Heat-Timer® Corporation

Understanding Local Law 97 and its Impact in NYC

Enacted in November of 2019, the New York City Climate Mobilization Act (CMA) is an ambitious package of legislation aimed at reaching carbon neutrality by 2050. According to the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, over 70% of New York City’s carbon emissions come from buildings. With goals set to reduce carbon emissions in the city by 40% by 2030 and 80% by 2050, building emissions are critical to achieving these levels.

Beginning in 2024, LL97 places stringent and increasing emissions limits on most buildings over 25,000 square feet. Buildings that exceed limits face substantial fines. This makes investments in energy efficiency retrofits and electrification the most economical pathway in many cases.

Who is Impacted by LL97?

If you’re a multi-tenant building owner in the five boroughs, there’s a good chance you are! Estimates are that 50,000 residential and commercial buildings across the city—60% of total buildings must comply with LL97’s requirements. With some exceptions, LL97 covers:

  1. Buildings that exceed 25,000 gross square feet
  2. Two or more buildings on the same tax lot that together exceed 50,000 square feet
  3. Two or more buildings owned by a condo association that are governed by the same board of managers and that together exceed 50,000 square feet
  4. Buildings will face annual fines of $268 per ton of emissions above the limit, with many facing multimillion-dollar penalties. ‍

How are Emissions Limits Determined?‍

A number of factors go into determining the greenhouse emission limit per building. These include building usage classifications, occupancy levels and gross floor area. However, limits will not be based on volume, but on intensity. Specifically, it will be tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent (tCO²e) per square foot.

Guidelines for determining and measuring emission limits were clarified last year and information can be found on the NYC.gov website. It is however a rapidly evolving landscape and many building owners may prefer to resort to third party energy consultants who can do the analysis for you.‍ This analysis once approved will serve as a baseline against which future compliance and reductions are measured. By 2024 all affected building owners should have completed this analysis and had their baselines established.

What is the Law’s Timeline?‍

Over time, carbon emission requirements for buildings will go down, and fines levied will go up for non-compliance. Emission limits begin in 2024 and become much more stringent after 2030. It is expected that the most carbon-intensive buildings—approximately 20% of eligible buildings—will miss the mark in this initial period and be subject to fines that will be levied in earnest in 2024.

By 2030, maximum emissions limits will be nearly halved with the aim of creating a 40% carbon reduction compared to 2005 levels. Today, 75% of buildings exceed this limit. Building owners can avail themselves of a number of strategies to minimize fines.  These include:

  1. Buy Carbon Credits to offset carbon emissions but only up to 10% of your carbon.
  2. Convert Oil or Gas burning furnaces to Heat Pumps
  3. Buy Renewable Energy credits (REC’s)
  4. Generally lower your fuel usage by using energy saving measures in the boiler room. (Yes, this is certainly where we come in…)

Heat-Timer© is poised to help building owners take a big bite out of LL97

Energy efficiency and electrification measures that enable buildings to reduce consumption of the carbon-intensive fuel types are the overarching strategy for building owners affected by LL97. For managers with existing water or steam boilers that are not in need of replacement, Heat-Timer© provides the primary solution for reduction of emissions. Regardless of how new or feature rich your boiler or boilers are, the addition of an appropriate Platinum Series Internet Control with wireless apartment sensors can save you a class leading 30% every month. That’s a real 30% and not carefully chosen and inflated data claimed by some of our competitors. Because our unit runs an internal wireless network for our sensors, installation in any building is easy, and thus payback on the installation charges typically occurs in the first or second year, depending on how big your fuel bill is.

If you already have a Platinum Series Controller, make sure it has been upgraded with our internet upgrade package. Just adding this capability can save you another 15%-20% over the base controller while making control and monitoring on phones, tablets and laptops a snap.

For most building owners in NYC, Heat-Timer© Platinum series products were made to help you be a greener building in a greener world.  Call us today to find out more. Visit us https://www.heat-timer.com/