Local Law 87 - Audit & Retro-commission

Smart energy-saving investments pay for themselves, but knowing which ones work in an individual building requires an energy audit. Local Law 87 of 2009 requires large buildings to conduct an energy audit once every ten years, and to undertake energy-efficient maintenance practices as part of a retro-commissioning process.

On average, energy audits cost 15¢ per square foot. The law will apply to the buildings’ central systems, to minimize impacts on individual tenants and ensure that the owner who makes the investment will realize the savings. Large buildings with simple systems will have the option to comply with the law by undertaking a series of pre-approved energy efficiency measures in lieu of the audit.

Building owners can reduce their energy use by improving heating and cooling systems, and upgrading hot water heaters, roofs, windows, and electric appliances. They can also reduce their emissions impact by installing solar panels and switching to less polluting energy sources.

Energy Audit

An energy audit is an analysis of a building’s energy equipment, systems, envelope, and operations, that:

  • Identifies cost effective options to save energy
  • Recommends energy saving strategies (including cost estimates and payback)

An energy audit focuses on what equipment/systems a building should consider acquiring. The recommendations often include new, better, smarter equipment that would require a capital investment.

Retro-Commissioning (RCx) or Continuous Commissioning (CCx)

Retro-commissioning is the testing and re-tuning of systems in an existing building to improve energy efficiency, for example:

  • Checking HVAC controls
  • Calibrating lighting sensors
  • Ensuring pipe insulation

Retro-commissioning focuses on equipment / systems that a building already has. The focus is fixing what exists.

NYC Department of Buildings is responsible for enforcing compliance. Every 10 years, owners must complete an energy audit, retro-commission their buildings, and file an Energy Efficiency Report. The Energy Efficiency Report (EER) forms must be submitted via email by December 31st of the building’s filing year:

Failure to comply with LL87 subject properties to fines of $3,000 the first year and $5,000 for each additional year.

Here is an example breakdown outlined:

  Filing Year (December 31st 2020) 2nd Yr of Non-Compliance (December 31st 2021) 3rd Yr of Non-Compliance (December 31st 2022) 4rd Yr of Non-Compliance (December 31st 2023)
Total Per Date $3,000 $5,000 $5,000 $5,000
Cumulative Total $3,000 $7,000 $12,00 $17,000

Schedule an Indoor Air Quality Assessment (IAQ) or Energy Assessment Today!!

NYC requires many buildings to meet mandated energy efficiency (LL 84, 85, 87, 95 & 97), clean energy and Green Roofs (LL92&94); and report on energy use. As you expert advisors, we will help you navigate the requirement and save you money!

Many of our services have a 50% – 100% cost share support from NYSERDA or Incentives from Con Edison. Work with us to gain access to these incentives!

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