Post Updated Energy Grades for Large Buildings by Oct. 31
Similar to the Department of Health grades for restaurants, a building’s energy efficiency grade is a letter grade that must be posted by Oct. 31 if you own or manage an applicable building. Local Law 33 of 2018, as amended by Local Law 95 of 2019, requires all large building owners subject to the benchmarking law to display an energy grade of each building annually, in a clearly visible location.
New York City has identified that 48 percent of its energy usage is concentrated in less than 2 percent of its buildings. In an effort to reduce the city’s carbon footprint, these high-energy users are the ones targeted for annual benchmarking. With the public display of energy grades and efficiency scores, the hope is that potential renters will be more likely to give their business to a higher-grade building than a lower-grade one.
The grade is derived from data gathered from the NYC Benchmarking Law, which requires owners of large buildings to measure their energy and water consumption annually. The law requires building 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. This data informs building owners about a building’s energy and water consumption compared to similar buildings, and tracks progress year over year to help in energy efficiency planning.
No later than Oct. 31, 2022, owners of buildings over 25,000 square feet or owners of multiple buildings on a lot that totals 100,000 square feet or more that appear on the NYC Benchmarking Covered Building List must post a building energy efficiency rating label in a conspicuous location near each public entrance to their buildings. The list of covered buildings can be found at https://www1.nyc.gov/html/gbee/html/plan/ll87_covered_buildings_list.shtml.
The building energy efficiency rating label will include the energy efficiency score of the building, which is calculated through the benchmarking tool (Portfolio Manager), and an energy efficiency rating of A through F, as required in Local Law 33 of 2018 and Local Law 95 of 2019. Failure to post the label within 30 days after Oct. 1 may result in the imposition of a civil penalty of $1,250.
Accessing and Printing the Building Energy Efficiency Label
Beginning Oct. 1, owners can access and print an updated label through a Building Energy Efficiency Rating tab in the DOB NOW Public Portal at www.nyc.gov/dobnow. The label may be printed in color or in gray scale. DOB suggests framing or laminating the label, but this isn’t required as long as all information included in the label is clearly visible for the entire year.
Once printed, the label must be displayed either externally or internally in a conspicuous location near each public entrance, so it’s visible to the public. The label must be at a vertical height no less than four feet and no more than six feet from the ground or floor. The label must not be defaced, marred, camouflaged, or hidden from public view. The label must be displayed year-round and replaced each year with the latest issued version.
The energy label will include both a letter grade and the building’s energy efficiency score. An energy efficiency score is the Energy Star Rating that a building earns using the Portfolio Manager, to compare building energy performance to similar buildings in similar climates. As per Local Law 95 of 2019, grades based on Energy Star energy efficiency scores are assigned as follows:
- A–Energy Star score is equal to or greater than 85;
- B–score is equal to or greater than 70 but less than 85;
- C–score is equal to or greater than 55 but less than 70;
- D–score is less than 55;
- F–no data submitted;
- N–for buildings exempted from benchmarking or not covered by the Energy Star program.
Exemptions from Benchmarking
Buildings exempted from benchmarking or not covered by the Energy Star program include the following:
- Multifamily buildings with fewer than 20 units, enclosed parking, or other property types that are not eligible to receive a 1–100 Energy Star score;
- Some mixed-use buildings—a multi-use property can receive the Energy Star score, but these two conditions apply: (1) 75 percent of the gross floor area of the property must be comprised of property types that are eligible for an Energy Star score; and (2) more than 50 percent of the gross floor area must be comprised of one eligible property type (excluding parking); and
- Buildings that contain a data center, television studio, and/or trading floor that together exceed 10 percent of the gross floor area.
What Is the Climate Mobilization Act?
The Climate Mobilization Act is the name of a package of laws passed by the New York City Council on April 18, 2019, to reduce the Greenhouse Gas emissions 80 percent by 2050. NYC local laws from the Climate Mobilization Act include:
- Local Law 97–Greenhouse Gas Emissions Limits
- Local Law 96–Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Voluntary Finance Program
- Local Law 95–Adjusting Energy Letter Grades
- Local Law 94–Green Roofs on New Construction/Largely Renovated Buildings
- Local Law 93–Information on Installation of Green Roofs
- Local Law 92–Green Roofs on Small Buildings