Local Law 97, the city's ambitious tool for cutting carbon emissions from larger buildings, goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2024. Calendar year 2024 will be the first year when all energy-consumption data will be scrutinized for carbon intensity. The mandatory filing works like a tax year: 2024 energy data must be reported in March 2025. Aurora Energy Advisors has put together six key steps that will help co-op and condo boards meet their emission caps and avoid stiff fines.
Oil-burning buildings need to get busy. When a utility delivers electricity or natural gas to a building, the energy gets consumed immediately. However, #2 and #4 oil can be stored for later use. Boards can purchase oil for their 2024 needs before the end of 2023. Since energy data under Local Law 97 will be scrutinized beginning Jan. 1, 2024, receiving oil deliveries before this date may reduce potential fines for 2024.
Get your data right. The benchmarking of energy and water consumption submitted to the city every May will determine a building's carbon footprint. Be sure that all energy and property data are entered correctly in the Portfolio Manager benchmarking platform.
Size matters. Without knowing your actual Gross Floor Area, it's impossible to have an accurate understanding of your emissions cap. Every board should hire a professional as soon as possible to measure GFA. Even if you already have figures on file, you should get them verified. All data should receive an engineer's approval before the Local Law 97 report is submitted.
Use of space matters, too. Do you have a retail tenant on the ground floor of your building? A parking garage? Dentists' offices? Different uses of spaces will result in different emissions caps. You will be responsible for accurate reporting of the use of all spaces.
Little things are big. You may be switching your boiler from oil to natural gas, a major expense, but don't ignore smaller jobs. Have all pipes been insulated? Is the building's exterior weatherized? Are the windows weather-stripped?
Reduce energy use. There are countless new technologies to help you cut your energy use and bring you in compliance with Local Law 97. Heat timers, smart thermostats, demand response and full building management systems — these are just a few of the many tools that can help your building meet its emission caps and avoid those dreaded fines.
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