Welcome to the Department of Buildings (DOB) Getting Started Guide for Local Law 97.
No matter where you are in the process, good first stops include the Sustainability Help Center, where you can get assistance determining what you need to do to comply with local laws, and the NYC Accelerator, where you can get technical and financial assistance making sustainability retrofits.
Click a question, or press the enter key on a question, to reveal its answer.
Are you required to make retrofits?
Only certain classes of large buildings are required to meet the emissions caps set by this law. To determine if your building is included, visit the Covered Buildings page. In general, most buildings over 25,000 square feet are required to comply. Smaller buildings may be required to comply if they share a tax lot with other buildings that, in aggregate, exceed 50,000 square feet.
If No, you do not have any reporting requirements to comply with Local Law 97.
If Yes, the first step is determining your energy usage.
How do I determine my energy usage?
Use the DOB Benchmarking tool and work with a certified architect or energy consultant to determine your building’s energy usage. Your building most likely has already had to compile and submit its energy data to comply with Benchmarking and Energy Efficiency Grading. In limited cases, some buildings may be subject to Local Law 97 while being exempt from the City’s Benchmarking requirements.
How much do I need to reduce my energy usage to comply with the law?
That depends on the occupancy types your building contains; it may have multiple occupancies (like street-level retail with apartments above) or it may just have one. See the Covered Building List to determine the emission limits set for your occupancies.
There are two limits set, one for 2024-2029 and a stricter one that runs from 2030-2034. Your building may only need to make minor adjustments for the first period and more thorough ones to comply with the stricter limits.
For a running list of key dates as the Department of Buildings releases them, see our Timelines and Key Dates page. Sign up for our newsletter to ensure you do not miss any important filing deadlines.
What types of retrofits should I make?
We are developing recommendations to help you comply with this law. That said, every building is unique, and we strongly encourage you to hire an architect, engineer or energy consultant to develop recommendations that meet your specific needs.
In the meantime, there are many steps you can take to make your building more energy efficient and reduce your emissions. The prescriptive requirements set out for Affordable Housing is an exclellent place to start.
How can I get financial and technical assistance?
There are a variety of tools available to help you meet these requirements. A good place to get started is the Sustainability Help Center and the NYC Accelerator. Remember that while energy efficiency upgrades may be costly up front, they will save you money in operating costs over time.
Am I eligible for any deductions or credits to meet my emissions limits?
Certain buildings can apply for adjustments based on special uses that cause them to emit more than similar buildings. Not-for-profit hospitals and healthcare facilities can also apply for an adjustment. Recommendations on how to apply for deductions are still in development.
Once I have made retrofits, how do I ensure I don't get a fine in 2025?