Local Law 95

New York City Local Law 95 – A brief summary

2019 has been a wake-up call for sustainable real estate. I imagine we will look back at 2019 as a defining year in which climate change took center stage globally. The industry is maturing rapidly, while becoming more complex and very problematic. As the public and private sectors address GHG Emission limits, the stakes have risen and the connection between responsible real estate investment and long-term financial health has become of paramount importance.

NYC Local Law 33

 

Real estate sustainability is constantly evolving. Just like the New York City Local Law 33 has been amended to New York City Local Law 95.

 

With the Grading Law in full effect this year, it is imperative that your building’s data submission is performed accurately and concisely with your filing due by May 1st of this year.

We have seen 8-13-point decreases in building scores, simply because it was not simulated correctly, or because information was missing. Be Advised – this will have a tremendous impact on your Energy Grade.

The New York City Local Law 95 will require all buildings over 25,000 sq. ft. to publicly post their letter grade annually starting in 2020. The first letter grades will be based on the 2019 calendar year ENERGY STAR Scores that are submitted to the Department of Buildings by May 1, 2020.

This is a yearly process. Buildings that are not eligible for a score will receive an “N” and may be required to post the building Energy Use Intensity (EUI).

The law is an extension and effort to showcase the data gathered through Local Law 84 and Local Law 133, which is also known as the Energy Benchmarking Law.

Who does it apply to?

The Local Law 95 applies to all commercial buildings over 25,000 sq ft. Any buildings that are subject to the Local Law 84 and Local Law 133 will need to comply with Local Law 95 as well.

What is Local Law 95 all about?

 

Local Law 95 consists of the publication of a value that measures the energy consumption and efficiency of a building. The value being the EPA ENERGY STAR Score measured on a scale of 1-100, and it is translated to an energy grade, which is represented with a letter between A and F. The energy grade is a comparative measure – meaning that a score of 50 represents median energy performance while a score of 75 or better is top performance indicator. Therefore, receiving an ‘A’ indicates that your building is amongst the top 15% in Energy Efficiency. Your building is compared in a national dataset amongst buildings with similar primary use, rather than based on location or portfolio. These scores are assigned by US Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.

 

NYC Local Law 95 Grade Card

 

When is it due?

The expected roll out of the required publication of a building’s energy score and grade is mid-2020. However, it is important to note that an energy grade will represent the year prior, so in 2020 we will see grades based upon 2019 scores.

Where?

The grades must be posted in a conspicuous location at the building entrance visible to tenants and visitors.

 

What is the Purpose?

The purpose of showcasing the Energy Grades in public is to make the public aware about Energy Efficiency. The department aims to do that by showcasing the grades in a public place like the building entrance.

Potential tenants may be drawn to buildings with higher scores and away from lower performing buildings. The letter grade was also an intentional move in order to move away from a very technical description of the Energy Efficiency, but rather a much more digestible format. The focus of the law prioritizes the visibility and publicness of the grade, so while owners will not be penalized for scoring poorly they can be penalized for not displaying their grades correctly or at all. It also means an increased property value for buildings with good Energy Grades.

We, at The Cotocon Group are experts in Energy Consulting, Local Law Compliance and Sustainable Engineering. Contact Us to get free consultation.

NYC Local Law 94 – Green Roofs

Buildings are responsible for two-thirds of New York City’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Green roofs are a multi-beneficial innovation that can play a valuable role in reducing GHG emissions and cleaning our air and water. Green roofs are now being required by NYC Local Law 94 to be installed on NYC buildings.

 

What is NYC Local Law 94?

 

New York City’s Local Law 94, passed under the New York City Climate Mobilization Act, requires the inclusion of a green roofing zone in new construction and for buildings undergoing certain major renovations.Green Roofs and Solar Panels required by Local Law 94

This roofing zone must be comprised of a photovoltaic (PV) electricity generating system (Solar Panels) or a green roof. Buildings with greater than 200 square feet of usable roof space must install a minimum of 4kW PV electricity generating system. If a building is unable to install a PV electricity generating system, a green roof system must be utilized.

This is part of the “OneNYC 2050” program.

 

Does it apply to the building I own?

Requirements of a green roof apply to buildings with:

  • New construction
  • Vertical and horizontal extensions
  • Major modifications to the roof requiring a permit.

 

Standard roof membrane replacements will not trigger these requirements. Buildings must install green roofs if solar is not feasible, and vice versa. The City may develop additional feasibility criteria beyond those included in the legislation.

How does this benefit me?

 

Conventional roofs – particularly asphalt roofs – absorb heat throughout the day then releasing it at night, representing heat sinks spread throughout the city. Conventional roofs cause your cooling system to work harder and your bills to be higher.

 

There is a guaranteed return on investment of investing in solar energy, beyond the obvious good that you will be doing for the environment.

 

Trying to earn a LEED Certification? The benefits of your green roof can help your building be LEED Certified.

Not only this, PV systems’ ability to allow building owners to monetize their roofs and receive low-to-no-cost energy should be well understood.

LEED Green Certification

Less well understood are how solar can help building owners comply with other components of the Climate Mobilization Act, as well as the ways in which installing solar panels can benefit their buildings.

For large building owners, Local Law 97 imposes Greenhouse Gas emissions limits on New York City’s buildings, owners will receive penalties for buildings exceeding those limits. We have explained in detail about Local Law 97 here.

 

Having a green roof can help you comply with Local Law 97.

 

How do I go about it?

The Cotocon Group has extensive experience with Local Law Compliance, Green Building Certifications, and sustainable Consulting. Get in touch with us to get a free consultation.

Sustainable Consulting

Local Law 87 Compliance – December Deadline for Buildings with Tax Block Ending in “0”

 

With the deadline just months away, it’s now or never for building owners to comply with the New York City Local Law 87/2009! Many building owners are aware, but those who are unaware are almost out of time and may receive large DOB fines for non-compliance.

 

Local Law 87

Local Law 87 (LL87), enacted in 2009, requires all commercial and residential buildings over 50,000 square feet in New York City to conduct an energy audit and retro-commissioning every 10 years. These two components of the law make up the building’s Energy Efficiency Report (EER). The deadline for the report to be submitted to the NYC Department of Buildings is December 31st. To understand which buildings are due to comply, check the building’s reporting year, which is determined by the last digit of the Tax Block number.

To understand the requirements of the law better, take a deeper look into it’s two main components: Energy Audit (EA) and Retro-Commissioning (RCx):

Energy Audit: 

An energy audit is a systematic and regular analysis of a building’s energy equipment and systems, as well as an analysis of energy consumption during the past two years. The energy equipment and systems include heating equipment, boilers, chillers, electrical and lighting systems, ventilation and HVAC systems and building envelope.

An energy audit is done with the purpose of determining the most energy-efficient solutions and cost-effective improvements that will eventually reduce the annual energy costs. The energy audit report comes with a list of recommended strategies on how to save energy, how much it will cost, and what will the eventual payback be.

To carry out a high-quality and proper energy audit you will need a qualified energy auditor. This person will be responsible for creating a full technical proposal based on the monitoring of your building’s systems and equipment. As a result of the work from a qualified specialist, your building’s technical and operational needs will be detected and improved in the best way possible.

Retro-Commissioning:

Retro-commissioning will ensure the proper installation and smooth performance of all your equipment. The process includes diagnostic monitoring, functional upgrading, and repairing defects in existing base building systems. This is expected to lead to the improvement of performance and the optimization of existing controls, sensors, valves and such systems, which cannot be fully replaced.

Compared to an energy audit, the goal of which is to determine the complex problems for reaching a building’s optimal functionality, retro-commissioning aims at upgrading all existing systems and controls to reach the highest energy efficiency.

Energy Efficiency Report:

It is also important for every building owner to understand the details of an Energy Efficiency Report. An EER is made up of Professional Certification Forms and Data Collection Tools, which need to be filled in electronically. The Professional Certification Forms represent the details about your building’s filing status, the structure of the auditing and retro-commissioning teams, a professional seal and qualifications, as well as a statement of compliance from you as a building owner. Information regarding your building being exempt from conducting an energy audit or retro-commissioning should also be included.

Data Collections Tools are comprised of many sections that include the introduction, submitting, team and building information, and details regarding the building’s equipment.

 

Who should comply with Local Law 87:

  • Anyone who wants to measure their GHG Emissions
  • All commercial and residential buildings over 50,000 square feet.
  • Two or more buildings that exceed 100,000 square feet together (this implies buildings on the same tax lot) and are owned by the city or at least, the city pays the annual energy bills for them – either completely or partially.
  • Two or more buildings held in the condominium form of ownership having the same board of managers and exceeding 100,000 square feet together (again, owned by the city or having their energy bills paid by the city; partially or fully).

Buildings exempt from complying with Local Law 87:

  • Tenant interim lease apartment purchase program
  • Buildings apart of the HPD program
  • Buildings that are governed by NYC Health and Hospital Corporation
  • Cultural institutions that are included in the Cultural Institutions Group as per the Department of Cultural Affairs
  • Class 1 residential property which includes 1,2 and 3 family homes, condos and co-ops with no more than 3 dwelling units

Deadline:

As a building owner, an EER is due according to the last digit of your building’s block number:

       Last Digit in Block Number                                           Compliance Deadline

8                                                                                    2018

9                                                                                    2019

10                                                                                   2020

11                                                                                   2021

12                                                                                   2022

To find out if your building is compliance click here to use our Do You Need to Comply Generator.

Penalties of Non-compliance?

If you fail to comply with Local Law 87 before the December 31st of your deadline year, the following penalties will apply to you:

 

Local Law 87 Violations Deadline

 

  1. If your building doesn’t comply with LL87 in the first year, you will be fined $3,000. Non-compliance will result in $5,000 (for every additional year) until you submit your EER to the Department of Buildings.
  2. Failing to comply with the law will not only result in financial penalties but a Class 2 violation. A Class 2 violation can stop construction permits from being issued. Your building refinancing will also receive a negative impact.

 

Other important points regarding Local Law 87 that will surely interest building owners are the following:

  • Energy Star Certified? Good news, you don’t need to conduct an energy audit for 2-3 years preceding the filing of an EER. However, you will still need to submit a retro-commissioning report.

 

  • An energy audit will also not be required for those buildings which possess a certification under the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) 2009 rating system for Existing Buildings published by the USGBC (US Green Buildings Council), or any other rating system for existing buildings.

 

  • You won’t have to submit an EER report within 4 years prior to the filing of your building’s EER.

 

  • No retro-commissioning needed if your building has received the LEED point for Existing Building Commissioning investigation, analysis and implementation.

 

  • If your building is less than 10 years old, you still have to carry out an energy audit and retro-commissioning.

To be exempt from submitting an EER is when all the base building systems comply with the NYC energy conservation code. This is in effect for new buildings constructed on or after July 1, 2010.

 

LL87 Filing Fees:

The LL87 filing fees are as follows:

  1. An initial filing will cost $375
  2. An extension request – $155
  3. Amendments – $145

Boost your building’s energy efficiency, mitigate GHG emissions, and cut operating costs by complying with Local Law 87 of 2009!

If you want more information, get in touch with us or call us at (212) 889 6566

NYC Local Law 55

& Tenant Safety

 

New York City tenants can breathe easy because of Local Law 55 that was put into effect in January of 2018. This Local Law requires all multiple-dwelling property owners in NYC to investigate and remove all indoor health hazards which trigger asthma like, mold, rodents and cockroaches. Landlords must also apply safe and successful measures to ensure that their properties remain free of indoor health hazards.

The NYC Housing Preservation & Development (HPD) is responsible for carrying out Housing in New York. This is Mayor Bill de Blasio’s initiative to build and preserve 300,000 affordable homes by 2026. The agency’s mission is to promote the quality and affordability of the city’s housing and the strength and diversity of its many neighborhoods. HPD strives to achieve this mission by:

  • Preserving affordable housing and protecting tenants
  • Developing new affordable housing
  • Enforcing the Housing Maintenance Code
  • Engaging neighborhoods in planning

In NYC tenants have many rights relating to the safety and quality of their housing. HPD works to protect these rights by preventing harassment, displacement, and ensuring low-income tenants facing legal proceedings in housing Court have universal access to legal representation.

Facility management technician filling inspection form

Maintenance Requirements by Landlords

  • Gas
  • Heart and Hot Water
  • Indoor Allergen Hazards (Mold and Pests)
  • Bedbugs (Local Law 69 of 2017)
  • Lead-Based Paint (Local Law 1 of 2004)
  • Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
  • Window Guards (Local Law 57 of 2011)
  • Basement and Cellar
  • Signage, Filling, and Notices
  • Outlet Covers in Public Areas
  • Fire Safety (Local Law 10 of 1999)
  • Stove Knob Covers

 

Violations For Noncompliance

Properties are subject to the penalties described below unless violations are corrected and the correction is certified to the Department by the dates indicated on the front of the Notice of Violation(s) mailed to the property owner or, in the case of heat and hot water violations, from the date the violation is posted at the building.

Class A Violations (Non-Hazardous)

  • Failure to post a notice regarding the housing information guide: $250 each
  • All other Class A violations: $10-$50 each

Class B Violations (Hazardous)

  • $25-$100 each, plus $10 per violation per day

Class C Violations (Immediately Hazardous)

  • Not related to heat, hot water, or illegal devices or lead-based paint:
    • Buildings with 5 or fewer units: $50 per violation per day
    • Buildings with more than 5 units: $50-$100 per violation plus $125 per violation per day
  • Heat and hot water violations:
    • $250-$500 per day for each violation from and including the date the notice is posted at the building until the date the violation is corrected
    • $500-$1000 per day for each subsequent violation at the same building that occurs within two consecutive calendar years or, in the case of (hot water) during two consecutive periods of October 1st through May 31st (heat)
  • Illegal Device on a central heating system:
    • $25 per day (from the date the violation was posted on the building until the illegal device is removed) or $1,000, whichever is more
  • Lead-Based paint violations:
    • $250 per day violation, up to a maximum of $10,000
  • False Certification: (can result in criminal charges)
    • $50-$250 for non-lead violations
    • A minimum of $1000 with a maximum of $3000 for lead violations.

 

Need to Correct a Mold Violation?

If your inspection reveals the existence of mold in your building, you’ll need to take immediate steps to correct it so that you’re not issued a violation. HPD has very specific criteria for who can perform a remediation for mold. According to Local Law 55, a mold hazard must be assessed and remediated by both the NYS licensed Mold Assessor and a NYS licensed Mold Remediator.

The Cotocon Group can assist you in complying with the Local Law 55. Get in Touch with us or call us at 212-889-6566 for free consultation.

Bills Within The Act

 

By now almost everyone has an idea about what the Climate Mobilization Act, i.e the Green New Deal entails.  It’s all over the news and social media, but what’s not there is the fine print.  The laws within the Act are precisely the most important pieces of the entire puzzle.  There are several bills or Local Laws in the Green New Deal,that we at The Cotocon Group have carefully put together for you.

 

Local Law 97 of 2019:

Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Starting in 2024, buildings over 25,000 square feet will be mandated to meet carbon emission limits.  Buildings that exceed their designated Energy Use Intensity (EUI) limits will face steep penalties, depending on their facility.  There are initiations of emission trading systems to be updated by 2021 as well as renewable energy credits (RECs) limited to NYS electric generation for up to 10% of compliance with the emission limit of a building.

 

Local Law 96 of 2019:

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Voluntary Finance Program

Establishes a Property Assessed Clean Energy Program, i.e PACE.  A sustainable energy loan program which is a voluntary financing mechanism that will provide low-cost, long-term funding for energy efficiency projects. P  PACE will help building owners finance energy efficiency projects that are required by the new legislation in order to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions citywide.

PACE financing will be repaid as an assessment on the property’s regular tax bill and can be used for commercial, nonprofit, and residential properties.

 

Local Law 94/92 of 2019:

Requirement of Green Roofs on NYC Buildings

Requires the inclusion of a green roofing zone in new construction and for buildings undergoing certain major renovations.  This roofing zone must be comprised of a photovoltaic (PV) electricity generating system (Solar Panels) or a green roof.  Buildings with greater than 200 square feet of usable roof space must install a minimum of 4kW PV electricity generating system.  If a building is unable to install a PV electricity generating system, a green roof system must be utilized.

 

The Cotocon Group

NYC Green New Deal

 

These package of bills aim to significantly reduce New York City’s greenhouse gas emissions and fight against climate change.  The NYC Climate Mobilization Act includes local laws, introductions, and resolutions.  We can only hope that these bills as well as property owners compliance will lead to a productive and positive outcome for our planets future.

 

The Cotocon Group believes firmly in a sustainable environment and works side by side with developers,  building owners, and property managers to guide them into compliance.  For any questions or information, please call us at, (212) 889-6566.

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