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Everything you need to know about Local Law 97

Local Law 97, NYC's building emissions reduction law is fast approaching, and Daisy’s here to guide you through the process.

Dates you should know

Your Local Law 97 timeline, with major milestones
and deadlines to keep top of mind.

May 2019

NYC introduces Local Law 97, the most ambitious building emissions legislation by any city in the world.
NYC buildings account for almost 70% of the city's total
carbon emissions.

January 2024

Local Law 97's first carbon cap goes into effect.
Running through 2029, it will primarily target NYC's 
top carbon-emitting buildings.
Reduce emissions to 40% below 2005 levels by 2030.

May 2025

Starting in 2025, Local Law 97 compliance reports
are due every May 1 to reflect emissions levels from the year before.

January 2030

Stricter emissions limits go into effect through 2034. 
This new cap will impact a large majority of NYC buildings.


Building emissions limits tighten two more times -
once in January 2034, and again in 2040.
Reduce emissions to 80% below 2005 levels by 2039.

January 2050

We've hit our goals! We're meeting all zero emissions requirements, and we’re all enjoying a greener world.
  • May 2019
  • January 2024
  • May  2025
  • January 2030
  • 2034–2049
  • January 2050

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What will Local Law 97 achieve?

Local Law 97 has the potential to make a positive impact on our environment and society. By 2030, New York City can expect to:
Reduce CO2e by 6 million tons
Create 25,000+
new jobs
Avoid 150 hospitalizations
per year
Prevent 50 to 130 deaths per year

The Lowdown on Local Law 97

You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. Everything you need to know about complying with Local Law 97, and lowering your building’s emissions.

Background info

What is Local Law 97?

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:

  • Local Law 97: The landmark carbon caps law  meant to drastically reduce our city’s emissions. 
  • Local Law 95: See those new building energy grades bringing pride or shame to New Yorkers? You can thank Local Law 95.
  • Local Law 92 and 94: Green roofs, solar panels, oh my! All new buildings and major renovations are now required to have such things.
  • Local Law 96: Better known as Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), this loan program helps fund energy projects to put buildings on a path to compliance. Unfortunately, qualifying for this specific program is a bit complex.

Want to learn more about the Climate Mobilization Act, and dive deeper into Local Law 97? Check out everything you need to know here.

How do I know if my building needs to comply with Local Law 97?

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.

How do I know what the carbon emissions threshold is for my building?

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:

  • 2024-2029 limit = 675,000 kg CO2 eq = 675 metric ton CO2 eq
  • 2030-2034 limit = 407,000 kg CO2 eq = 407 metric ton CO2 eq

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. 

How do I determine my building’s emissions? 

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. 

What kind of fines and violations am I facing if my building doesn’t comply? 

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.

How to comply

What do I need to do to comply with Local Law 97?

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.

How do I actually go about reducing my building’s emissions?

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:

  • Start with a reserve study and/or energy audit for your building
  • Target the biggest energy offenders in your building
  • Leverage your energy audit and research for innovative systems (e.g., Have you ever considered steam? Should you put solar panels on your roof?)
  • Develop a list of priority capital improvements for your building and start planning and executing the best next steps
  • Train building staff on energy efficiency best practices
  • Identify innovative and data-driven energy solutions

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. 

This sounds expensive. How do I pay for it?

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):

  • PACE
  • Greenbanks
  • Tax policy
  • Renewable Energy Credits (RECs)

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.

Additional things to know

My building is fully equipped with all the latest technologies and complies with all the latest energy codes. Do I still need to comply with Local Law 97?

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.

When should I start planning for Local Law 97? 

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. 

How do I talk to owners and shareholders in my building about all of this?

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.

Get help preparing for Local Law 97 today.
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