New York City's mission to reduce building emissions has taken a fresh turn with Mayor Eric Adams' new plan, dubbed "Getting 97 Done." This plan aims to assist building owners in complying with Local Law 97, a carbon emission reduction measure set to activate next year.
Main changes proposed:
Extended deadlines: While the original Local Law 97 mandated most NYC buildings larger than 25,000 square feet to achieve new energy efficiency and emission standards by 2024, the Mayor’s plan extends the first set of targets to 2027. However, the stricter limits set for 2030 remain unchanged.
Easing the enforcement: One of the crucial components of "Getting 97 Done" is a lenient approach to enforcement. Building owners who show genuine efforts towards decarbonization could see reduced fines. The goal? Helping owners channel funds into impactful compliance measures instead of penalties.
Public education and support: The plan emphasizes educating the public about available funding from city, state, federal, and utility providers. Think workshops and streamlined support to help building owners navigate the maze of requirements, financing etc.
Collab for cleaner energy: In a bid to make the energy system greener, there's a potential partnership with Con Edison to leverage biogas, utilizing the city's sewage and food waste.
Environmentalists are concerned that such leniencies would weaken the intended impact of Local Law 97. They worry that building owners might sideline essential upgrades, and even buy Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) as a way around actual emissions reductions.
Join the Conversation:
This isn't set in stone yet. The Department of Buildings is set to host a public online hearing on Oct. 24. New Yorkers, that's your cue to weigh in. If the proposal gets a nod, the new rules will become official on Jan. 1, 2024.
Financial support for building upgrades:
To aid with the financial aspect of upgrades, several sources of funding and financial incentives are available. The federal Inflation Reduction Act, offers tax credits and subsidies. Another noteworthy program is "New Efficiency: New York" that promises significant support for building owners, especially in underserved communities.
Local Law 97 is more than a mandate; it's NYC's eco-vision. While Mayor Adams' proposal adds new layers to the conversation, the heart of the matter remains: New York needs to go green, and buildings are front and center in this mission. So buildings need to start working today to create a brighter, cleaner and healthier skyline for tomorrow.