New Local Law 97 Rules for NYC Building Owners: What Has Changed?

Michael Tobias
January 16, 2023
20 Minutes Read
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KEY TAKEAWAYS

-The NYC Department of Buildings published new rules for Local Law 97 compliance in December 2022.

-The property classification used to assign emission limits per building is now more detailed: LL97 now uses 60 property types from the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, instead of the 10 broad categories used before.

-The list of emission factors for different energy sources has also been expanded. The original LL97 text only covers five energy sources, while the updated rules cover 23 sources.

-The original LL97 text mentions that electricity generated onsite with solar panels has zero emissions. The new rules clarify that this also applies when subscribing to offsite solar projects.

-The emissions factor for grid electricity remains at 0.000288962 tCO2-eq per kWh in 2024-2029, decreasing to 0.000145 tCO2-eq per kWh in 2030-2034. This makes electrification more attractive for building owners.

-Building owners must store all the information used in their emissions reports for at least six years.

-Groups of buildings under the same tax lot must submit a shared report if their energy services are shared, and individual reports if their energy sources are independent.

The NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) recently published updated rules for Local Law 97 of 2019 (also known as the Building Emissions Law). The 26-page document provides instructions for compliance, while updating and expanding many of the original requirements. LL97/2019 takes effect in 2024, and building owners must submit their first emissions reports in 2025.


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The new LL97 rules provide a more detailed classification of the buildings covered by the law, using 60 categories instead of the original 10. Just like in the first version of LL97, each building type gets its own emissions limit per square foot. The list emissions factors for different energy sources was also expanded: the original text covers five energy sources used by buildings, while the updated rules cover 23 sources.

Building emissions limits have now been published for more periods: 2024-2029, 2030-2034, 2035-2039, and 2040-2049. The original LL97/2019 text only covered the first two periods.

LL97 Building Emission Limits: Updated List of Property Types

nyc buildings

The Building Emissions Law is now using 60 property types from the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, the tool being used to benchmark energy usage under Local Law 84. The original LL97 text classified properties into 10 broad categories, and this could have caused confusion among building owners. Now that the list is broken down into 60 specific building types, you can identify the emissions limit for your property more easily.

Here are the updated building categories under Local Law 97, and the corresponding emissions limit for the first two periods (2024-2029 and 2030-2034). As you can see, the new list is much more specific. If a building has areas with different occupancy classifications, emissions must be calculated individually for each area, and added to determine total emissions.

Updated LL97 Property Types (A - L) and Emission Limits (tCO2-eq per sq.ft.)

Property Type

2024-2029 Limit

2030-2034 Limit

Adult Education

0.00758

0.003565528

Ambulatory Surgical Center

0.01181

0.008980612

Automobile Dealership

0.00675

0.002824097

Bank Branch

0.00987

0.004036172

Bowling Alley

0.00574

0.003103815

College/University

0.00987

0.002099748

Convenience Store without Gas Station

0.00675

0.003540032

Courthouse

0.00426

0.001480533

Data Center

0.02381

0.014791131

Distribution Center

0.00574

0.000991600

Enclosed Mall

0.01074

0.003983803

Financial Office

0.00846

0.003697004

Fitness Center/ Health Club/ Gym

0.00987

0.003946728

Food Sales

0.01181

0.005208880

Food Service

0.01181

0.007749414

Hospital (General Medical & Surgical)

0.02381

0.007335204

Hotel

0.00987

0.003850668

K-12 School

0.00675

0.002230588

Laboratory

0.02381

0.026029868

Library

0.00675

0.002218412

Lifestyle Center

0.00846

0.004705850

Updated LL97 Property Types (M - O) and Emission Limits (tCO2-eq per sq.ft.)

Property Type

2024-2029 Limit

2030-2034 Limit

Mailing Center/Post Office

0.00426

0.001980440

Manufacturing/Industrial Plant

0.00758

0.001417030

Medical Office

0.01074

0.002912778

Movie Theater

0.01181

0.005395268

Multifamily Housing

0.00675

0.003346640

Museum

0.01181

0.005395800

Non-Refrigerated Warehouse

0.00426

0.000883187

Office

0.00758

0.002690852

Other - Education

0.00846

0.002934006

Other - Entertainment/ Public Assembly

0.00987

0.002956738

Other - Lodging/Residential

0.00758

0.001901982

Other - Mall

0.01074

0.001928226

Other - Public Services

0.00758

0.003808033

Other - Recreation

0.00987

0.004479570

Other - Restaurant/Bar

0.02381

0.008505075

Other - Services

0.01074

0.001823381

Other - Specialty Hospital

0.02381

0.006321819

Other - Technology/Science

0.02381

0.010446456

Outpatient Rehabilitation/ Physical Therapy

0.01181

0.006018323

Updated LL97 Property Types (P - Z) and Emission Limits (tCO2-eq per sq.ft.)

Property Type

2024-2029 Limit

2030-2034 Limit

Parking

0.00426

0.000214421

Performing Arts

0.00846

0.002472539

Personal Services (Health/ Beauty, Dry Cleaning, etc.)

0.00574

0.004843037

Preschool/ Daycare

0.00675

0.002362874

Refrigerated Warehouse

0.00987

0.002852131

Repair Services (Vehicle, Shoe, Locksmith, etc.)

0.00426

0.002210699

Residence Hall/ Dormitory

0.00758

0.002464089

Residential Care Facility

0.01138

0.004893124

Restaurant

0.01181

0.004038374

Retail Store

0.00758

0.002104490

Self-Storage Facility

0.00426

0.000611830

Senior Care Community

0.01138

0.004410123

Social/Meeting Hall

0.00987

0.003833108

Strip Mall

0.01181

0.001361842

Supermarket/Grocery Store

0.02381

0.006755190

Transportation Terminal/ Station

0.00426

0.000571669

Urgent Care/Clinic/Other Outpatient

0.01181

0.005772375

Vocational School

0.00574

0.004613122

Wholesale Club/ Supercenter 

0.01138

0.004264962

Worship Facility

0.00574

0.001230602

For example, a distribution center has an emissions factor of 0.00574 tCO2-eq per sq.ft. in the first compliance period (2024-2029) and 0.000991600 tCO2-eq per sq.ft. in the second period (2030-2034). This means a 200,000 sq.ft. facility would have an emissions limit of 1,148 tCO2-eq per year in the first period, and a much lower limit of 198 tCO2-eq per year in the second period.

In this blog post we have only covered the first two periods (2024-2029 and 2030-2034) to avoid excessively large tables. The information has also been divided into three smaller tables. However, you can check the emissions limits for 2035-2039 and 2040-2049 in the document published by the NYC DOB.

LL97 Building Emission Limits: Updated List of Energy Sources

energy sources

The original LL97/2019 text only provides emission factors for five energy sources: electricity, natural gas, #2 fuel oil, #4 fuel oil and district steam. The updated rules provide emission factors for 23 energy sources:

Utility Energy Sources (3)

Energy Source

LL97/2019 Emissions Factor (2024-2029)

Electricity

0.000288962 tCO2-eq per kWh

Natural Gas

0.00005311 tCO-eq per kBTU

District Steam

0.00004493 tCO-eq per kBTU

Non-Utility Energy Sources (20)

Energy Source

LL97/2019 Emissions Factor (tCO2-equivalent per kBTU)

#2 Fuel Oil

0.00007421

#4 Fuel Oil

0.00007529

Butane

0.00006502

Butylene

0.00006897

Diesel

0.00007421

Distillate Fuel Oil No. 1

0.00007350

Ethane

0.00005985

Ethylene

0.00006621

Gasoline

0.00007047

Isobutane

0.00006519

Isobutylene

0.00006911

Kerosene

0.00007769

Naphtha (<401 deg F)

0.00006827

Other Oil (>401 deg F)

0.00007647

Pentanes Plus

0.00007027

Propane

0.00006425

Propylene

0.00006802

Special Naphtha

0.00007259

Coke Oven Gas

0.00004689

Fuel Gas

0.00005925

The emissions factors for the five energy sources originally covered by Local Law 97 have remained unchanged in the 2024-2029 period. However, the new rules introduce updated factors for grid electricity and district steam the 2030-2034 period:

Energy Source

LL97/2019 Emissions Factor (2030-2034)

Electricity

0.000145 tCO2-eq per kWh

District Steam

0.0000432 tCO-eq per kBTU

The emissions factor for grid electricity is reduced by nearly 50% for the 2030-2034 period, which reflects the fact that New York is working to decarbonize the grid. Electrification is a viable strategy for building owners subject to LL97, since they can benefit from onsite and offsite renewable generation. Solar power has an emissions factor of zero in Local Law 97 of 2019. This applies for onsite solar generation, but also when building owners subscribe to an offsite community solar project.

Additional Rules for Local Law 97 Compliance

building inspection

The updated rules published by the NYC DOB also provide detailed instructions on how to comply with the Building Emissions Law. These instructions are summarized below:

  1. Building owners must store all documentation and data used in their emissions reports for at least six years.
  2. In the case of condominiums, the board of managers must submit a single report that covers all units in the building.
  3. Groups of two or more buildings under the same tax lot with shared energy services must submit a single emissions report.
  4. Groups of two or more buildings under the same tax lot with independent energy services must submit separate emissions reports (one per building).
  5. New buildings are subject to LL97/2019 reporting requirements starting from the first full calendar year, after the year where the Certificate of Occupancy was issued.
  6. Buildings that are transferred to another owner are not subject to LL97 reporting on the calendar year when the change of ownership occurs. However, this is only valid if the new owner is a bona fide purchaser according to NYC DOB rules.
  7. Buildings that will be demolished are not subject to LL97 on the calendar year where demolition work starts. However, a registered design professional must submit a certification that occupancy is no longer possible and one or more energy-related systems are no longer operational after January 1 of the following year.
Tags : building emissions climate mobilization act local law 97 reducing emissions LL97 building emissions law carbon emissions

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