NYC Local Law 87

Retro-Commissioning vs Energy Audit under New York City Local Law 87

Energy Audit under New York City Local Law 87


Retro-commissiong and Energy Audit are part of New York City Local Law 87 (NYC LL 87) a movement known for making a more sustainable city by impacting buildings 50,000 square feet or larger. It is mandatory for building owners to comply with Local Law 87 (LL87) to get the maximum benefits out of it by conducting periodic energy audits and retro-commissioning measures of their buildings as a part of the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan (GGBP).

We know that buildings are complex structures and contain several mechanical systems that interact, but not everyone is capable of understanding them unless they are properly trained to understand those dynamics.

That is why to make aware of building’s energy usage, Local Law 87 mandates energy audits, a survey-based assessment along with retro-commissioning, to boost performance right from the beginning, by ensuring correct equipment installation as certified professionals do both processes to ensure smooth functioning of the building.

The concept is termed as crucial and potentially a pricey law to some extent which mandates property owners to audit their building’s energy usage along with retro-commission of their buildings. The process is conducted every ten years after which submission of an Energy Efficiency Report (EER) is essential to the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) that documents the results.


An energy audit is comprised of periodic or systematic analysis of a building’s energy usage along with equipment and systems to identify advances and enhancements that are required to improve your building’s energy efficiency. Auditors/engineer from New York City assess systems and inspects how much energy flows in and out of a building including heating and cooling, lighting, ventilation, hot and cold-water systems and consults with maintenance authority and residents for feedback on potential issues.


A retro-commissioning study makes recommendations on what all needs to be modified. It commonly identifies functional operations, maintenance, and calibration errors of the buildings that are easily adjusted and corrected when implemented, majorly amount to significant energy and cost savings and enhancement in equipment reliability. Common practices that include in the retro-commissioning process are valve and sensor adjustments, boiler tune-ups, along with programming heating and cooling systems to optimal settings.


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