Electrification of Buildings

2021-12-22

Electrification of Buildings

You’ve heard all about the stick, now here are the carrots

A lot has been said regarding Local Law 97, but one thing is certain: the city and the state are trying to aggressively reduce greenhouse gas emissions by providing the financial impetus to do so. Electrifying a building’s heating is one way that we can help to meet NYC’s objectives.

Upcoming Local Law 97 fines based on carbon emissions limits are the electrification stick. In 2024, exceeding these carbon limits can result in a financial penalty, and the limits become more stringent in 2030. By then, up to 70 percent of NYC building stock will be out of compliance. The potential of future fines – the stick – should encourage building owners to plan now for retrofits that will limit their exposure.

But it is not all bad news and penalties: the carrot comes in the form of two new programs that are actively helping building owners achieve these goals now.

As part of the New York State Clean Heat Incentive Program, approximately $450 million statewide has been allocated as part of the ambitious 2019 Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). This is the first program giving significant incentives to electrify buildings the right way. Depending on the type of project, this incentive could make up to 50% on the total project cost.

PACE financing is a loan that is used to pay for energy-efficiency-based building upgrades and is repaid through an assessment on the building’s property tax bill. Under this program, lower interest rate financing can be attainable with a term of up to 30 years. As a result, these upgrades can be paid for with a relatively low payment.

The benefits of an electrification retrofit are not only financial. A modern HVAC infrastructure upgrade will eliminate the comfort issues many tenants commonly deal with in NYC buildings and provide them with a level of control over their heating and cooling.

Once you consider the combined impact of improved comfort, incentives, PACE financing, and the cost of Local Law 97 noncompliance, electrifying your buildings sooner, rather than later, is an attractive prospect worth consideration.

Be Electrification Ready

Ecosystem considers buildings to be in one of two groups:

  • full-electrification candidates OR
  • smart electrification candidates

Full Electrification

Buildings that can be immediately considered for full electrification by converting all of the
building to heat pump technology often have several of the following characteristics:

  • Equipment nearing end-of-life
  • High energy costs and potential for high GHG penalties (LL97)
  • Uncomfortable tenants
  • Existing systems that can easily match a desired retrofit
  • Motivated ownership

Smart Electrification

This group includes the majority of buildings in NYC that will have some of the characteristics above in the foreseeable future. For these buildings, it is important to identify a plan to become electrification-ready and phase in full electrification.

Ecosystem can work with you to plan and implement electrification. Our integrated design and construction model guides you through planning, implementation, and follow-up, guaranteeing the results that matter most to you.

Why Isn’t There a Third Group?

Because we believe there are opportunities in every building for electrification measures.

All buildings should be preparing now to evolve their system for transformational change. Today’s budget can address current needs while preparing for tomorrow’s projects.


To learn more contact Jaime Pereira | 917.587.6884