Skip to content

Everything You Need to Know About Local Law 97

Local Law 97 blog
If you're managing buildings in New York City, you must keep Local Law 97 (LL97) on your radar. It's a major law passed in 2019, and it's a huge part of the city's plan to be carbon neutral by 2050. LL97 limits greenhouse gas emissions for bigger buildings, including places where people live and work. If your building doesn't follow these rules, you could face some steep fines.

Why does LL97 matter so much? Because buildings in New York are where about two-thirds of the city's emissions come from. LL97 aims to bring that down by 40% by 2030 and then by 80% by 2050.

What does this mean for your buildings? If they're bigger than 25,000 square feet, you'll need to meet new energy and emissions standards starting in 2024, and those standards will get even more strict in 2030.

In short, LL97 isn't just another set of rules. It's a chance for you to help make New York City a leader in being green and environmentally friendly. Here's what you need to know about Local Law 97 to avoid fines and make sure your building is up to standard now and for the future.

Key Provisions of NYC’s Local Law 97 Explained

Local Law 97 stands out as one of the boldest laws in the U.S. regarding reducing building emissions. If you have buildings in New York City, it's going to affect you directly.

Let's break down what you need to know about the main parts of Local Law 97:

  1. Emission Caps and Timeline: Starting in 2024, Local Law 97 sets emission caps for certain buildings in New York City, and these limits will become tighter by 2030 to align with the city's broader environmental goals.

  2. Applicability to Buildings: LL97 targets buildings over 25,000 square feet and also includes complexes on the same tax lot or under the same board, like condos, that total over 50,000 square feet. There are exceptions, though, such as city-owned buildings, places of worship, nonprofit hospitals, and rent-regulated properties.

  3. Initial Steps for Compliance: The first step to make sure you're following LL97 is to figure out if it applies to your building. If it does, you'll want to get an energy audit done to see where you stand with emissions and what you might need to fix.

  4. Methods for Reducing Emissions: To meet the requirements of LL97, buildings have to cut emissions to below the cap. This might mean making some changes, like installing solar panels, updating to smarter technology, swapping out old gas systems for electric ones, installing LED lights, or using windows that save more energy.

  5. Financial Assistance and Incentives: Building owners can access rebates, tax breaks, and grants for qualifying upgrades. The Climate Mobilization Act also offers C-PACE loans, providing low-interest, long-term financing for energy-efficient improvements. These loans are paid back via property tax bills and are often balanced out by energy cost savings.

Benefits and Challenges of Local Law 97

If you look after a building in NYC, Local Law 97 is actually good news. It's helping clean up the city's air and reduce energy use, which means your energy bills will get lower. That's extra cash that goes back into your building each year.

Many potential tenants are drawn to buildings that use less energy and that are good for the planet. This can increase your property's perceived value. Plus, getting those energy-saving upgrades means you're following the law and avoiding big fines now that the city is getting tough on energy use. Smart technology upgrades can simplify the work of property managers and superintendents, bringing modern conveniences to the management of older buildings.

But, it can be a bit of a challenge to get older buildings up to speed. Recognizing the financial implications of compliance, the city offers a lifeline in the form of rebates through ConEdison and National Grid, tax breaks, and grants for qualifying upgrades.

This kind of financial support makes complying with LL97 a whole lot easier. You can feel confident about bringing in tech to reach new climate standards and make your property more profitable and energy-efficient.

Get LL97 Compliant With Smart Technology

To meet Local Law 97 and boost your building's efficiency, technology like smart boiler controls is a great way to comply, save money, and future-proof your property.

  • Smart Technology Leads to Compliance: Using smart technology, like smart boiler controls, is a simple but effective way for older buildings to meet LL97. It cuts down on energy use, which is key for meeting LL97's tough standards. Additionally, the most recent updates to LL97 make smart heating controls and the installation of temperature sensors in at least 25% of the building units a requirement for rent-stabilized buildings.

  • Future-Proofing Buildings: Smart tech not only meets LL97 needs but also prepares buildings for even more rigid requirements in the coming years. As green standards get tougher, buildings with smart systems will find it easier to keep up.
  • Enhanced Efficiency and Cost Savings: Beyond just following the law, smart tech can improve how your building runs and save you money. By using energy more efficiently, you can cut your utility bills, which is good for your profits and makes your property more competitive in the real estate market. 

Technology is key in dodging fines, so who's in charge of making upgrades? Everyone involved with your building has a part to play.

Who's Impacted by Local Law 97 

Local Law 97 affects everyone in NYC's building management and ownership in different ways:

  1. Building Owners have the main job of making sure their buildings meet LL97's emission limits. This might mean investing in updates and facing fines if they don't comply.

  2. Property Managers are key to making sure buildings stick to LL97. They oversee upgrades, maintain efficient systems, and handle all the paperwork and financial incentives.

  3. Superintendents are in charge of running and maintaining the building. They need to know how the new systems for LL97 work and keep them running smoothly.

  4. Co-Op Board Members must understand LL97's impact and decide on energy-saving investments. They also have to keep residents informed about any changes or costs.

Everyone involved needs to fully understand LL97, be committed to sustainable practices, and plan strategically to remain compliant and avoid financial setbacks.

Future Implications and Updates of Local Law 97

As green tech and sustainability standards evolve, keep an eye out for updates to Local Law 97. These changes, driven by new technologies and environmental practices, will keep the law up-to-date and effective in cutting emissions. They'll also align with New York State's 2030 energy goals, like 70% renewable electricity, cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 40% from 1990 levels, and moving to a carbon-free electricity sector by 2040.

By actively following the law, you'll help the environment, cut operating costs, and make your properties better places to live.

Think of Local Law 97 and New York State’s 2030 goals as chances to build a better future and save money. Following these standards helps avoid energy fines, lower operating costs, and boost your buildings' value.

Ready to get compliant? Speak with a Runwise energy consultant by contacting us here.