Greenhouse Gas Emission Reporting

Local Law 97 of 2019, passed by the City Council as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Green New Deal, is an unprecedented commitment to increase the sustainability of buildings, the single-largest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in New York City. The law became effective on November 15, 2019.

Local Law 97 will further the goal of achieving a 40 percent reduction in aggregate greenhouse gas emissions from covered buildings by calendar year 2030 and an 80 percent reduction in citywide emissions by calendar year 2050.

A covered building means, with some exceptions, (i) a building that exceeds 25,000 gross square feet, or (ii) two or more buildings on the same tax lot that together exceed 50,000 gross square feet, or (iii) two or more buildings held in the condominium form of ownership that are governed by the same board of managers and that together exceed 50,000 gross square feet.

Further details regarding emissions limits, as well as information on buildings that are exempt from Local Law 97 requirements can be found below. Local Law 97 of 2019 was amended by Local Law 147 of 2019. The amended version of these laws can be reviewed in §28-320 of the Administrative Code.

Buildings Emissions Limits Under Local Law 97 of 2019

Certain buildings are subject to annual greenhouse gas emissions limits established by Local Law 97 of 2019 (LL97). These limits were set initially in the Law, but have been updated by the Department through a conversion to Energy Star Portfolio Manager property types.

LL97 Emissions Limits Based on Energy Star Portfolio Manager (ESPM) Property Types

Pursuant to the Law, DOB has set revised emissions limits under LL97. The revised limits are based on property types from the US Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star Portfolio Manager (ESPM) tool, which reflect actual energy consumption patterns in New York City buildings. View the 2024 – 2029 limits based on ESPM property types. Emissions limits for years beyond 2029 were established by 1 RCNY §103-14 and use ESPM property types.

The first compliance reports for buildings covered by LL97 are due by May 1, 2025, and reflect emissions in calendar year 2024.

Get additional information by visiting NYC Sustainable Buildings Compliance.

Why change to ESPM property types?

LL97 requires this change in order to set fair and more equitable emissions limits. This change maintains high compliance rates and preserves LL97’s overall emissions reductions for the 2024 – 2029 compliance period. This methodology was peer-reviewed by experts at the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Energy.

How will this change affect building owners?

Owners whose emissions limits have been lowered (made more stringent) have the option of following either the original limits based on New York City Building Code occupancy groups, or the limits based on ESPM property types, for calendar years 2024 and 2025. Beginning in 2026, all owners must report their emissions using the ESPM property types. If you believe that your building is classified under a property type that is not listed, please contact DOB’s sustainability team at GHGEmissions@buildings.nyc.gov.

How can I get help?

DOB strongly encourages building owners to work with a registered design professional (RDP) to fully understand the potential impacts of these changes. The city-sponsored NYC Accelerator provides free technical assistance to help owners comply with LL97. An Accelerator case manager can connect owners with service providers, incentives, and information on financing.

For more information about the law or the new emissions limits, please contact DOB’s sustainability team at GHGEmissions@buildings.nyc.gov.

Compliance

By May 1, 2025, and by May 1 of every year thereafter, the owner of a covered building must file an annual Greenhouse Gas Emission report showing that, for the previous calendar year, such building is either:

  • In compliance with the applicable building emissions limit established in §28-320.3 of the Administrative Code; or
  • Not in compliance with such applicable building emissions limit, along with the amount by which such building exceeds such limit.

Local Law 97 & Affordable Housing

Buildings that include affordable and rent-regulated housing are NOT exempt from the requirements of Local Law 97 but may be treated differently under the two articles that make up the law as outlined in Title 28 of the NYC Administrative Code:

  • Article 320 establishes Building Energy and Emissions Limits for buildings starting in 2024 and outlines the implementation of such limits 
  • Article 321 establishes Energy Conservation Requirements for Certain Buildings that are not covered under Article 320

For more details, please see the section on Affordable Housing on DOB’s Sustainable Buildings webpage.

Violations for Non-compliance

Beginning in 2025, an owner of a covered building who has submitted a report pursuant to section 28-320.3.7 which indicates that such building has exceeded its annual building emissions limit will be liable for a civil penalty of not more than an amount equal to the difference between the building emissions limit for such year and the reported building emissions for such year, multiplied by $268.

Exceptions to Covered Buildings Under Article 320

The law exempts the following buildings, even if they otherwise meet the definition of a covered building as indicated above:

  • An industrial facility primarily used for the generation of electric power or steam.
  • 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 25,000 gross square feet, as certified by a registered design professional to the department.
  • A city building.
  • A housing development or building on land owned by the New York city housing authority
  • A rent regulated accommodation.
  • A building whose main use or dominant occupancy is classified as occupancy group A-3 religious house of worship.
  • Real property owned by a housing development fund company organized pursuant to the business corporation law and article eleven of the private housing finance law.
  • A building that participates in a project-based federal housing program.

LL97 Advisory Board

After hundreds of hours of work by the LL 97 Advisory Board, Working Groups, and staff members, a report was submitted to the mayor and the speaker of the City Council in December, 2022, that addressed: calculating and reporting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, treatment of different property types, maximizing emissions reductions, assisting owners with compliance, communications and outreach, achieving consistency with LL97 across other regulations, and additional analysis needed to support implementation. Read the report. See list of LL97 Advisory Board Members.

The Advisory Board has identified a white paper, Recommendations for the Reference Guide Required by Local Law 97 of 2019, developed by the American Council of Engineering Companies New York (ACEC NY), to assist buildings in their compliance efforts. This guide includes information related to LL97 compliance during different phases of construction. It establishes clarity of responsibilities through a standard for building energy system design into the occupancy phase, as well as the identification of accountability for noncompliance. View guide.

Questions on Local Law 97 may be sent to GHGEmissions@buildings.nyc.gov.

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