Local Law 87 FAQs

What is Local Law 87 and why should I care?

The law applies to all NYC buildings over 50,000 square feet and requires a professional energy assessment of the property as well as a “tune up” of its base systems. Penalties for non-compliance are substantial and will range anywhere from $3000 to $5000 for every year that this assessment is not conducted.

When do I have to start worrying about LL87?

It depends on the last digit of your tax block number. Those buildings with tax block numbers ending in three are required to file an energy efficiency and retro-commissioning report by the end of 2013, those ending in four are required to file by the end of 2014, and so on. The exact schedule is shown below:

Compliance Year 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Last Digit of Tax Block 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2
How often do I have to do this?

Once every ten years. Once you have complied, you do not have to do anything again for another ten years.

What is involved in complying with the law?
Component 1: Energy Audit and Energy Efficiency Report Component 2: Retro-Commissioning and Retro-Commissioning Report
The energy audit is an assessment of thebuilding’s base systems including but not limited to boiler and domestic hot water equipment, ventilation, and lighting. Based upon this assessment, an energy efficiency report is to be filed with the Department of Buildings. The report includes an inventory of all systems, a breakdown of the energy usage by system, and a list of recommended but not required energy saving measures. Retro-Commissioning requires that certain minor deficiencies in the buildings base systems be identified and addressed. Major, capital intensive repairs such as replacing a boiler are not required. The deficiencies and steps taken to correct these deficiencies will be included in the retro-commissioning report which will be filed with the Department of Buildings as part of the Energy Efficiency Report.
Can I do this in-house?

You will probably need to hire a company such as Redocs to comply with Local Law 87. The lawrequires the involvement of a New York City Department of Buildings registered energy auditing and retro-commissioning agent. Those registered with the Department are required to hold specific energy related certifications including but not limited to “Certified Energy Manager”(CEM), “Certified Buildings Commissioning Professional”(CBCP), and “BPI Multi Family Building Analyst”(BPI MFBA).

What is an Energy Audit?

An energy audit details a building’s energy usage, identifies the systems responsible for this energy usage (lighting, heating, etc), and proposes ways to reduce this energy usage.

What is Retro-Commissioning?

Retro-commissioning is essentially a “tune up” of the building’s base systems. LL87 identifies 25 items which need to be checked for deficiencies and which need to be addressed if deficiencies are found.

Am I required to spend a ton of money implementing your proposed 'energy savings' measures?

No!  The recommendations we make for the energy audit are not mandatory.

What about spending money on retro-commissioning?

The City IS requiring that certain deficiencies be corrected, however, these are typically minor deficiencies such as pipe insulation or thermostat adjustments. Capital-intensive items such as changing a boiler or a roof are NOT required.

What happens if I don't comply?

Fines will range from $3000 to $5000 for every year that the building is not in compliance with Local Law 87.

Can I comply early?

In 2013, the law’s first year in existence, buildings were allowed to comply early regardless of their designated compliance year. This option is no longer available. Buildings CAN undergo the required energy and retro-commissioning assessment early provided it is no more than four (4) years prior to designated compliance year, HOWEVER, unlike in 2013, the building cannot actually file the associated Department of Buildings paperwork until its designated year.