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Ask the Attorney: Does My Co-op Need to Do Energy / Water Benchmarking?

Geoffrey Mazel in Board Operations on April 24, 2012

New York City

April 24, 2012

Local Law 84 requires the submission of an annual benchmarking report by New York City building owners. However, it is important to note that this law applies only to buildings that exceed 50,000 gross square feet. Let's hope your co-op does not exceed that, exempting you from the requirement. All covered buildings under Local Law 84 should have received a letter from the Department of Finance titled "Requirement to Benchmark Energy Usage," which would have outlined your building's obligations under this law.

If you never received this letter, that may be an indication that your building is exempt from this submission requirement based on the size of your building. I strongly suggest you check the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) website to see if your building is on the list of those covered.

The scenario outlined above is the best-case scenario. If your building is on the list of covered buildings and/or you have been receiving the compliance letters from the DOB and still have not made the submissions, you need to contact a professional immediately. Most of these submissions have been prepared and submitted by consulting engineers.

Is your building... 

...on the benchmarking list?

Click HERE to find out.

What are the ramifications for non-compliance? According to Local Law 84, "it shall be unlawful for the owner of a covered building to fail to benchmark." On March 30, 2011, the DOB released a set of rules regarding benchmarking. This notice states that failure to benchmark by August 1, 2011, or by May 1 of subsequent years, may result in a penalty of $500. Continued failure to benchmark may result in additional violations on a quarterly basis and an additional penalty of $500 per violation.

As you can see, if your building is covered by this statute, noncompliance can be quite costly.


Geoffrey Mazel is a partner at Hankin & Mazel.

From Habitat April 2012. For more, join our Archive >>

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