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Local Law 87 FAQs

  1. Do I have to conduct an energy audit of my building if it has an EPA Energy Star Label?

    An energy audit is not required for a building if it has received an Energy Star Label for at least two of the three years preceding the filing of the building’s energy efficiency report. A retro-commissioning report would still be required.

  2. Do I have to conduct an energy audit of my building if it has received a LEED-certification?

    An energy audit is not required for a building if it has received certification under the LEED 2009 rating system for Existing Buildings published by the USGBC or other rating system for existing buildings, as determined by the department, within four years prior to the filing of the building’s energy efficiency report.

  3. Do I have to conduct a retro-commissioning study if my building has received a LEED-certification?

    No retro-commissioning report would be required if the building has earned the LEED point for Existing Building Commissioning investigation and analysis and the LEED point for Existing Building Commissioning implementation. 

  4. I received notification from the Department of Finance that I must comply with LL87 but I think my building is less than 50,000 sf. What do I do?

    If you see your building on the list of covered buildings, and believe its listing is inaccurate, please contact the New York City Department of Finance (DOF) to dispute building square footage or the number of buildings on a tax lot.

    Email benchmarking@finance.nyc.gov and include in your email the following:

    • The building(s) borough, block and lot numbers
    • Contact name
    • Contact email address or telephone number
    • Reason for dispute with your correct square footage

  5. If a building is less than 10 years old, is it automatically exempt from both the energy audit and the retro-commissioning?

    Buildings that are less than ten years old may not automatically defer submitting an Energy Efficiency Report. For the building to defer the submittal of an EER until the next reporting date, all of its base building systems must be in compliance with the New York city energy conservation code as in effect for new buildings constructed on or after July 1, 2010, or a later code if a new code has been adopted. This only applies to the building’s first EER if it is a new building.

  6. If a building has multiple tenants and all of those tenants have triple net lease agreements, is the building owner required to submit an EER?

    Provided the building lessees do not have lease agreements for a term of 49 years or more (in which case they assume the responsibility for reporting), the owner of the building is still required to submit an EER that addresses the remaining base building systems after deduction of those that are owned by, or for which a tenant bears full maintenance responsibility, and that is within the tenant's leased space and/or exclusively serves such leased space.

  7. How much are the fees to register with the Department of Buildings to become an approved agency authorized to perform energy audits and to certify audit reports/retro-commissioning reports?

    The initial filing fee is $200, and is good for three years. The renewal fee is $90.

  8. What are the filing fees for LL87?

    The fees for submitting Energy Efficiency Reports (EERs) are as follows:

    Initial filing - $375
    Extension Request - $155
    Amendments - $145

  9. For Simple Buildings, if a building cannot satisfy one of the seven, how many of the remaining 6 have to be satisfied?

    Six of the items listed must be satisfied. If a building does not have washing machines, or they are unable to have a cool roof, that does not satisfy those requirements.

  10. If a building has unoccupied tenant spaces, where normally the tenant owns and bears full responsibility for the operation and maintenance of those systems, must the building owner include those systems in their building audit/retro-commissioning along with the systems for which the owner has responsibility?

    No. Equipment within tenant spaces that is normally owned and maintained by a tenant when the space is rented, would not need to be included in the owner’s audit/retro-commissioning.

  11. What is required from the retro-commissioning agent to satisfy the item “critical operations and maintenance staff have received appropriate training, which may include labor/management training, on all major equipment and systems and general energy conservation techniques.”?

    This is meant to increase assurance that the base building systems are operated efficiently. If people receive training on how to operate a piece of equipment, they will operate that equipment in a manner that drives more efficiency than if they do not receive training. The retro-commissioning agent should inquire of the building staff whether they were trained to operate the equipment for which they have responsibility, and they should document the level of training that the staff has received. If the retro-commissioning agent feels the level of training is insufficient, the retro-commissioning agent will note that in their report, and recommend to the owner that the operator receive training. Each situation will vary depending on the complexity of the equipment involved. For some, reading the operations manual for a piece of equipment, or on the job training may be all that is needed. For others, it will be much more comprehensive.

  12. Do steam systems have to be balanced?

    Per the rule, a steam system would fall under a major system, and would require balancing, if the system as a whole serves more than 10,000 square feet. Noting the ubiquitous difficulties regarding balancing steam systems, and the lack of a generally accepted procedure or guideline that may be referenced at this time, steam systems are deemed balanced when the retro-commissioning agent has documented that the system is operating in accordance with current facility requirements, when the retro-commissioning agent has, at a minimum, checked the near boiler piping and Hartford loop, inspected the master venting, inspected a representative sample of air vents at the terminal units and replaced those that are malfunctioning, and assessed even heating conditions, when conditions have been noted in the report, and it has been documented in the report that in the judgment of the retro-commissioning agent, additional repairs and/or testing, adjusting, and balancing would not result in a level of sufficient increased performance that could be achieved cost effectively. Further, the retro-commissioning agent has documented in the report, the recommendation for conditions warranting further attention to be addressed in an energy audit as an energy efficiency measure.


Additional Resources
Read Law (Local Law 87) (PDF)
Learn more about the Greater Greener Buildings Plan
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