The 4 things to know about the latest LL97 updates

Board member education
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January 24, 2024
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The 4 things to know about the latest LL97 updates

Local Law 97 (LL97) represents a significant step towards a more sustainable New York City, aiming to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings. The law has so many rules, expectations, and guidelines, it's a bit tough to follow - and for many buildings, just as hard to achieve compliance. Recognizing this, the Department of Buildings (DOB) made adjustments to the original law, making the path to compliance more feasible and practical. In typical fashion however, the updated requirements were released in a 42-page document. Here's what you need to know.

1.  Streamlined GHG emissions reporting (Section 103-14): Emissions reporting rules have been refined for practicality. Here's how it's now simpler:

  • Defined emissions limits: Specific guidelines from the DOB make calculating emissions limits clearer.
  • Simplified reporting process: Detailed instructions for annual emissions reporting starting in 2025 are now in place.
  • Transparent penalty structure: A clearer system for penalties is established if emissions limits are exceeded.
  • Mediated resolution opportunities: Now there's the opportunity to have discussions with the DOB to address compliance issues before facing penalties.

2. Mitigating penalties with 'Good Faith Efforts': Showing that your building is actively moving towards LL97 compliance can help avoid penalties, at least temporarily. Here’s how:

  • Submit a DOB-approved Decarbonization Plan by May 1, 2025.
  • Comply with Energy Benchmarking under LL 84 and Lighting Upgrades under LL 88.
  • Plus, at least one of the following:
  • Demonstrate ongoing compliance-related work.
  • Show progress in electrification readiness (with an approved alteration application and a letter from a utility attesting to the work.)
  • Prove past years' compliance with emission limits.
  • For critical facilities like hospitals, illustrate the impact of full penalties on services.
  • Apply for or receive an Adjustment as per section 28-320.7 of the Administrative Code.
  • Keep your Decarbonization Plan on track through annual reviews.

By meeting these criteria, you can significantly reduce or even sidestep penalties.

3. Incentivizing electrification and sustainability: The updates encourage buildings to transition towards electrification sooner rather than later. Buildings that implement energy efficient systems and technology prior to December 31, 2029 will receive credits - but if implemented prior to January 1, 2027 you'll receive double the credits!

4. Specified penalties for non-compliance: Expect defined penalties for not filing reports or failing to comply with energy conservation measures.

Don't get complacent

While these updates to Local Law 97 offer some leeway for reaching compliance for the more immediate deadlines, buildings must still take active steps towards compliance goals in order to avoid penalties. We've got a roadmap to help you plan, right here.

Developing a strong decarbonization plan and maintaining steady progress are crucial not just for meeting legal requirements but also for contributing to our city’s sustainable future. There's a lot of work ahead for many buildings, we're here to help!

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