DOB Proposes Rules Expanding Energy Benchmarking Regulations
DOB is proposing to amend rules relating to the annual reporting of energy and water use by individual “covered” buildings. Local Law 84, the benchmarking law, was enacted in 2009 and currently affects all buildings larger than 50,000 square feet. The law requires owners to enter their annual energy and water use in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) online tool, ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, and use the tool to submit data to the city. The goal of benchmarking is to encourage owners to be more energy efficient by forcing them to track their energy and water usage, and to see how their buildings compare to similar buildings in terms of consumption
The benchmarking data is also disclosed publicly, analyzed in reports, visualized in the NYC Energy and Water Performance Map, included in energy efficiency policy development efforts such as the Buildings Technical Working Group Final Report, and used to develop free resources such as the NYC Retrofit Accelerator and Community Retrofit NYC to help building owners use less energy and save money. Starting this year, owners with mid-sized buildings over 25,000 square feet will also be required to submit energy performance data.
Specific changes. DOB’s proposed amendments cover the expansion of reporting requirements to buildings larger than 25,000 gross square feet, remove obsolete reporting mechanisms, and clarify certain reporting and enforcement procedures. DOB is proposing to amend Section 103-06 of Title 1 of the Rules of the City of New York relating to the annual reporting of energy and water use by individual “covered” buildings. This change will require approximately 16,000 more buildings in the city to report on their energy and water use. The proposed amendments will:
- Expand the reporting requirements to include buildings that exceed 25,000 gross square feet. The current rule applies only to buildings that exceed 50,000 gross square feet;
- Allow these newly covered buildings the option to have their data entered by their utility company;
- Clarify the reporting deadlines for newly covered buildings;
- Permit certain properties to challenge violations if they can prove they requested benchmarking assistance in a timely manner and demonstrate correction of the violation within the specified period of time;
- Clarify the method of reporting data under certain special conditions; and
- Discontinue the use of “default energy data” and “temporary energy data” reporting.
Due date. Mid-sized buildings don’t have to file by May 1 of this year, but they will eventually need to submit 2017 data, and will be subject to violations for noncompliance in the future. The proposed amendments list the due date for mid-sized buildings to submit 2017 data as Feb. 1, 2019. This is also the last date that buildings 50,000 square feet and up can submit 2017 data to avoid a penalty.
Public comment. DOB is seeking comment on the proposed amendments and the rules are subject to change based on public comment. DOB will hold a public hearing on the proposed rule at 2 p.m. on April 16, 2018, in the third-floor conference room at 280 Broadway. In addition, anyone can comment on the proposed rules by:
- Website. You can submit comments to the DOB through the NYC rules website at http://rules.cityofnewyork.us.
- Email. You can email comments to email@example.com.
- Mail. You can mail comments to the New York City Department of Buildings, Office of the General Counsel, 280 Broadway, 7th floor, New York, NY 10007.
- Fax. You can fax comments to the New York City Department of Buildings, Office of the General Counsel, at (212) 566-3843.
- Speaking at the hearing. Anyone who wants to comment on the proposed rule at the public hearing must sign up to speak. You can sign up in the hearing room before the hearing begins on April 16. And you can speak for up to three minutes.