For Immediate Release: December 18, 2023
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DOB FINALIZES SECOND MAJOR RULE PACKAGE TO IMPLEMENT CITY’S GROUNDBREAKING BUILDING EMISSIONS LAW AND ADVANCES KEY “GETTING 97 DONE” INITIATIVES
New Rules Provide Support for Building Owners and Enforcement Framework to Boost Compliance with Local Law 97
City Delivering on “Getting 97 Done” Action Items
New York, NY – New York City Department of Buildings Commissioner Jimmy Oddo and Chief Climate Officer Rohit T. Aggarwala announced today the publication of the final version of the agency’s second major rule package for the implementation of Local Law 97 of 2019 – the city’s groundbreaking carbon emissions law – which places limits on greenhouse gases coming from the city’s largest buildings. The limits, established by the City Council in 2019, go into effect on Monday, January 1, 2024, and are the centerpiece of the city’s plan to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions from our built environment and meet an aggressive target of carbon neutrality by 2050.
“Our administration is working tirelessly to reduce harmful carbon greenhouse gas emissions from every sector, including buildings — our city’s largest source of emissions,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “Our ‘Getting 97 Done’ plan and these rules will help buildings go green and save green, and it’s all a part of our overall strategy to build a more sustainable, resilient city so New Yorkers are safer from the effects of climate change in the future.”
"Today’s rules are the roadmap for cleaner air for all," said Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi. "The process must be codified and collaborative, and as these rules memorialize, each building owner is unique and faces unique challenges as we move towards our shared goal of lowering our city’s emissions."
“The publication of this second rule package is a critical step forward in the Adams administration’s commitment towards the full, robust implementation of Local Law 97,” said Buildings Commissioner Jimmy Oddo. “Since the beginning, the guiding principal of our rulemaking process has been finding a way to effect the largest possible reduction in carbon emissions from these covered buildings. Through a combination of sticks and carrots, our rules create a carefully balanced approach which incentivizes owners to do the work required under the law.”
"Local Law 97 takes effect on New Year’s Day, and we are 100% focused on the mobilization it will require for all covered buildings to comply with the law," said New York City Chief Climate Officer and New York City Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Rohit T. Aggarwala. “Our plan to 'get 97 done' and the finalized rules will create new climate jobs, increase financing opportunities, provide technical assistance to building managers and co-op boards, and leverage unprecedented federal funding for decarbonization."
Starting next year, buildings greater than 25,000 gross square feet must meet increasingly stringent greenhouse gas emission limits or face& penalties. The first annual Local Law 97 compliance reports, which include the total emissions produced in calendar year 2024, are due to the Department of Buildings on May 1, 2025. To meet these new emission limits, buildings will be required to undergo energy efficiency retrofits and take measures to reduce the carbon emissions produced by the operations of their buildings.
Among the finalized rules in the package announced today are details for the 2024–2029 compliance period on how building owners can show they are making a good faith effort to reduce carbon emissions in order to mitigate penalties and instead continue to invest that money into energy efficiency retrofits. Also included is a framework for retroactive enforcement if building owners fail to follow through with the retrofit projects detailed in their building-specific decarbonization plan, and a new limitation on the ability of property owners to purchase renewable energy credits during the first compliance period, if they choose the decarbonization plan pathway. The final rules also include penalties for noncompliance, as well as a new credit building owners can use towards their emission reduction targets if they pursue early electrification efforts at their building. These rules will impact close to 50,000 buildings across the five boroughs, the locations of which can be found on the newly updated Local Law 97 Covered Buildings List.
City is Getting 97 Done
As laid out in “Getting 97 Done,” the mayor’s comprehensive strategy to cut building emissions, achieving LL97 requires decarbonization of central systems; financing and funding; technical advice and innovation; and enforcement. The city has made significant progress on the goals laid out in “Getting 97 Done.”
“Since day one of this administration, we have taken major strides towards reducing our carbon footprint, and today is yet another great step towards greener, cleaner air for all New Yorkers,” said New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) Commissioner Dawn M. Pinnock. “As we work to decarbonize all city buildings, this new package of rules will work in tandem. Together, we are moving New York City closer to carbon neutrality.”
“With the issuing of these implementation rules and – as importantly – the city’s proactive efforts to provide building owners with technical and financial support, New Yorkers will enjoy healthier, more comfortable buildings with dramatically better energy performance,” said Dale Bryk, Senior Fellow at Regional Plan Association. “New York is once again showing how to align environmental and economic progress and deliver a better quality of life for its residents. We applaud Mayor Adams and Commissioner Oddo on taking these challenging– but necessary – steps forward that clearly reduce the city's impact on our rapidly changing climate.”
"The city and state cannot meet our ambitious 2030 climate goals without New York's large buildings mobilizing under Local Law 97, and these finalized rules give building stakeholders the support they need to comply and avoid penalties,” said Mayor’s Office of Climate & Environmental Justice Executive Director Elijah Hutchinson. “By partnering with the City Council, workforce development leaders, and NYSERDA, we will make great strides in offering technical and financing guidance, expanding climate job pathways for overburdened New Yorkers, and advancing a tax abatement so low- and moderate-income buildings can use property tax breaks to help pay for retrofits.”
“This is one more important step to make our world-leading climate law practical, implementable and real,” said John Mandyck, CEO of Urban Green Council. “The new rules provide clarity with incentives to accelerate carbon savings, especially with the new breakthrough beneficial electrification credit. We applaud DOB for establishing forward-looking and actionable compliance pathways in this rulemaking to achieve the carbon savings that are needed.”
"With buildings as the largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in New York City, the successful implementation of Local Law 97 is critical to meeting our clean energy goals and tackling the ongoing threat of climate change. These new rules will strengthen the law by strengthening the mechanisms for compliance, resulting in massive green investments on our way to net-zero emissions for our largest buildings. We applaud Mayor Adams and Commissioner Oddo for their ongoing commitment to addressing the climate crisis and creating a greener, more sustainable New York City," said Alia Soomro, Deputy Director for NYC Policy at New York League of Conservation Voters.
"The rules for Good Faith Efforts are a balanced and carefully considered approach to getting as many property owners as possible to implement energy efficiency retrofits in their buildings. This administration’s commitment to supporting building owners to comply with this law will result in greater emission reductions and a greener City. With these rules, the BTEA and its member contractors stand ready to assist in this important work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our city," said Elizabeth Crowley, president and CEO of Building Trades Employers’ Association (BTEA).
"The Council of New York Cooperatives & Condominiums continues to work hard to help members understand their responsibilities towards Local Law 97 compliance and to integrate LL97 into all planning for their building. The DOB proposed rules recognize that each building is different and needs to plot its own incremental path to compliance. The Good Faith Effort and Beneficial Electrification provisions are both helpful in this regard. We look forward to additional acknowledgment of the challenges and the costs involved in compliance as additional rules are promulgated to clarify Local Law 97," said Mary Ann Rothman, executive director, Council of New York Cooperatives & Condominiums (CNYC).
“Con Edison is proud to support our customers as they develop and implement plans to comply with Local Law 97 under the city’s new rules package,” said Matthew Ketschke, the president of Con Edison of New York. “These new emissions standards will help realize New York’s clean energy transition, which will ensure cleaner air and a more resilient climate. We agree with our customers and elected officials that this transition is critical for New York’s future, and our dedicated team is here to connect customers with the resources they need to make their electrification plans a reality.”
"Local Law 97 has sparked a national movement, with dozens of cities now enacting similar building performance laws. As a pioneer, New York is working through nitty-gritty details to make these ambitious regulations feasible. These newly finalized rules will enhance energy affordability, encourage innovation and turn climate-friendly upgrades into standard practice," said Marc Zuluaga, co-founder of Cadence OneFive, and member of Local Law 97 Climate Working Group.