Wednesday, January 19th, 2011
As part of New York City’s Green Greater Buildings Plan, the deadline for Local Law 84 is quickly approaching. By May 1, 2011, buildings greater than 50,000 square feet (SF) are required to receive an annual efficiency benchmark from the EPA’s Portfolio Manager Tool for their total energy and water usage and submit the results to the NYC Department of Finance.
All New York City buildings from hospitals, commercial and mixed use, residential, and city buildings greater than 10,000 SF must now begin to collect data regarding energy utilization from all sources, including electricity, natural gas, steam, and oil, as well as water utilization data. This law also applies to two or more buildings on a single lot collectively totaling 100,000 SF. All of this utilization data must cover the building’s entire energy and water usage, including tenants that have direct utility accounts. Landlords falling under this category are required to formally request this data from their tenants by January 31, 2011.
The City is utilizing the EPA’s Portfolio Manager Tool, a web-based energy and water benchmarking utility designed to assess a building’s energy performance, a crucial first step in identifying inefficient buildings in order reduce energy consumption and harmful greenhouse gas emissions and to cut expenses. The EPA’s tool takes a number of factors into account, including building size, usage type, operating hours, weather, and many others, and compares the total energy and water usage against similar buildings in order to generate a benchmark. Since all buildings are different, the scores must be interpreted and on-site building audits must be conducted in order identify and target areas of inefficiency.
Local Law 84 is a great first step to help buildings owners understand their energy use and identify inefficient buildings. Our company, En-Power Group, has been running buildings through the EPA’s benchmarking system since its origin and is well-positioned to help building owners meet this challenge and learn how to use these results to reduce energy consumption and save money. The first time around can be complicated, and many property owners and managers are using consultants like En-Power Group to manage the process, but in the long run it is something that they will become proficient in doing on their own.
Local Law 84 is one of many laws part that make up the Greener Greater Buildings Plan (GGBP), which was signed into law in December 2009 and first introduced by Michael Bloomberg on Earth Day 2007. The plan targets a 30 percent reduction in the city’s greenhouse gas emissions below the 2005 level. The City estimates that New Yorkers will save $700 million in energy costs and create 17,800 jobs. In 2008, buildings in New York City were responsible for 76% of the city’s energy usage, while transportation accounted for the remaining 24%.
In addition to the Energy and Water Benchmarking Law, there are a total of four legislative components in the Greener Greater Buildings Plan. Local Law 85, which went into effect on July 1, 2010, adopted the International Energy Conservation Code as the state energy code and is one of 42 states to have done so. Local Law 87 requires buildings to undergo both an energy use audit and retrocommissioning of central systems starting in 2013, and it is dictated by the building’s block number. Local Law 88 requires that large building’s lighting systems be brought up to the New York City Energy Conservation Code by 2025 and, in addition, that tenants occupying 10,000 SF or more on a single floor must be electrically sub-metered.
For more information please visit New York City’s website (http://www.nyc.gov/html/planyc2030/html/home/home.shtml) or contact us.