Property owners across New York City are scrambling to get their buildings in compliance with Local Law 87. Every year, 1,300 to 1,500 buildings are responsible for submitting a comprehensive Energy Efficiency Report (EER) to the City. A total of 1,420 existing buildings are rapidly approaching their December 31, 2013 deadline and must be in compliance with the law. Those that do not meet their deadline will be subjected to fines of $3,000 the first year and $5,000 for each additional year of non-compliance.
If you are unsure whether or not your building must comply, simply consult the full list here. Buildings with simple configurations such as warehouses or are occupied by extensive open spaces such as gymnasiums would be easier and compliance within this calendar year is still very likely. However, compliance may be problematic for buildings with complex systems or with many rooms such as office high-rises and multi-family complexes.
The more complex a building, the more tedious the work will be for contractors, and the longer the process will take. Furthermore, depending on seasonal considerations and the extent of any deficiencies it can take up to 18 months for the final EER to be assembled. In any case, property owners should aim to pursue compliance as soon as possible. All buildings subjected to the law are required to submit an EER every 10 years based on their tax block number. Early compliance is recommended and will not reset a property’s next compliance to an earlier date.
There is good news for those who cannot meet their 2013 deadline. Time extensions are available if a building is unable to complete the energy audit and retro-commissioning despite good faith efforts, or if a building is suffering from financial hardship as defined by the law. Time extensions must be filed by October 1st of the year the EER is due. However, there is a catch. The city has not yet made available a mechanism by which to file for an extension.
The Local Law 87 compliance process comprises two components. The Energy Audit component requires interviews with operating personnel and a thorough review of utility bills and other operating data as well as detailed analysis of energy consumption for each base building system. The Retro-commissioning component enforces a building’s compliance with the list of 28 building operation measures specified in the law and required to rectify any deficiencies and noncompliant issues.
Property owners are ultimately responsible for complying with the law, but selecting a qualified energy auditor and retro-commissioning agent (who must not be a member of the building staff) can be difficult. Bright Energy Services can help guide you through the entire Local Law 87 compliance process. Our team of certified auditors and commissioning professionals will get the most out of your energy audit by implementing low and no-cost recommendations and will make the best of your retro-commissioning by rectifying issues and implement energy efficiency upgrades, all while consulting your building staff. Bright Energy Services will file all relevant paperwork and if your facility is eligible for any rebates, will handle the paperwork and help secure the incentives available to help offset the expenditures for these projects.