Local Law 97: Understanding deadlines & avoiding penalties

Project management
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May 31, 2023
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min read
Local Law 97: Understanding deadlines & avoiding penalties

Enacted in 2019, New York City's Local Law 97 (LL97) is the landmark component of the Climate Mobilization Act that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings over 25,000 square feet 40% by 2030 and 80% by 2050, relative to a 2005 baseline. Below we’ve highlighted the deadlines and penalties associated with LL97 to ensure board members and owners comply on time and avoid fines. 

Key deadlines:

LL97 has several key deadlines that building owners and managers should be aware of, including:

1. May 1, 2025 - First compliance period begins.

 Starting May 1, 2025, through December 31, 2029, buildings must adhere to the first emissions threshold established by LL97. 

2. May 1, 2025 - Submit first annual LL97 compliance reports.

Starting in 2025, building owners must submit a compliance statement every May 1. It must be prepared by a registered design professional and state the building's emissions levels from the previous calendar year.

3. January 1, 2030 - Second compliance period begins.

Starting January 1, 2030, through December 31, 2034, more stringent emissions limits will be enforced.

Penalties for non-compliance:

There are several types of penalties that may be imposed for not complying with LL97, including:

1. Excess emissions penalties.

Buildings that emit more greenhouse gasses than permitted by LL97 will be subject to fines of $268 per metric ton of excess CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) emissions. This penalty will be assessed annually, based on the building's emissions from the previous calendar year.

2. Failure to file an annual emissions report.

Building owners who fail to submit an annual emissions report starting May 1, 2025 will face a fine of $0.50 per square foot of the building's gross floor area multiplied by the total number of months late.

3. Failure to submit a compliance statement.

If a building owner fails to submit the required compliance statement, they will be subject to a penalty of $5,000 for the first year of non-compliance followed by an additional $500 per month until the statement is submitted.

4. False statements and violations.

Submitting false statements or violating any provisions of LL97 may result in fines of up to $500,000. Additional penalties may apply if the DOB finds that a building owner has knowingly submitted false information.

Strategies for compliance:

To avoid penalties, building owners and managers should take proactive steps to ensure their property meets the emissions limits established by LL97. Some strategies for compliance include:

1. Energy audits and retro-commissioning

Conducting energy audits and retro-commissioning (as part of Local Law 87) can help building owners identify opportunities for energy efficiency improvements and develop a roadmap for achieving emissions reductions.

2. Energy efficiency upgrades

Investing in energy efficiency upgrades, such as upgrading HVAC systems, improving insulation, and installing energy-efficient lighting can reduce a building's energy consumption and emissions.

3. Renewable energy

Incorporating renewable energy sources, such as solar panels or purchasing renewable energy credits, can help offset a building's emissions and contribute to compliance with LL97.

4. Monitoring and reporting

Implementing a robust system for monitoring and reporting energy consumption and emissions data is crucial for demonstrating compliance with LL97. This includes working with a registered architectural design professional to prepare and submit annual emissions reports and compliance statements.

5. Tenant engagement

Engaging with tenants to promote energy-efficient behaviors and practices can help reduce a building's overall emissions. This can include providing information on energy conservation, implementing green leasing clauses, and offering incentives for energy-efficient appliances.

Final thoughts

Local Law 97 is a central component of New York City's effort to reduce emissions and combat climate change. By proactively implementing energy efficiency measures, monitoring and reporting emissions data, building owners can stay compliant with LL97 and contribute to a more sustainable future for our city.

If you are a board member in need of a plan for LL97 and your current property manager isn’t meeting your needs, please visit joindaisy.com/local-law-97-guide to learn how Daisy can help you.

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