The Ultimate Guide To NYC Local Law 97 | Compliance Gets Easier With The Cotocon Group

The fossil fuels that cool, heat, and power our buildings are responsible for around 70% of NYC’s carbon emissions. The City plans to address these emissions and make New York carbon neutral by 2050. To achieve this goal, NYC introduced Local Law 97 (LL97). 


Most structures over 25,000 sq. ft surpassing emission limitations are subject to annual fines starting in 2025 under LL97. So, changing your building’s energy efficiency or introducing distributed energy resources are two ways to lower its emissions. 


However, with The Cotocon Group, you’ll never have to worry about Local Law 97 NYC compliance. 


We provide dedicated assistance with renewable energy and energy efficiency upgrades. From lowering energy and efficiency costs to ensuring LL97 compliance within the deadline, our experts can help in many ways.

How Our Experts Define The Local Law 97

“2019 saw the implementation of Local Law 97 in New York City as a part of the Climate Mobilization Act. The largest buildings in NYC are subject to the law’s established carbon emission restrictions.”


“Based on 2024 energy use and emissions, covered buildings will be subject to a yearly monetary penalty. This penalty will amount to $268 for every ton of CO2, the same as beyond the limit. Also, tons of CO2 equivalent are used as the unit of measurement to compute emissions.”

Objectives of the Local Law 97


By 2024, structures over 25,000 sq. ft must comply with greenhouse gas emissions and new energy efficiency standards. However, harsher standards will take effect in 2030. The largest structures in the City must emit 40% less emissions by 2030 and 80% fewer emissions by 2050.


Buildings Result In Carbon Emission During Energy Consumption


The overall energy a building consumes, including fuel oil, natural gas, and electricity, determines its carbon footprint. 


The regulation specifies a “carbon coefficient” to indicate each fuel type’s carbon content. The total energy used for all fuel types multiplied by the associated carbon coefficient for each fuel type results in the annual emissions of a structure. 


Buildings’ electricity consumption will produce less carbon over time as the system becomes cleaner. Also, the NYC Local Law 97 allocates the electricity carbon coefficient for the 2030 compliance period. 


This energy coefficient is approximately 50% cleaner than the one assigned for 2024. It aligns with New York State’s aggressive mandates for developing renewable energy sources. So, reducing carbon emissions will depend on electrifying building systems like heat and hot water.

Carbon Emissions Limits for Buildings (Local Law 97/2019)

By May 1st, 2025, covered buildings will need to submit a report showing their GHG emissions for the prior calendar year (2024). This reporting is required annually, and it must be prepared by a registered professional. Buildings that do not submit an annual report before May 1st or release over-limit Greenhouse Gases will be fined.

Occupancy GroupkgCO2e/sfkgCO2e/sfkgCO2e/sfkgCO2e/sf
Adult Education7.583.572.6741461.782764
Ambulatory Surgical Center11.818.986.7354594.490306
Automobile Dealership6.752.822.1180721.412048
Bank Branch9.874.043.0271292.018086
Bowling Alley5.743.12.3278611.551907
Convenience Store without Gas Station6.753.542.6550241.770016
Data Center23.8114.7911.0933487.395565
Distribution Center5.740.990.5496370.123568
Enclosed Mall10.743.982.9878521.991901
Financial Office8.463.72.7727531.848502
Fitness Center/Health Club/Gym9.873.952.9600461.973364
Food Sales11.815.213.906662.60444
Food Service11.817.755.812063.874707
Hospital (General Medical & Surgical)23.817.344.6540442.997851
K-12 School6.752.231.4881090.809607
Lifestyle Center8.464.713.5293872.352925
Mailing Center/Post Office4.261.981.485330.99022
Manufacturing/Industrial Plant7.581.420.9759930.508346
Medical Office10.742.911.6835650.407851
Movie Theater11.815.44.0464512.697634
Multifamily Housing6.753.352.6921832.052731
Non-Refrigerated Warehouse4.260.880.5680510.163152
Other - Education8.462.931.8676990.839571
Other - Entertainment/Public Assembly9.872.962.2501221.35561
Other - Lodging/Residential7.581.91.3290890.762093
Other - Mall10.741.931.0064260.067983
Other - Public Services7.583.812.8560251.904017
Other - Recreation9.874.483.3596782.239785
Other - Restaurant/Bar23.818.516.3788064.252537
Other - Services10.741.821.3675360.911691
Other - Specialty Hospital23.816.324.7413653.16091
Other - Technology/Science23.8110.457.8348425.223228
Outpatient Rehabilitation/Physical Therapy11.816.024.5137423.009161
Performing Arts8.462.471.3993450
Personal Services5.744.843.6322782.421519
Refrigerated Warehouse9.872.852.1390981.426066
Repair Services (Vehicle, Shoe, Locksmith, etc.)
Residence Hall/Dormitory7.582.461.3324590.528616
Residential Care Facility11.384.894.0278122.272629
Retail Store7.582.11.216050.17604
Self-Storage Facility4.260.610.4049010.132282
Senior Care Community11.384.413.3364432.277912
Social/Meeting Hall9.873.832.8748311.916554
Strip Mall11.811.360.6004930.038512
Supermarket/Grocery Store23.816.764.2561032.030027
Transportation Terminal/Station4.260.570.4287520.285834
Urgent Care/Clinic/Other Outpatient11.815.774.3292812.886187
Vocational School5.744.613.4598422.306561
Wholesale Club/Supercenter11.384.263.1987212.132481
Worship Facility5.741.230.8669210.549306

Measuring Your Building’s Carbon Intensity


Having professional assistance in this operation is advisable because it is quite difficult. We at The Cotocon Group are happy to help you measure carbon intensity without hassle. However, if you want to measure it independently, let us guide you through the procedure. 


    • First, submit the energy benchmarking data by May 1 for compliance with the LL84. 
    • Once done, the US EPA’s free Energy Star Portfolio Manager is an excellent place to begin.
    • The platform will transform the input data into carbon emissions from the building’s energy use.  


As long as the units are the same, these numbers—while not all of LL97’s prerequisites—are a decent place to start. So, remember this when comparing your carbon limitations to those of 2024 and 2030. 


You must determine the carbon emissions limit after discovering the total emissions in the Portfolio Manager. This is the only way to determine whether you’re compliant. To determine the allowable limit, just multiply the maximum by the gross square footage of the building type. Moreover, you require prompt interventions if the sum exceeds the threshold.

NYC Buildings Subject To Local Law 97


Here are the NYC buildings that fall under the purview of the Local Law 97 in New York


    • Buildings larger than 25,000 square feet gross.
    • Multiple structures on the same tax lot that total more than 50,000 square feet gross.
    • Multiple structures owned by the same board of managers oversee condominiums.


Furthermore, buildings held by cooperative corporations that fit the above criteria are subject to LL97 regulations. 


NYC Buildings Not Subject To LL97: All The Exemptions


There are a few buildings that are exempt from LL97. This includes 


      • Buildings with over 35% of rent-regulated units,
      • Housing Development Fund Corp. cooperatives, 
      • Structures that receive federal project-based assistance,  
      • City-owned structures, and 
      • Designated places of worship. 


Building owners should start planning now for ways to comply with emissions limitations in 2024 and 2030. That’s because, with a few rare exceptions, LL97 is anticipated to be aggressively enforced.


Is Your Building Subject To LL97? If So, Learn What Your First Step Should Be! 


Building owners, condominium boards, cooperative boards, and management agents should review the building’s classification.


They must also check other relevant data to see if the local law 97 covers their building structure or not. If the building is subject to LL 97, the next step in the process would be to hire us as your energy auditor. So, you must commission a study of performance to benchmark the building’s current emissions output. 


Also, determine whether it is anticipated that the building will violate LL 97 in 2024 and going forward. Do so by evaluating the building’s current performance,

What To Do If Building’s Emissions Surpass The LL97 Threshold?


The best solution is to bring the building’s greenhouse gas emissions below the cap. If not, pursue another alternative strategy for achieving legal compliance. You can reduce greenhouse gas emissions with improvements and retrofits like: 

    • Adding solar panels as an energy source, retrofitting HVAC systems, 
    • Switching building systems from gas to electric, 
    • Changing lighting fixtures to LED lighting, and 
    • Installing energy-efficient windows. 

Annual infractions and fines will start in 2024 if you don’t meet the emissions caps or the LL 97 criteria. Buildings that emit more than the permissible limit are subject to violations and fines. Moreover, these LL97 non-compliance fine amounts rise over time.


Initiative(s) For Financing Improvements and Retrofits


For qualified building owners, rebates, grant programs, and tax incentives are available. Moreover, thanks to the Climate Mobilization Act, C-PACE loans were made possible. 

C-PACE (Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy) loans are accessible to cooperatives and other building owners to finance or fund energy-efficient upgrades and retrofits. The loans are typically long-term, fixed-rate, low-interest loans based on the life of the financed upgrades and retrofits. 

In some circumstances, the annual savings in energy expenditures can at least partially offset the annual cost of these loans. Also, you return this C-PACE loan through the property tax payment for the building. They cannot accelerate, increasing their value in rising interest rates and operational costs.

However, who publishes the New Core Program Documents for C-PACE Loans? Well, it is the:

    • New York City Energy Efficiency Corp, and 
    • New York City Mayor’s Office of Climate & Environmental Justice.


The updates provide valuable insight into the following: 


    • Costs and certification requirements
    • Building and improving eligibility
    • The value of energy audits and 
    • The consent requirements for current lenders. 

So, cooperatives and building owners should consider all of this information when deciding whether to pursue C-PACE financing. Moreover, C-PACE financing is not yet available for condominiums.

Local Law 97 Compliance Guidelines for Rent Regulated and Affordable Housing

If Building Includes
Any of the Following
If Building Does not Fit into the column at left and:
If Building Does not fit into any
of the columns at left and:
  • >35% of unites subject to rent regulation (regardless of any income restrictions), OR
  • is an JDFC co-op (not a rental), OR
  • Has 1+ unites that participate in a federal project based housing program (e.g., section 8, Section 202, Section 811 or CoC), Or
  • Participates in NYCHA PACT
  • Has 1+ Rent regulated units and no more than 35% of units subject to rent regulation (regardless of any income restrictions)
  • Is a Mitchell-Lama with no units that participate in federal project based housing program, OR
  • Has no rent regulated units and has 1+ units that are income restricted through certain loans, real property tax benefits (eg, 420-c, Article XI, UDAAP), or property disposition programs.

Note that units with an income restriction imposed solely through the zoning resolution do not count as “income restricted” for the purposes of this path.

Building Must Follow the Prescriptive Pathway (Article 321):
Building Must Follow the 2026 Compliance Pathway:
Building Must Follow the 2035 Compliance Pathway:

By 2024,

  • Demonstrate that emissions are below the applicable 2030 limits or,
  • Show that applicable Prescriptive Energy Conservation Measures have been fully implements
  • File a one time report by May 2025*
  • Meet Emission limits starting in 2026, and face penalties for exceeding the limits.

File Annual reports starting may 2027*

  • Meet Emission Limits starting in 2035, and face penalties for exceeding the limits.

File annual reports starting May 2036.*

LL97 generally covers, with some exceptions: buildings that exceeds 25,000 gross square feet; two or more buildings on the same tax lot that together exceed 50,000 square feet; two or more condominium buildings governed by the same board of managers and that regular together exceed 50,000 square feet.

Violations Of Local Law 97 Non-Compliance


Commencing in 2025, if an owner of a covered building reports that their structure has exceeded its annual building emissions limit, they will be subject to a civil penalty equal to the difference between the annual building emissions limit for that time period and the reported building emissions for that year. 


If building owners don’t take steps to enhance their structure’s performance, the City predicts that 20–25% of buildings will exceed their emission limitations in 2024. Approximately 75–80% of buildings will not meet their emission limitations in 2030 if owners do not take steps to make changes. 


The Buildings Department has the authority to impose infractions for non-compliance with the law in addition to the civil penalties stipulated in New York Local Law 97

Violations Of Local Law 97 Non-Reporting


Building owners will be subject to severe penalties and fines beginning in 2025. However, that’s only when they fail to submit their report on the energy usage of their structure. 


How The Cotocon Group Can Help You With LL97 Compliance


The Cotocon Group helps to build owners, managing agents, and condominium and cooperative boards with LL97 compliance. We help them create and carry out comprehensive strategies to comply with LL97 and the Climate Mobilization Act. 


Our experts work with their customers and energy auditors to ascertain if LL97 covers a building, compare its present performance to industry standards, and decide whether it can reasonably be expected to be subject to infractions and fines in the upcoming years. 


Moreover, we assist you in obtaining financing (including by negotiating loan applications, commitment letters, loan paperwork, and closing loans). Also, we help you prepare and negotiate construction contracts for building modifications and retrofits. 


We at The Cotocon Group also offer advice on board governance to ensure that boards take all necessary legal steps and requirements. This includes:


    • reviewing bylaws and other governing documents, 
    • drafting board resolutions to authorize board actions, 
    • identifying any shareholder/unit owner consent requirements in governing documents, 
    • identifying any existing loan documents for borrowing funds, 
    • hiring energy auditors and other professionals, and 
    • taking any necessary legal actions.

Meet Your Building’s LL97 Compliance Requirements With The Cotocon Group


Get Tailored Concierge Service


Working one-on-one with a committed compliance expert and an account manager, you can learn how the LL97 criteria relate to your building(s).Save On Expenses

Count on our knowledgeable advice to help you find financial incentives and financing solutions to assist with paying for your building upgrades. Pay upfront expenses while lowering your energy use, raising the value of your home, and avoiding yearly fines.

On-Time Compliance

Recognize the actions you must take and when they must be taken to comply with LL97. Find pre-qualified service and/or capital suppliers so they can assist you in getting started. 


Hassle-Free Compliance

We estimate the potential penalties and compliance obligations if actions are not made to minimize greenhouse gas emissions. 

Financing Possibilities

We link you up with financial incentives and financing through HPD financing programs, NYC Accelerator PACE Financing, and utility programs. 

Get Ample Knowledge

To request project proposals from vetted service providers and contractors, we assist you in finding them. 

So, get the best NY Local Law 97 compliance services with the industry-leading organization in NYC – The Cotocon Group. Call us for an appointment today!



What are the submission dates for LL97?

2024 and 2030 are the two submission dates for LL97. While the carbon limits will come into effect in 2024, the permissible caps will get drastically low in 2029. 

What Sort of Penalties Can I Expect for Non-Compliance? 

The City’s carbon footprint is too high at $268 per metric ton! There are penalties for filing fraudulent reports and, even worse, for failing to file a report. 

When will Local Law 97 become active? 

The majority of buildings have until 2024 to satisfy their LL97 emission goals. Buildings that don’t comply with the 2024 deadline will start paying annual fines in 2025. Over time, emission caps will be tightened.


Who Does Local Law 97 Impact?

The law applies to buildings over 25,000 gross square feet. The building must meet the annual carbon intensity limits during each compliance period based on the building type.


How Does LL97 Relate to Local Law 87?

Local law 87 provides the roadmap to further compliance with LL97. With the correct retro-commissioning measures implemented post an energy audit, low-cost carbon solutions will inevitably get taken care of.


How Does it Relate to Building Energy Grades (LL95)?

Local Law 95, which enables building grade energy ordinance requires buildings greater than 25,000 square feet to publicly showcase the energy grade received by the building at their entrances. These grades are determined by a building’s ENERGY STAR PORTFOLIO Manager score which is derived from the annual energy benchmarking data.


What do I Need to Take Into Account While Designing a New Building?

Needless to say, design with MINIMUM carbon emissions in mind so that when the building is fully operational, it by default complies to the law. Install solar photovoltaic (PV) or a green roof. You will, this way also comply with LL 92.


What Kind of Fines am I Looking at in Cases of Non-Compliance?

The City at $268 per metric ton for the exceeded carbon footprint! Fines are also designated for submitting false reports and worse, for not submitting a report.


How Does LL97 Relate to Local Law 84 and 133?

Right now, they are two separate laws. As currently written, you will still need to submit annual energy usage to ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager for compliance with Local Law 84 (LL84) and Local Law 133 (LL133), and a separate report (signed off on by a “registered professional”) for the new emission law.

Get Savvy to Measure and Verify Your Building's Emissions.