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Energy Code
Photo Credit: NYCEDC
Energy Code

Building technology in New York City has always evolved at a fast rate. Although New York State's energy code has been amended numerous times to keep pace, New York City requires change on a faster scale in order to reach PlaNYC greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction goals. Under state law, a municipality's code must be equal or more stringent than the state energy code. The City's adoption of its own energy code not only allows the City to move forward in sustainability and energy reduction but also to implement the most broad, cost-effective energy improvements. For detailed information, see the sections below:

About New York City Energy Conservation Code (NYCEEC)
How to Comply
Where to Get Help

About New York City Energy Conservation Code (NYCECC)
Mirroring the City's rapid evolution in building technology, New York City's energy code, or New York City Energy Conservation Code (NYCECC), has undergone several changes since its adoption in 2009.

Coverage of Renovations
NYCECC was first established through Local Law 85 (2009), which followed the 2007 Energy Conservation Construction Code of New York State (ECCCNYS) while removing a critical loophole that excluded most renovations in New York City from having to meet the code. The state energy code only applies when at least 50 percent of an existing building's system is replaced, which meant most renovations in New York City were not covered. The adoption of the local code removed this loophole, to ensure that New York City's buildings garner the energy benefits at time of renovation, even if the renovation is partial.

Additional Amendments
Several amendments were added to increase the strength and scope of NYCECC. First, Local Law 48 (2010) (in PDF) increased NYCECC's scope in energy efficiency by adding the required use of occupancy sensors in spaces such as classrooms, conference rooms, employee break rooms and office areas smaller than 200 square feet. Shortly afterward, the state energy code was updated to follow federal requirements and reference updated versions of national model codes (1) in April 2010. To maintain the stringency of NYCECC, New York City adopted the 2010 edition of the state energy code with Local Law 1 (2011) (in PDF). The adoption represents an increased stringency of roughly 7 percent over the prior codes. In concert with national energy policy, the 2011 update of PlaNYC proposes that New York City adopt the latest versions of the national model codes (2) over the next few years, constituting an additional 23 percent improvement.

The 2011 NYCECC introduces an entirely new Chapter 1 with the New York City administrative and enforcement procedures, amends parts of Chapters 2, 5 and 6 of the 2010 ECCCNYS and adds a new Appendix A.

Green Codes Task Force
NYCECC is further evolving through the Green Codes Task Force's many energy proposals. Visit GCTF Proposals and Enacted Proposals for more information.

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How to Comply
Applicability
All New Building and Alteration applications filed on or after December 28, 2010, must comply with the 2011 NYCECC. Applications filed prior to December 28, 2010, must comply with the codes in effect at the time of filing. For buildings larger than 50,000 square feet, lighting upgrades meeting the 2011 NYCECC are required by January 1, 2025, under Local Law 88 (LL88). For more information about LL88, visit the Local Law 88: Lighting & Sub-metering page.

Application Types Not Regulated by the Energy Code
Full demolition, sign and subdivision applications are not required to comply with NYCECC. However, sign applications that affect a building's envelope must be accompanied by an alteration application for the envelope which must comply with NYCECC. See the Professional Statement page for more information.

Variances
The City is not authorized under State law to grant variances from the New York City Energy Conservation Code. For more information see the variances page.

NYCECC Rule
The New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) is strengthening its enforcement of NYCECC in relation to both design and construction. DOB is implementing a plan to increase the number of designs that will be audited for compliance, and has generated a rule requiring progress inspection during construction (in PDF) to ensure that projects are built as per the approved designs.

Updates
DOB keeps track of updated forms needs to comply with the 2011 NYCECC. To see the updates, go to the Department of Buildings Service Updates.

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Where to Get Help
Such rapid ongoing change can present a challenge to the industry. In recognition, the City has partnered with numerous organizations to provide a series of energy code trainings for building professionals.

Department of Buildings Energy Code Guidelines
DOB has a website dedicated to the energy code. To learn more, go to the Department of Buildings Energy Code Guidelines.

Bulletins
DOB provides bulletins to inform New Yorkers of official DOB policies for specific codes. To see bulletins related to NYCECC, visit DOB's page on Building Bulletins and search for "NYCECC."

Outreach and Training
For energy-code-related outreach and training information, visit the Local Law 85 section in Outreach & Training.

Green Light New York

The City is also working to create an energy efficiency education center called Green Light New York, which will provide a venue where industry professionals can obtain training and information about this rapidly changing regulatory landscape.

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  1. The 2009 International Energy Conservation Construction Code (IECC) and the 2007 American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 90.1 [back]

  2. The 2012 IECC and the 2010 ASHRAE Standard 90.1 [back]
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