Sustainable Building News

October 26, 2021

A Department of Buildings Newsletter Providing The Latest Developments on Sustainability

Building Classification Changes

Local law 97 requires the Department to provide a method for converting building use categories under the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Portfolio Manager tool to the equivalent uses and occupancy groups already set forth in the law, in an effort to ensure all buildings subject to the upcoming emission limits are treated fairly.

To comply with this requirement, we will be announcing important changes in the coming months, greatly increasing the number of occupancy categories under the law, and adjusting building emissions intensity limits under those categories. Additional updates will be released soon.

Read More About Local Law 97 of 2019

New Energy Letter Grades

The 2021 Energy Efficiency Letter Grades for large buildings in New York City are out, and available now on the DOB NOW Public Portal.

Don't Forget! Property owners are legally required to print out their updated 2021 signs, and replace the old 2020 signs at the public entrances of their buildings by Sunday, October 31st. These letter grade signs provide a quick snapshot of a building's energy efficiency in an easy to understand format for building owners, tenants and members of the public.

Read our Service Notice

Print Out Your Letter Grade Sign on the DOB NOW Public Portal

More information about Energy Grades

Energy Reviews Launches in DOB NOW: Build

On November 8th, 2021, a new integrated energy review process will be added to DOB NOW: Build for all new filings. Based on the type of filing and other information provided, DOB NOW will automatically determine if an Energy Submission is required for the project. For all BIS and DOB NOW filings that are started by November 5th (are in Pre-filing status or later), the current energy review process will continue.

The Department is conducting free training sessions to explain the new process and demonstrate how to use DOB NOW: Build. Visit the DOB NOW Training Page to register for training and to access step-by-step guides, user manuals, and videos.

Read our Service Notice

Find out more information about DOB NOW

Electric Vehicle Charging

New guidance from the Department clarifies that energy use from electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) will not count towards Local law 97 emissions limits.

Covered buildings under Local Law 97 must still report emissions associated with electric energy sent from the building to Plug-in Electric Vehicles (PEV) via EVSE, but this electricity can be deducted from the overall building energy use when reporting compliance with the annual emissions limit.

Read our Buildings Bulletin

What You Need to Know About The Bulletin

Requirements For Energy Efficiency Reports

Beginning January 1, 2022, the Department will only accept the Energy Efficiency Reports (EER) required by Local Law 87 of 2009 that are prepared and filed by a registered design professional.

The owners of buildings covered under Local law 87 are legally required to submit an EER to the Department once every ten years. This EER includes information about required retro-commissioning which details the testing and re-tuning of existing building systems to improve energy efficiency, as well as a future-thinking energy audit report which identifies potential new opportunities to further reduce the amount of energy consumed in the building.

Registered energy auditors and retro-commissioning agents who are not registered design professionals may continue to submit an EER to DOB until their current registrations expire or until December 31, 2021, whichever is earlier. Registrations for these individuals will not be renewed once it expires.

Questions about Local Law 87? The NYC Sustainability Help Center can help! Call (212) 566-5584 or by email

Read our Service Notice

More information about Energy Audits & Retro Commissioning

New Fee Structure for Energy Code Reviews

Beginning November 8, 2021, DOB will be updating the fee structure we charge to applicants to review their construction project applications for compliance with the NYC Energy Conservation Code.

The new fee structure for this compliance review is the first change since 2014, and provides a more equitable framework for New Yorkers, with higher fees reserved for larger and more complex projects. The current fees associated with new one-, two-, or three-family dwelling buildings will not be changed. Alteration projects in one-, two-, or three-family dwellings, that do not change the Certificate of Occupancy for the building, will not be charged an Energy Code compliance review Fee.

Read our Service Notice

For more information on sustainability, visit us online:

Melanie E. La Rocca Commissioner

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