Buildings are the single-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the city of New York. Local Law 97 of 2019, passed by the City Council as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Green New Deal, is an unparalleled commitment to addressing this reality and increasing the sustainability of New York City’s buildings by reducing our building emissions.
Local Law 97, which became effective on November 15, 2019, sets limits on the greenhouse gas emissions of covered buildings starting in 2024 to help New York City reach the goal of a 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from buildings by the year 2030 and 80 percent reduction in citywide emissions by calendar year 2050. For certain buildings, including affordable housing, prescriptive measures that are proven to reduce energy consumption must be implemented before and reported on in 2025.
The buildings covered by Local Law 97 will be required to file a report with the Department by May 1, 2025 detailing their annual greenhouse gas emissions and then by May 1 of every year after. The report must be certified by a registered design professional. Buildings that are required to undertake prescriptive measures (e.g. Affordable Housing) will also be required to submit a report of compliance with the Department by May 1, 2025.
The Department of Buildings is developing guidance for building owners to help them comply with the law’s mandates. This guidance will include information on various retrofits and strategies for a wide range of building types, including hospitals, commercial buildings, and large multifamily dwellings.
To determine compliance, visit our Getting Started guide. Benchmarking, Reporting, Adjustments, Deductions, and Timelines and Key Dates will be key to compliance under Local Law 97.
Starting in 2025, an owner of a covered building who submits a report indicating that their building exceeded its annual building emissions limit will be liable for a civil penalty equal to the difference between the building emissions limit for that timeframe and the reported building emissions for that year. The City estimates that about 20-25% of buildings will exceed their emissions limits in 2024, if they take no action to improve their building’s performance. In 2030, if owners take no action to make improvements, approximately 75-80% of buildings will not comply with their emission limits. In addition to the civil penalties set forth in Local Law 97, the Buildings Department may also issue violations for non-compliance with the law. More information on potential violations will be posted on this site at a later time.
Starting in 2025, building owners that fail to submit their report on their buildings energy usage will face stiff penalties and fines.