New York City’s Climate Mobilization Act

Meet the Five Laws You Need to Know

New York City’s Climate Mobilization Act

In the spring of 2019, New York City Council passed a series of local laws, collectively known as the Climate Mobilization Act, to reduce energy use in buildings. These new laws are very ambitious building efficiency ordinances with the heart of them being Local Law 97. The Climate Mobilization Act puts New York City on a path to leading the world in developing, managing, and operating efficiency and low carbon buildings.

Here’s our guide to understanding each of the laws that make up the Climate Mobilization Act.

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Local Law 92 and 94

Solar PV, a green roof, or a combination of the two are now required for all new buildings in NYC. Buildings undergoing major roof renovations are required to incorporate solar and green roofs.

Local Law 95

Starting in October of 2020, buildings that are larger than 25,000 square feet will receive an energy efficiency grade based on its Energy Star Portfolio Manager score. This grade will need to be prominently displayed in the lobby of the building similar to a health grade in restaurants. Local Law 95 amends Local Law 33 by refining the letter grades associated with different ranges of Energy Star scores. You can click here to read more about the Energy Star Portfolio Manager.

climate mobilization act local law 95

Local Law 96

Local Law 96 establishes a loan program for energy efficiency projects called Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE). C-PACE financing is a non-escalating, low-interest loan that property owners can use to fund a wide range of projects that have energy-saving benefits. The loan is repaid through the building’s property tax bill, so the cost of the improvements stay with the building, not the owner. This program will be administered in NYC by the NYCEEC, an independent nonprofit organization, and is expected to be available starting in the first half of 2020.

Local Law 97

Local Law 97 applies a carbon emissions limit to all buildings over 25,000 square feet. The law covers all types of buildings with different limits for different building types. There is a penalty for buildings that exceed their limit. The potential fines are large enough that building owners and occupants will be encouraged to reduce usage overtime rather than face the penalties. Reducing emissions, of course, will also lower utility expenses. If properly planned this work can also make buildings more attractive, comfortable, and valuable.

The first carbon emissions limit goes into effect in 2024. The limit ratchets down further in 2030 and 2035.

ERS will provide you with the resources you need to comply with Local Law 97 and each of the related Climate Mobilization Act ordinances. We are knowledgable of energy program incentives and opportunities from NYSERDA and Con Edison and will help identify the best and most appropriate opportunities for you.