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NYC Benchmarking Law
Photo Credit: DCAS
NYC Benchmarking Law

The NYC Benchmarking Law requires owners of large buildings to annually measure their energy and water consumption in a process called benchmarking. The law standardizes this process by requiring building owners to enter their annual energy and water use in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) online tool, ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager® (opens in new window) and use the tool to submit data to the City. This data informs building owners about a building's energy and water consumption compared to similar buildings, and tracks progress year over year to help in energy efficiency planning.

Benchmarking data is also disclosed publicly, analyzed in reports, visualized in the NYC Energy and Water Performance Map, included in energy efficiency policy development efforts such as the Buildings Technical Working Group Final Report, and used to develop free resources such as the NYC Retrofit Accelerator and Community Retrofit NYC to help building owners use less energy and save money. 

SERVICE UPDATE: 2018 Benchmarking compliance for the 2017 calendar year has been extended. The 2017 calendar year data is now due no later than December 31, 2018. By letter dated April 24, 2018, the Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability (OLTPS) has advised the Department of Buildings that compliance with Administrative Code §28-309.4 – Benchmarking Energy and Water Use - has been temporarily suspended. Pursuant to Administrative Code §28-309.6, OLTPS has temporarily suspended compliance for calendar year 2017 due to unresolved technical issues. The temporary suspension covers calendar year 2017 compliance, which had been due no later than May 1, 2018. Owners of covered buildings are encouraged to visit the Benchmarking section under the Sustainability section of the Department’s website or check the OLTPS page for further details. Please click here to view the NYC Department of Buildings service update.

Local Law 33 of 2018 amended the Administrative Code of the City of New York in relation to energy efficiency scores and grades for buildings required to benchmark their energy and water consumption. Energy efficiency scores and grades for these buildings shall be obtained, assigned and disclosed in accordance with the new section §28-309.12 annually, based on benchmarking reporting consistent with Federal energy efficiency standards.

An energy efficiency score is the Energy Star Rating that a building earns using the United States Environmental Protection Agency online benchmarking tool, Energy Star Portfolio Manager, to compare building energy performance to similar buildings in similar climates. Grades based on Energy Star energy efficiency scores will be assigned as follows:

A – score is equal to or greater than 90;

B – score is equal to or greater than 50 but less than 90;

C – score is equal to or greater than 20 but less than 50;

D – score is less than 20;

F – for buildings that didn’t submit required benchmarking information;

N – for buildings exempted from benchmarking or not covered by the Energy Star program.

The energy label will include both a letter grade and the building’s energy efficiency score.

Read Local Law 33 of 2018.

Local Law 133 of 2016 amended the Administrative Code of the City of New York in relation to expanding the list of buildings required to benchmark for energy and water efficiency. In addition, as of October 31, 2016, the term ‘covered building’ shall not include real property, not more than three stories, consisting of a series of attached, detached or semi-detached dwellings, for which ownership and the responsibility for maintenance of the HVAC systems and hot water heating systems is held by each individual dwelling unit owner, and with no HVAC system or hot water heating system in the series serving more than two dwelling units (also known as ‘garden style’ apartments). Please click here to view the NYC Department of Buildings service update.

The annual benchmarking process consists of the following steps: 


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