Changes to Local Law 86, slated to take effect on October 1, 2017, are likely to boost fuel costs and put more pressure on heating systems. During the designated heating season – October 1 through May 31 – residential buildings will now have to maintain a temperature of no less than 62 degrees Fahrenheit, from 10 P.M. to 6 A.M., instead of the current 55-degree minimum.
What’s more, the new minimum will no longer be contingent on how cold it gets outside. That’s a change from the current law, which states that the 55-degree minimum indoor temperature is triggered only when the temperature outside dips below 40 degrees. The internal minimum temperature required between 6 A.M. and 10 P.M., will remain at 68 degrees.
Building owners will need to be more vigilant about preventive maintenance for boilers and related equipment. The increased pressure on heating systems that are not accustomed to keeping temperatures in the 60- to 70-degree range will probably lead to an increase in service calls during the heating season.
Property owners who are not yet maintaining a 62-degree minimum at night “are going to have to be more proactive with pricing out oil or gas, trying to lock in prices,” says Mark Levine, a principal at EBMG Management, which operates nearly 100 buildings in the five boroughs. “We lock in prices for oil about half the time when we think the market is going to edge up.”
GLOSSARY [cloud computing]
the delivery of digital services – networking, storage, databases, software, and more – over the internet; also known as “the cloud.” a growing number of co-op and condo boards are using the cloud to securely share and store documents and communications from members’ devices including laptops, tablets, and smartphones (see page 32).