Why NYC property owners
are worried about
Local Law 97

And how you can avoid hefty fines

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NYC is fighting the good fight – against global warming

Every building owner or manager is being counted on to join the effort. In truth, achieving this ambitious goal will be a win-win. A cleaner, greener city for all to enjoy, and lower energy bills for property owners long-term. While that is nice, compliance isn’t simple.

NYC is fighting the good fight – against global warming

Here’s the 300-foot overview
of Local Law 97

The soon-to-be-enforced Local Law 97 aims to clean air in the city by reducing emissions 40%. The law places carbon caps on most buildings larger than 25,000 SF across NYC. It gives property owners a few short years to implement the operational and physical changes needed to bring down those emissions.

In 2025 you’ll need to submit a report (based on your 2023 energy usage) to prove you’re within the limits allowed for your type of building. In 2029 the cap is lowered further, requiring your building to be even more energy efficient.

To enforce Local Law 97, the city has established steep fines for non-compliers.

3 types of penalties you’ll want to avoid:

  • 1
    Any building over 25,000 SF that emits carbon levels higher than the city’s accepted limits will be fined $268 per metric ton over the limit.
  • 2
    Failure to file
    The carbon emissions report you’ll need to file in 2025 is in addition to your annual Energy Benchmarking report. Failure to file this report incurs monthly fines of $0.50/SF. A 25,000 SF multi-family building could pay $150K annually.
  • 3
    False reporting
    It might seem tempting to guesstimate or manipulate the data, but the city takes that very seriously. A $500,000 penalty will be assessed for falsifying information, and since it qualifies as a misdemeanor, it can even incur jail time.
3 types of penalties you’ll want to avoid:

Worried and wondering who can help you?

EZ does it!

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Zero Obligation.

How can I know if our carbon emissions are too high?
How can I find out if any exemptions or credits will apply to my portfolio?
Is there a way to know which measures will most effectively reduce our carbon emissions?

It can be hard to find reliable, easy-to-digest answers.

LL97 is still pretty new, and it’s complex, so there’s still a lot of confusion.

In the coming months, you can expect to see ‘Local Law 97’ all over your feeds. That’s mainly because there are many vendors and products out there that can help you lower the carbon emissions. Think new HVAC equipment, solar panels, spray foam insulation, LED lighting in all units.

Any of those measures CAN help you comply. But they may not be as effective as you hope. Or there may be more economical ways to lower emissions, like simple operational changes, but no one sells you on that. As you know, approaching a problem with a single weapon is never ideal.

The best approach is a holistic approach

Here at EZ Energy, we’ve been following the NYC legislation closely, and made it our mission to know the ins and outs of every clause.

Our solution: We use a proven 5-Point plan to audit your current energy usage, pinpoint the cause of extraneous carbon emissions and provide targeted recommendations.

Our goal: Make things as EZ as possible for you. So we begin with the easiest measures and diagnosis, and only move on to suggest the more costly solutions if they are warranted.

Hand 97:
EZ’s LL97 compliance program

We’re here to support you as long as you need us.
There’s never an obligation to move onto the next step. It’s up to you.

Here’s the Hand 97 process:

1. Smarter Benchmarking for LL84

First, we ensure you’re at the highest possible starting point. Your benchmarking report is the baseline the city uses to calculate your carbon emissions. So if the benchmarking rating could be improved, we refile it for you.

2. Projected Local Law 97 Report

We then provide you with a projected LL97 report detailing emissions and the potential fine amounts your building will incur– assuming no changes are made. While seeing the penalty amounts may be worrisome for you, it’s also a relief to see a clear report detailing exactly what you’re up against. And remember, you have experts on hand to clarify any questions and help lower your buildings’ carbon emissions to acceptable standards.

3. Pinpoint the problems

Now’s the time for some EZ Sense magic.

We provide you with our powerful EZ Sense sensors to install on your electric meters. Within days you’ll know exactly which apartments, appliances or equipment are the cause of your high energy usage. There’s no guesswork. We can then decide on a plan of action to address the problems we’ve uncovered.

Watch EZ Sense do its magic:

4. Create a lean plan to lower emissions

Once we know what’s what, we move on with 3 levels of remediation:

5. Financing your upgrades with unsecured loans

If you’ve tried applying for a loan via a government program, you know how lengthy the process can be, with multiple assessments and bank approvals.

We offer full financing to cover your upgrades, with just a 10-day turnaround. And the best part- it’s unsecured.

Here’s what that looks like in numbers:

This class-A building

  • reduced power usage by 45%
  • $0 outlay for the client
  • 55 months of payments- directly from savings
  • Enjoyed 45% savings every month after that

3 Executive Campus

Financing your upgrades with an unsecured loan ensures your upgrades are EME, Efficiency Made Easy®. This allows you to invest in energy efficiency upgrades with zero capital upfront. Reach your energy efficiency goals whilst saving on long-term energy costs.

What will it take to get your portfolio in compliance before the penalties kick in?
Let’s have a look.
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schedule my review

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You'll like working with the experts at EZ

We’ve been around long before Local Law 97 was even a thought. We work with many NYC buildings just like yours,
to bring supply costs down, and energy ratings and and LTV up.

What our clients are saying on Trustpilot

"...professional, knowledgeable, honest and always available. ..they know the market and are committed to saving us money off our utility bills…."

Matt Katz, NY

"...advanced knowledge of the market and state of the art tools can help any company save money, improve energy efficiency and prepare for any legislation…"

Moshe Moskowitz, NY

"...this is the company who would work on your benefit without even contact them…"

Joel Braver, NY

".... loyal to every customer and solve the problems promptly.."

Aaron Berger, NY

If you appreciate:

Start-to-finish service for anything energy related
Same-day answers to your most obscure questions
Quick responses when things go wrong
Referrals to excellent contractors

...you’ll appreciate working with our consultants.

EZ Energy is the only professional company that I've ever met in this line. They really know their stuff, really care for you, will always be ahead of what's going on, and save you loads of money. They are honest, and simply the best.

Gabby Goldberger, NY
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Your LL97 questions,
answered clearly

What prompted this crackdown on carbon emissions?

As part of the Climate Mobilization Act, an ambitious plan to combat global warming, NYC has identified over 57,000 rather ancient buildings as chief culprits, responsible for 71% of the city’s carbon emissions. These emissions, also known as greenhouse gas (Ghg) emissions, come from the burning of fossil fuels.

How do I determine if my buildings are subject to Local Law 97?

If you’re required to benchmark your energy usage, you’re also subject to Local Law 97. You can check if the addresses are listed on the NYC Covered Buildings List. Sometimes buildings are listed there by error and we’re able to have them removed from the list.

How does my building emit carbon?

Buildings use several forms of energy, including electricity, natural gas, and types of fuel oil. Carbon emissions come primarily from burning fossil fuels. Different types of fuels eit different levels of carbon.

How do I figure out how much carbon my building emits?

Calculating a building’s total carbon emissions can be a bit complicated.
To see a building’s annual emissions intensity based on the most recent benchmarking submissions, search by borough-block-lot (BBL) number or type in your street address at Metered.nyc. You’ll see “GHG Emissions / sq.ft.” highlighted in green. To determine annual carbon emissions for the applicable year, multiply that emissions intensity by a building’s total square footage.

Then, you can calculate the building’s total emissions. This depends on an “emissions factor” applied to each source of energy (e.g. natural gas, electricity or district steam) based on its associated carbon pollution. You can find updated “emissions factors” for various types of energy on Portfolio Manager, the city’s tool for energy legislation compliance. If all this seems complicated, don’t worry. We can work out the numbers fo ryo and show you how you can reduce the numbers to acceptable levels.

What about my tenants usage? Am I responsible for that?

The amount of energy your tenants consume has a huge impact on your building’s overall energy use. Increasing your building's energy benchmark to comply with LL 97 will only be possible with collaboration from your tenants. Offering them incentives to make their spaces energy efficient is a good way to bring down your building’s overall energy usage and aids you in complying with LL 97.

What’s the deadline for LL97 enforcement?

By May 1st, 2025, you’ll need to submit a report showing your carbon emissions for the previous year of 2024. The reporting must be done annually, by a registered professional.

About 20% of the city’s carbon emitting buildings will not meet the 2025 limits unless they implement changes speedily. The other 80% of affected buildings will need to reduce emissions by 2029.
There are lots of ways to lower emissions. But if you fail to plan, you must plan to pay.

Why should I care about this now? 2025 isn’t here for a while.

Your report is filed based on your 2024 usage so energy upgrades need to be completed before the end of 2023. As you know, wheels turn very slowly in the commercial real estate industry. Identifying problems, planning and implementation are a multi-step process, so it's wise to start now.

What happens if I don’t comply and make the upgrades before 2025?

The 2025 deadline will impact only 20% of the buildings who need to comply with Local Law 97, those that currently have the highest carbon emissions. When the cap is lowered in 2029, those same buildings will need to prove that they’ve further reduced their emissions, along with the remaining 80% of NYC buildings that are currently above those levels.

By May 1st 2025, you must submit an annual report, in addition to the benchmarking report you have been filing to comply with Local Law 84. Buildings must pay a penalty of $268 per metric ton that their carbon footprint exceeds the limit, annually. You will also be fined for not submitting a report or for submitting a false report.

What if I cannot reduce energy usage enough to comply?

The law includes some flexibility for specific cases:

  • Possible Exemptions
    Buildings that cannot meet the target carbon emissions levels and are in specific categories, such as affordable housing, houses of worship, hospitals or city-owned buildings, will have alternative compliance options. The Department of Buildings will also have the authority to grant exemptions in specific cases of financial hardships or practical constraints (like lack of access to leased areas).
  • Credit Transfers and Purchases
    Your building portfolio will be assessed as a whole. High energy efficiency in one building will earn you credits towards your buildings that have lower ratings. You may also purchase renewable energy credits generated in NYC.
How do I reduce my buildings’ carbon emissions?

The most effective way to reduce a building’s carbon emissions is to work on saving energy. An inexpensive first step is training building staff on energy efficiency best practices. Operational changes to equipment schedules, thermostat set points and other characteristics can reduce energy use without added cost. To determine where the energy usage is higher than it should be, we recommend installing EZ Sense sensors.

What is EZ sense?

EZ Sense are EZ Energy trademarked cutting-edge sensors that we use to monitor energy usage across your building. They pick up the exact apartments, appliances or installations with high energy usage so we can hone in on those areas and effectively improve your energy efficiency rating.

These upgrades sound expensive. How will I fund them?

EZ Energy offers full financing to cover your upgrades with unsecured loans. No personal guarantee, no UCC and no lien needed. You then pay the loan back once your building starts saving on their energy bills. It’s EME, efficiency made easy, at its finest.

I’ve heard of PACE loans. How does EZ Energy funding differ?

PACE is a NYC financing mechanism providing loans to property owners to fund energy efficiency upgrades.

To date, very few buildings have been approved for PACE loans, due to a complex application process.

EZ Energy’s secure loans make it easier and faster to get accepted with no bank approval needed. We take care of the loan application for you.

Have a question specific to your portfolio?
We’re happy to share our knowledge.
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