

There are extension provisions available in cases of failed and untimely submissions. The provision also extends to a building suffering from financial hardships. An extension request costs $155 and must be filed by October 1st of the year when the report is due.


How to Select NYC Local Law 87 Provider?

Navigating the compliance landscape can most understandably seem overwhelming, all the more with regard to finding an expert. Here’s a list of all the questions you should ask along with the kind of answers you should expect:-

1. How long have you been providing LL87 services?


Ideally, you should look for people who have around 5 years of experience as that inevitably mandates a deep understanding on the subject – how it’s evolved, current processes, actionable ideas, etc.


2. How quickly can you get the energy audit & retro-commissioning done?


Be wary of providers that promise speed. It takes much longer than a mere couple of weeks to comprehensively complete the study. We recommend a safe time of 6 months.


3. Does your staff include Professional engineers (PE) and/or registered architects?


The amendment done to the LL87 explicitly requires one as all the reports need to be ultimately signed off by them.


4. What is your approach to energy auditing and retro-commissioning?


An experienced provider looks at the building interconnectedly – all of the building’s systems, dynamic as a part of living being. That is, improving one aspect inherently impacts the other. No changes must be made in isolation.


5. What do you do after the processes are done?


A holistic provider also takes care of the LL97 requirements because of how interdisciplinary they are. The Cotocon Group guarantees thorough handholding to install and sign off also on the prescriptive list of Local Law 97.


1. What is an energy audit?

An energy audit is a survey of energy equipment, systems, envelope and operations in a building. It identifies energy efficiency improvement opportunities and provides recommendations on energy saving strategies.

2. What does an energy audit accomplish?

– identifies all reasonable measures that should save your building on its energy usage including capital improvements.
– if the benchmarking output is consistent with the EPA Portfolio Manager tool.
– predicted energy savings post implementation of the recommended measures


3. What are ‘base building systems’?


– HVAC, building envelopes, conveying systems, domestic hot water systems, electric and lighting systems


4. Which buildings qualify for LL87?


NYC Local Law 87 (LL87) mandates buildings larger than 50,000 square feet to submit an Energy Efficiency Report (EER) every 10 years.

5. What does a retro-commissioning study accomplish?

It ensures that all systems are operations are running efficiently i.e.. saving energy and the owner, their money after thorough analysis, testing and corrections.

We, The Cotocon Group, have a proven history of providing Local Law 87 compliance services in New York City to building owners. Our highly skilled team ensures building owners meet all the requirements from planning compliance schedule, conducting energy audits and retro-commissioning to generating and submitting the Energy Efficiency Report within deadline. We will demonstrate that the greatest return on investment for building owners is investing in energy efficiency. Contact Us to know more! 

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