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State and Local Building Efficiency Regulations & Policies: New York & New Jersey Area

In this series, we’re exploring state and local building efficiency regulations to give you a bird’s-eye view of the policies that may impact your portfolio.

With a population of 8.4 million and more than half of its greenhouse gas emissions coming from its building stock alone, New York City is a key player in the nation’s climate change response. And its energy requirements reflect just that.

New York and New Jersey are targeting an approximate 80-85% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. One notable measure is New York City’s 2019 Climate Mobilization Act, which requires buildings over 25,000 square feet to cut emissions by 40% by 2030, and by more than 80% by 2050. To get there, the city goes beyond requiring your run-of-the-mill energy benchmarking and compliance; it is the first city to set a limit on carbon emissions for existing buildings, and requires new buildings to meet stricter energy efficiency requirements. The Climate Mobilization Act is a comprehensive package that includes several of the measures listed below.

Learn more about how Aquicore makes it easy to collect the energy data needed to comply with local, city, and state benchmarking regulations.

We’ve rounded up the key building energy requirements, policies and plans for New York and New Jersey in the table below:

State / City / County Name Type of Regulation / Policy / Initiative Description Effective Date
New York City Local Law 84 Energy Benchmarking Privately owned buildings greater than 50,000 square feet and city-owned buildings over 10,000 square feet are required to annually benchmark and publicly disclose energy usage data using ENERGY STAR. 2009, Amended in 2016
New Jersey Assembly Bill A3723 Energy Benchmarking Commercial buildings of more than 25,000 square feet must track and report their annual energy and water use using the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool.
New York City Local Law 88 Energy Efficiency (Existing Buildings) Large non-residential buildings are required to upgrade lighting to meet current New York City Energy Conservation Code standards and to install electrical sub-meters for each large non-residential tenant space and provide monthly energy statements. 2009
New York City Local Law 33 & Amended Local Law 95 Energy Efficiency (Existing Buildings) Building owners of buildings that are also required to annually benchmark energy and water data must also obtain and publicly display energy efficiency scores and grades. The energy label will be displayed near a public entrance and include both the building’s ENERGY STAR score 1-100 and a corresponding A-D letter grade to give New Yorkers a snapshot of a building’s energy performance. Click here for a full step-by-step guide to compliance. 2018, 2019
New York City Local Law 97 Energy Efficiency (Existing Buildings) Part of the Climate Mobilization Act. Requires all buildings larger than 25,000 square feet to meet ambitious carbon reduction targets that limit the amount of carbon produced from a building. The carbon emissions intensity limitations vary by building type and are categorized based on building code occupancy groups (apartment, offices, hotels, etc.). If buildings cannot comply by reducing energy use, buildings may comply by purchasing RECS and/or Ghg offsets (credits for planting trees) and building carbon trading; where buildings that surpass their carbon limit can sell to buildings that cannot meet the limit. Exceeding the emissions limit results in a fine of $268 per metric ton of carbon over the building’s limit. New York City is currently completing a carbon trading study to assist with compliance. Enacted in 2019, Amended in September 2020
New York City Local Law 87 Energy Efficiency (Existing Buildings) Requires energy audits and retro-commissioning for all existing buildings over 50,000 square feet and submit information to the New York City using Energy Star Portfolio Manager once every four years.2 2012
New York City Local Law 85, GGBP, 2019 ECCCNYS, Local Law 48 of 2019, and Local Law 1 of 2011 Energy Efficiency (Major Renovation) Under this revised code, additions, alterations, renovations, and repairs must conform to the energy code as if they were new construction. 1
New York City Local Laws 92 and 94 Energy Efficiency (New Construction and Major Renovations) Part of the Climate Mobilization Act. To reduce urban heat hazards and increase the energy efficiency of buildings, these local laws require all new buildings and buildings undergoing a major renovation to be covered with solar panels, green roofs, or a combination of the two. 2019
New York City NYC Energy Conservation Code (NYECC), Local Law 048 Energy Efficiency (New Construction) To ensure that the construction of new buildings will meet the 80% greenhouse gas reduction by 2050, the code has been revised to align with NYSERDA’s NY Stretch Energy Code and requires additional energy efficiency requirements such as requiring whole building metering, enhanced testing of and sealing of a building’s thermal envelope, meeting minimum efficiency requirements for heating and cooling systems. Find more info here. Updated March 2020
New York City Local Law 96 Energy Efficiency Incentive Program Part of the Climate Mobilization Act. The Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) is a financing program that offers building owners a way to fund energy efficiency and clean energy projects. This program can be used to finance efficiency projects such as energy efficiency equipment upgrades and on-site renewable energy generation to help comply with Local Law 97. 2019

  1. https://programs.dsireusa.org/system/program/detail/3865/new-york-city-energy-conservation-requirements-for-existing-buildings
  2. https://programs.dsireusa.org/system/program/detail/3865/new-york-city-energy-conservation-requirements-for-existing-buildings

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