In early 2019, the New York City Council passed an ambitions package of energy-efficiency and emissions laws to help build more sustainable infrastructure throughout the city. The goal is admirable but, for building owners, navigating this new and complex legal landscape can be difficult. React Industries’ HVAC solutions can help.
What Is Local Law 97?
New York City Local Law 97 is just one of the laws passed as a part of the NYC Climate Mobilization Act. React Industries is uniquely able to help building owners reach compliance with the new law. This is important to fulfill legal obligations and avoid high fines and fees, but also to address greenhouse gas emissions.
The core of Local Law 97 seeks to reduce the emissions of large and medium-sized buildings throughout the city. Buildings of more than 25,000 square feet fall into this category. This means that over 57,000 buildings will be required to reduce their emissions.
By 2030, buildings will be required to reduce their carbon emissions by 40%, and by 80% by 2050. Starting in 2024, heavy fines will begin to be levied on non-compliant buildings.
What Compliance With Local Law 97 in NYC Requires
Compliance with Local Law 97 works in two initial stages. The first compliance period, between 2024 and 2029, will affect the most poorly performing buildings, about 20% by current estimates. Most of these buildings are older and were not designed with efficiency standards in mind. So most existing buildings today are not going to be subject to fines in 2024.
However, making a building over 25,000 square feet more energy efficient is a lengthy process and cannot be put off for long. In 2030, about 75% of buildings over 25,000 square feet will be subject to fines under the law. New requirements for future periods are yet to be determined, but the overall goal remains the same: an 80% reduction in emissions by 2050.
Your building type impacts the emissions levels you are required to meet. Hospitals and religious facilities, for example, will have different compliance requirements versus commercial and industrial buildings.
What Are the Fines?
Buildings that do not comply with the new limits set by Local Law 97 will be required to pay $268 per metric ton of CO2 that exceeds the allowed limit every year until the building is made more efficient. These fines also compound with other laws in the legislative package. For example, inspections and certifications as a part of Local Law 87 carry non-compliance fines as well.
All of this can be quite complicated and it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the details. Your HVAC system is one of the most energy-demanding systems in your facility, and React Industries can help you with meeting compliance requirements.
React Industries can help you navigate the compliance requirements enacted in Local Law 97.
How Local Law 97 Relates to Local Law 87
Local Law 87 is different but highly related to Local Law 97. LL87 mandates that buildings over 50,000 square feet go through a process of energy-efficiency audit and retro-commissioning ever 10 years. If building owners fail to have these audits conducted, they are subject to substantial fines.
One way to simplify all of this is to think again about the goal of all of these separate regulations. New York City is trying to reduce the city’s carbon footprint by 80% by 2050, and each of these regulations helps achieve that same goal. In other words, if building owners are trying to avoid the fines of LL87 by having their buildings retrofitted, they will be working toward compliance with LL97 and other laws in the package. By working with a provider like React Industries, you will be able to develop a long-term energy-efficiency strategy that will allow you to meet every compliance goal.
Carbon Emissions and Your Facility
No, substantial amounts of carbon are not leaking through the bricks of your building. When regulators talk about your building’s carbon footprint, they are addressing the total amount of carbon dioxide produced when generating the energy your facility uses. It’s important to understand this because it clarifies that energy efficiency is the key to creating a more sustainable facility.