NYC Local Law 95

Building energy ratings in New York City can impact property owners. If your building obtains a worse grade, you may have to pay considerably in the long term. The rating system became effective in 2018 under Local Law 33. 


However, Local Law 95 introduced a new requirement. It requires most building owners to prominently display their energy efficiency letter grades at their entrances. NYC’s long-term objectives include a 40% carbon reduction by 2030. They aim to hit an 80% reduction by 2050. 


Under LL97, most NYC buildings greater than 25,000 square feet will be subject to carbon restrictions starting in 2024. Although there are no current penalties for inefficient buildings, renters and buyers may steer clear of those with low ratings. 


In this article, learn about Local Law 95 in NYC and how to comply with it to avoid penalties. 

What Is NYC Building Energy Efficiency Grade?


The NYC building efficiency grade indicates a property’s ability to comply with or exceed an acceptable energy-water consumption standard. The EPA’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager calculates the ratings, which compare energy performance to “similar buildings in similar climates.” 


You’ll probably get an A if you own a building that consumes 90% less electricity than comparable buildings. The organization of the grading system is as follows:


Grade A Score is equivalent to or more than 85
Grade B Score is less than 85 but equivalent to or more than 70
Grade C Score is less than 70 but equivalent to or more than 55
Grade D Score is less than 55


If a building’s owner fails to provide the necessary data for benchmarking, it will get a “F” grade. Buildings free from benchmarking get an “N” grade, which stands for “none.” Even the prospect of fines hasn’t elicited the same response as the letter grades on the buildings’ fronts.


Why Did NYC Pass The Local Law 95?


Due to the Climate Mobilization Act, a trailblazing set of laws intended to address the existential threat of climate change, the city passed LL95. The Climate Mobilization Act includes a number of bills and resolutions, and Local Law 95 is one of them. 


The main legislation in the package holds mid-sized and big buildings accountable. It considers them responsible for about a third of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions. The legislation requires them to cut those emissions by 40% by the end of 2030, as said above. 

How Does The NYC Government Determine Letter Grades?


Energy usage determines letter grades. Revise them yearly and submit them to the NYC Government. This way, you can comply with Local Law 95’s energy benchmarking requirements. The ENERGY STAR score of a property, a statistic determined during energy benchmarking, is used to determine letter grades. 


Higher scores indicate better energy performance on the scale of 1-100 used by ENERGY STAR. Although the score considers several operational variables, it depends mainly on Source Energy Use Intensity (EUI). Source EUI measures numerous energy sources, such as electricity, gas, fuel oil, and district steam. It also measures the energy needed to produce, transfer, and distribute it to the site. 


Remember This!


Despite the industry’s efforts for electrification, electricity use negatively influences SourceEUI. That’s because it weighs almost three times as much as fuel oil or gas. This is brought on by the extra energy needed to generate and deliver electricity to a structure. You’re not the only building owner or manager with a low grade if your structure is heated by electricity. Find out how to raise your grade by reading on.



NYC Local Law Compliance Solutions: How To Comply


On May 1 every year, submit benchmarking data on energy and water use. Get your building’s energy efficiency rating label on October 1 by visiting the DOB NOW Building Energy Efficiency Rating link. Print and display the grades within 30 days (October 31). 


Here are the things to include and check on your actual score sheet: 


  • An example of the grading scale showing where the building is placed
  • The typical Energy Star rating for NYC 
  • The building’s two-year average energy efficiency rating 
  • The grade in letters
  • The structure’s Energy Star rating
  • A brief on how to compute the score 
  • Street address, borough, block, and lot of the building

Tips To Improve Your Building’s Energy Efficiency Rating


  • Check For Mistakes In Your Energy Data


The ENERGY STAR ratings may be off due to missing or inaccurate information. The most crucial data elements to double-check are floor areas, property use types (such as separately reporting a ground-level retail space in a multifamily complex), and operational specifics. 


Check the number of bedrooms and units in multifamily buildings. Verify for each tenant in commercial offices the hours of operation, the number of employees, and the quantity of computers. There’s an ongoing discussion with the Department of Buildings on how to fix inaccuracies in the energy statistics and whether a new label can be produced prior to the deadline the following year. 


  • Communicate About The Most Effective Energy-Saving Measures


Discuss how the current systems function and whether there are any energy-saving opportunities. However, do this only if you have a building engineer, operator, or superintendent on the premises. Your building’s workers may be able to increase performance through training. 


Hiring a third-party consultant to conduct an energy audit of your building’s systems may be advantageous depending on employee experience. This research can provide you with a list of your systems and evaluate how you might cut your energy use and save money by combining capital and operational improvements.


Building Energy Efficiency Grading System Application 


According to a summary of Local Law 97 by the Urban Green Council, this legislation will statistically impact almost 50,000 structures in New York City and about 60% of the city’s building area. According to the executive summary, buildings account for two-thirds of New York City’s annual emissions, with the remaining third mostly coming from on-the-road vehicles. 


This has a significant effect on the creation of energy. The building energy efficiency rating’s level of transparency will demonstrate a building’s level of energy efficiency or inefficiency. According to the New York City Council Climate Mobilization Act, buildings’ amount of greenhouse gasses varies based on their use. 


The top 5 building kinds with a square footage of more than 50,000 are residential (36%), business (26%), institutional (12%), hospital (7%), and educational (7%). Hospitals release the highest greenhouse gasses per square foot for structures larger than 25,000 square feet, based on average greenhouse gas emission intensity by use. 


The law mandates the use of energy-intensive systems in hospitals and includes ventilation. If not, these power-hungry devices like ventilators and MRI machines will increase emissions.


Penalty For Local Law 95 Non-Compliance:

A $1250 fine and a DOB violation will be assessed to building owners who somehow fail to produce their Energy Efficiency Rating Label by October 31. This is what happens when you refuse to seek Local Law 95 compliance solutions from experts beforehand. 

Building owners who don’t turn in their benchmarking report by the deadline will get an “F” rating, which must be displayed on each building’s public entrance by October 31. The label needs to be present until October 1st of the subsequent year. 


Tips To Meet The Upcoming Decarbonization Mandates of NYC


Buildings will soon have to adhere to all of the new energy efficiency standards established in Local Law 97 and Local Law 95 NYC. The foundation of the Climate Mobilization Act is Local Law 97 of 2019, which will implement some of the most comprehensive and ambitious carbon emission regulations in 2024. 


For every metric ton of carbon dioxide that a building emits beyond its permitted limit without making the necessary retrofits, the building owner will be fined $268. It is obvious that investing in energy-saving measures today is vital, even though the new standards and grading system may be scary. 



Are you looking for assistance in getting ready to fulfill the forthcoming obligations of NYC’s Climate Mobilization Act? If so, experts at The Cotocon Group are here to help. 





New York City passed NYC Local Law 95, popularly known as the Energy Grades Law, to lower carbon emissions and enhance building energy efficiency. Building owners are held responsible for their energy use and motivated to make energy-efficient improvements by mandating that structures over a certain size show an energy efficiency rating in a prominent position. 


Both visitors and tenants benefit from better energy efficiency transparency. It helps them make knowledgeable decisions about where they live and work. If you own or manage a building in New York City, make sure to comprehend your responsibilities under NYC Local Law 95 and reap the rewards it may offer. 


With over a decade of experience in energy efficiency and benchmarking buildings, The Cotocon Group helps building owners and managers comply with local law 95 without hassle. With our Local Law 95 compliance consulting services, learn the complexities of this law while we help you with the paperwork and other procedures. Contact today! 




Which buildings need to comply with NYC Local Law 95?

Buildings larger than 25,000 square feet and numerous structures on the same tax lot with a combined area of more than 100,000 square feet must abide by NYC Local Law 95.


How do I calculate the Energy Efficiency Grade?

The Department of Buildings used information from Local Law 84/133, which mandates that building owners disclose their energy usage to the city, to create an energy efficiency score that serves as the foundation for the Energy Grade. Your benchmarking’s ENERGY STAR Score will determine your EGRADE.


What do you mean by the Energy Grade scale?

A is the highest efficient grade on the energy grade scale, and F is the least efficient.


Is there any deadline for posting Energy Grades?

By October 31st of each year, building owners must display their Energy Grades. 


Can building owners ask for a review of their Energy Grade?

Within 30 days of obtaining their Energy Grade, building owners can ask for a review of it. Through an official hearing procedure, they can potentially contest the grade.


Can tenants appeal to review a building’s Energy Grade?

Renters may indeed request the Energy Grade of a building. Building owners must furnish the grade within 30 days after receiving the request.


How can building owners improve their Energy Grades?

Building owners can raise their buildings’ Energy Grades by installing energy-saving modifications like effective HVAC or lighting systems, better insulation, or renewable energy sources. Additionally, we advise commissioning, periodic benchmarking, and energy audits.


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