February 24, 2021

The NYC Energy Landscape - A Cheat Sheet

The energy landscape in New York City is rapidly changing. As part of efforts to increase sustainability and eliminate greenhouse gas emissions, a series of legislative measures were passed that directly affect a majority of buildings. Navigating these new laws can be challenging. At Ecosystem, we are actively helping building owners and managers respond to these new challenges, implementing projects that eliminate fines, improve energy grades, and take advantage of incentive programs to keep costs low. We’ve put together this quick cheat sheet to help you remember some important regulations and how they may impact you and convey this information to your clients.

City Regulations

Climate Mobilization Act (CMA) New York City legislation. Targeting nearly 60% of buildings in the city, this Act establishes new rules and regulations regarding greenhouse gas emissions, including annual limits and compliance periods.

Local Law 97 (Carbon Emissions Cap) LL97 (2019) requires most buildings in NYC to limit their greenhouse gas emissions based upon their usage and square footage. Buildings that exceed their carbon emissions cap are subject to significant fines, while compliant buildings can sell carbon credits.

Local Law 33 (Energy Grades) LL33 (2018) required buildings to display their energy efficiency, using both a letter grade and efficiency score. Revised as LL95 (2019), the amendment changes the range by which energy efficiency grades are measured, ranking a larger percentage of buildings as C and D grades.

Local Law 96 Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing LL96 (2018), low-interest financing to encourage investments in clean energy projects that can reduce LL97 fines. PACE financing is tied to the property rather than the owner, allowing the loans to transfer if a building is sold.

Local Law 87 (2009) requires owners of applicable, mixed-use and residential buildings to submit an Energy Efficiency Report (EER) once every ten years.

Local Law 92 & 94 (Green Roofs) LL92 and LL94 (2019) require buildings undergoing major roof renovations to cover their roofs with solar panels, green roofs, or some combination of the two.

State Regulations

Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) New York State legislation aimed at transforming the way we use and create energy, the CLCPA targets 100% zero-emission electricity by 2040.

NYS Clean Heat Incentive A $450 million program, part of the CLCPA, designed to incentivize electrification projects in NYS. Electrification projects can help buildings eliminate their LL97 fines and potentially improve their energy grades.