Ready to Reduce Building Emissions? How to Prepare for LL 97/2019

Ready to Reduce Building Emissions? How to Prepare for LL 97/2019

By Andrew Pisani

Do you remember when New York City passed the Climate Mobilization Act? It happened in May 2019, and it was a big deal in the pre-pandemic world. The biggest game-changer in that collection of legislation was Local Law 97 (LL97), which placed carbon emission limits on most buildings larger than 25,000 square feet. The limits start in 2024 and become stricter, ultimately reducing emissions 80% by 2050.

Building Carbon Emissions Limits

The legislation, which affects approximately 50,000 buildings citywide, sets emissions limits based on the building’s occupancy group.

  • The first emissions limits go into effect in 2024 and apply to the 20% highest-emission buildings in each occupancy group.
  • By 2030, the law requires a 40% reduction in citywide emissions from a 2005 baseline. Limits from 2030-2034 are expected to affect the 75% of buildings producing the highest carbon emissions in their occupancy group, although the actual impact will be determined by emissions factors in rules scheduled for release by January 1, 2023.
  • New York City government buildings must reduce emissions 40% by 2025 and 50% by 2030.
  • In 2024 rent-regulated buildings, houses of worship, and some subsidized housing must take prescriptive energy conservation measures, outlined in the legislation, or meet 2030 limits.
  • Hospitals and healthcare facilities may qualify for a percent reduction compliance framework by meeting a filing requirement due on or before July 21, 2021.

All covered buildings must file the first annual compliance report by May 1, 2025.

Start Planning Now

While the implementation deadlines look distant, many buildings will require comprehensive retrofits to meet the emissions limits. Buildings that exceed 2024 limits by more than 40% can apply for an adjustment before July 1, 2021.

Urban Green Council maintains a web page with the latest updates to Local Law 97.

For assistance in creating and executing your compliance strategy, contact Metropolis Group at 212.233.6344.