The blackout of 2003 as well as the events of September 11, 2001 caused many existing building owners to consider the addition of emergency generators. Most of the generators are intended to support emergency lighting, fire alarm systems (which offered communications to all floors via the fire command station) and usually an elevator. There are also instances when the primary goal of a generator installation in an existing building is to support occupants' optional equipment such as data centers and trading and related technology support.
Article 11 of Subchapter 6 and 1 RCNY §12-01 describes the applicability of mandatory emergency power systems and required life safety devices to be connected to such power system. The only permissible fuel supply to such mandatory emergency power is oil fuel. However, there is no mention of what, if any, of the loads identified are to be connected to a generator that is voluntarily installed in new or existing buildings of occupancies other than those listed in the code.
The prior department interpretation regarding the installation of voluntary emergency generators required full compliance with the requirement of Article 11 of Subchapter 6 and Department Rule 1 RCNY §12-01, often causing the cost for the installation to be excessive due to the ancillary costs associated with connecting the fire pump and all the elevators for selective operation.