Local Law 84 Requires “Benchmarking”

Local Law 84 is one of four Local Laws enacted as part of the City’s Greener, Greater Buildings Plan (GGBP), a “comprehensive, mandatory effort to reduce emissions from existing large buildings,” said Mayor Bloomberg in signing the legislative package in 2009. Studies have shown that approximately 75 percent of the City’s greenhouse emissions come from buildings. The City’s ultimate goal is to reduce emissions by 30 percent by 2030.

According to Peter Lampen, Vice President and Architect with Douglas Elliman Property Management (DEPM), “The City hopes that this data will enable building management and owners to better understand the performance of their buildings, and incentivize the undertaking of energy-saving improvements and upgrades.”

For co-ops and condos, the usage data should be collected and reported by their management company. Peter Lampen reports, “We have been through two annual cycles of Benchmarking under Local Law 84, and this May we will be filing to complete the third cycle, submitting each property’s energy and water usage data for 2012.”

This year, for the first time since the Law was enacted, this data will be made public, showing electricity, natural gas, fuel oil and water usage. With the ever-increasing cost of fuel and water, it is expected that co-op and condo buyers and investors will begin to use this data to compare properties. The City hopes that buildings with a higher energy use “score,” indicating better energy efficiency and lower carbon footprint, will become more attractive to buyers, encouraging less efficient properties to initiate energy upgrades, which could result in usage reductions of up to 40 percent.

“We will issue a simple report for each building,” explains Lampen, “listing the major data points as well as comparisons to the rest of the DEPM portfolio, and to a larger profile of multi-family residential buildings in the city.” This report will help managers and board members address shortcomings and plan ways to cut energy and water usage.

The Empire State Building is one of many properties in New York City that have greatly improved their energy efficiency through extensive upgrades of their insulation and mechanical systems. The City hopes that Local Laws 84 and 87 will encourage other buildings to do the same.

The Empire State Building is one of many properties in New York City that have greatly improved their energy efficiency through extensive upgrades of their insulation and mechanical systems. The City hopes that Local Laws 84 and 87 will encourage other buildings to do the same.

Oil-to-Gas Conversion Update

NYC’s Clean Heat initiative bans the use of No. 4 and No. 6 heating oil, which are responsible for 85 percent of all the soot pollution from buildings. The 10,000 buildings in NYC currently using these “heavy” oils must convert to a cleaner form of heating fuel by the middle of 2015.
Many buildings are switching from oil-burning boilers to dual fuel or natural gas boilers, a change that will not only help reduce pollution, but will result in significant fuel savings as well. Buildings that use 100,000 gallons of No. 6 oil per year can save over $100,000 each year on their fuel costs by switching to gas, based on 2012 oil and gas prices. The City has been working with Con Ed, the Environmental Defense Fund, and several banks and organizations to help buildings meet the deadlines, and finance these costly conversions. Currently, Con Ed is using “Area Growth Zones” to
offer reduced or no cost gas service to buildings that want to convert to gas heat.
DEPM is working with our client buildings to get applications in by the deadlines in order to get Con Ed on the job as quickly and cost-effectively as possible. For more information on program requirements, deadlines and assistance, contact your manager or visit NYCcleanheat.org, coned.com/gasconversions or edf.org/cleanheat.