Did you know almost 70% of New York City’s carbon emissions come from our buildings? We rely on fossil fuels to keep us cool in summer and cozy in winter, which causes serious harm to our planet, and us. Collectively, we need to make a change. The Climate Mobilization Act was passed in 2019 to do just that.
The Climate Mobilization Act is a package of local energy laws that combat climate change and get all of us living and breathing better for years to come.
These laws include:
Want to learn more about the Climate Mobilization Act, and dive deeper into Local Law 97? Check out everything you need to know here.
Is your condo or co-op subject to NYC’s Benchmarking Law (i.e., more than 25,000 square feet)? Then, Local Law 97 is made for you! To double-check, you can see the city’s annual list of covered buildings here.
A building’s limit is based on its building code occupancy group. For example, if your building’s classified under occupancy R2 (multifamily) and is 100,000 square feet, the emission limits for the two periods will be:
Number and letter soup? Yes, determining your building’s threshold is kind of complicated. Lean on your property management company to understand how your building’s emissions limit.
Remember the Local Law 84 benchmarking reports you have to submit every year? These come into play when determining your building’s particular greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. First, pull the amount of energy your building used the past year per energy source (gas, electricity, steam, etc.) from the report then multiply them by their particular “emissions factors.” And tada, the result is your building’s annual carbon emissions.
You’d be right if the process doesn’t seem quite as straightforward as you’d hope. But this is where your property management company can help - to ensure you’ve got the right numbers on hand.
You submit your first compliance report on May 1, 2025, and realize your building’s not up to code. This means your building will need to pay a fine of $268 for every metric ton of carbon above the limit.
It’s true, the fines are a bit steep. Developing a clear energy roadmap can help ensure your building takes the proper steps to reduce emissions appropriately and never miss a deadline.
Starting in 2025, qualified buildings (more than 25,000 square feet) must submit an emissions report every May 1. Keep in mind, this is a separate report from the benchmarking report discussed in the question above. Check out the full compliance process here.
Just look around New York City, and you’ll quickly see - every building’s different. It’s what makes our city so special, but it also means there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. While there are some buildings that need to make a few operational and consumption changes to comply, others need quite a bit more TLC. If you’re looking for a starting point, here are a few:
The main takeaway is there are a lot of different options out there and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. When working with a property management company with the right expertise and relationships, you can develop a compliance roadmap and financial strategy that fits your building’s needs.
Financial planning, financial planning, financial planning! This is where it can get really complicated even for the smartest in the room. There are a number of financing programs, financial incentive programs, different financial strategies, reserve fund best practices, and more to consider, including (but not limited to):
We’ve got a full guide on some of the different financial options here to help jump-start conversations with your trusted property management company and financial planner.
Congratulations, you’re already probably way ahead of the curve in terms of your carbon consumption (or lack thereof). While you may be in the clear, you’ll still need to submit a report every May 1st.
The honest answer: you should’ve already started. But, if you haven’t, that’s okay. Today’s the next best day to start seriously planning your building’s Local Law 97 compliance strategy.
Transparency and clear communication are key to getting owners and shareholders to understand the impacts and requirements of Local Law 97, and on board. Read our tips here.