Commercial buildings in the US consume 39% of America’s energy and 68% of its electricity. They further emit 38% of the carbon dioxide. Studies also show that lightning, HVAC, and office equipment are responsible for most of the energy consumption in a typical building, which is good news for these are readily manageable.
Tip #1 Understand the law correctly
NYC 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.
Exemptions from Local Law 87 if
– The building has received an EPA Energy Star label for 2/3 years before the audit due date
–The building has received LEED certification for existing buildings within 4 years before the audit due date.
Tip #2 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.
According to Local Law 87, the compliance date is determined by the last digit of a building’s 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.
Tip #3 Don’t panic if you missed the due date; here’s how you apply for an extension
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.
Tip #4 Understand the difference between energy audit & retro-commissioining
Tip #5 Here’s how you select your energy 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 of 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 Engineer (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, are dynamic as a part of a living being. That is, improving one aspect inherently impacts the other. No changes must be made in isolation.