Improve Your Benchmarking Scores with These Prescriptive Practices

Improve Your Benchmarking Scores with These Prescriptive Practices

By John Lashley

From impending energy efficiency grades, courtesy of Local Law 33 of 2018, to the carbon-reducing requirements of Local Law 97 of 2019, pressure continues to mount for building owners, managers and developers to improve their benchmarking scores.

In addition to imposing new responsibilities and limits, Local Law 97 includes “prescriptive energy conservation measures,” best practices to help guide building owners in putting their best efficiency numbers forward:

  • Adjust temperature set points for heat and hot water to reflect appropriate space occupancy and facility requirements.
  • Repair all heating system leaks.
  • Maintain the heating system, including, but not limited to, ensuring that system component parts are clean and in good operating condition.
  • Install individual temperature controls or insulated radiator enclosures with temperature controls on all radiators.
  • Insulate all pipes for heating and/or hot water.
  • Insulate the steam system condensate tank or water tank.
  • Install indoor and outdoor heating system sensors and boiler controls to allow for proper set-points.
  • Replace or repair all steam traps such that all are in working order.
  • Install or upgrade steam system master venting at the ends of mains, large horizontal pipes, and tops of risers, vertical pipes branching off a main.
  • Upgrade lighting to comply with the standards for new systems set forth in section 805 of the New York City Energy Conservation Code. (As of the date of this article, section 805 of the New York City Energy Conservation Code does not exist. Refer to Local Law 88 for compliance. 28-310.3 Exception 1 system installed date has been updated from July 1, 2010, to January 1, 2020.)
  • Implement weatherizing and air sealing where appropriate, including windows and ductwork, with focus on whole-building insulation.
  • Install timers on exhaust fans.
  • Install radiant barriers behind all radiators.

These measures are to be applied as applicable to your particular building’s system and condition. You must still submit a report confirming the energy conservation measures taken, certified by a retro-commissioning agent.

The report shall include such information relating to the completion of the prescriptive energy conservation measures and shall state, at a minimum, the following:

  1. Project and team information:
    • Building address
    • Experience and certification of persons performing the prescriptive energy conservation measures and any staff involved in the project
    • Name, affiliation, and contact information for persons performing the prescriptive energy conservation measures, owner of building, and facility manager of building.
  1. Building information:
    • List of all HVAC, domestic hot water, electrical equipment, lighting, and conveyance equipment types serving the covered building

It is also advisable to update your building’s energy data for annual utility use via the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. This tool will adjust your Energy Star Score/Benchmark and, therefore, your Energy Efficiency Grade.

If you have questions about improving your energy efficiency profile or compliance with the latest local laws, contact Metropolis Group at 212.233.6344.