Complete Guide to New York City’s Local Law 97

Local Law 97 will have a large impact on building owners throughout New York City. In fact buildings are one of the top contributors of carbon emissions, and NYC’s residential and commercial buildings contribute roughly 70% of total CO2 emissions. As a result, when NYC Council was considering a climate change mitigation strategy, reducing emissions of built infrastructure was a priority. NYC’s newly-passed Climate Mobilization Act or “Green New Deal” includes one important centerpiece for building owners and landlords. Local Law 97 requires buildings larger than 25,000 square feet to meet strict greenhouse gas emissions limits. These new limits start in 2024 and buildings who don’t comply will face hefty fines. This new law will affect 50,000 buildings across the city.

What is Local Law 97?

Local Law 97 sets emission limits on NYC’s large commercial and residential buildings. The goal of this law is to stimulate building retrofits, thus reducing emissions in two phases:

Emission limits are set based on type of occupancy spaces within the building. For instance, a mixed-use building, with a ground floor serving as retail space and the rest as residential, calculates its emission limits proportionately to the square footage of type of space. Here is a list of carbon emission limits by occupancy classifications:

Local Law 97 2024-2029 CHG Targets

Starting from May 1, 2025, building owners must report emissions from the previous year. Under Local Law 97 GHG emissions that exceed the building’s GHG budget are subject to a penalty. The penalty at the time the bill was passed is $268 per metric ton of CO2e. Houses of worship, buildings with regulated units and other forms of affordable housing are excluded from the bill. The Deal also establishes the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program to facilitate retrofits through long-term financing, and requires installation of solar PV and green roofs on new buildings and major renovations. PACE financing is tied to the property and not the owner, allowing obligations to be transferred to a new owner when the property is sold and assuaging concerns about securing long-term savings from large retrofit investments.

How to Test for Carbon Emissions Under Local Law 97

So what does Local Law 97 mean for building owners? The first step is to calculate your building’s current emissions. This can be done by inputting the type and quantity of fuel used in the building into the free US EPA’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager. This will allow you to gauge the excess emissions you need to eliminate in order to comply with the new law.’ If your building is in the process of completing your Local Law 87 energy audit, this could be a good place to start. Ask your energy auditor to look into longer-term energy saving strategies.

How to Reduce Carbon Emissions to Meet Local Law 97 Goals

The time and costs required to reduce buildings’ emissions can vary significantly from building to building. It’s important to begin assessing and improving your compliance as soon as possible. To reduce emissions building owners can implement:

There are a variety of ways to reduce energy usage and GHG emissions to ensure compliance with Local Law 97. Yet all these strategies have one thing in common—they begin with understanding and managing your building’s energy usage. This can be a difficult task for some owners, which requires time, effort and analysis to make the best economic decision. This is where we can help you. Our team at Energy Solutions 360 has the expertise, time and analytics to help you make cost-effective decisions. Our cloud-based energy management platform will consolidate your building and energy consumption data, then present a clear and comprehensive analysis.  This provides building owners insight and confidence in their energy decisions. Our platform can make your transition into NYC’s carbon-free future stress-free and certain. Contact us today about complying with Local Law 97 with the help of Aggressive Energy. 
Local Law 97 will have a large impact on building owners throughout New York City. In fact buildings are one of the top contributors of carbon emissions, and NYC’s residential and commercial buildings contribute roughly 70% of total CO2 emissions. As a result, when NYC Council was considering a climate change mitigation strategy, reducing emissions of built infrastructure was a priority. NYC’s newly-passed Climate Mobilization Act or “Green New Deal” includes one important centerpiece for building owners and landlords. Local Law 97 requires buildings larger than 25,000 square feet to meet strict greenhouse gas emissions limits. These new limits start in 2024 and buildings who don’t comply will face hefty fines. This new law will affect 50,000 buildings across the city.

What is Local Law 97?

Local Law 97 sets emission limits on NYC’s large commercial and residential buildings. The goal of this law is to stimulate building retrofits, thus reducing emissions in two phases:
  • Initial period of 2024-2029
  • Second period of 2030-2034
Emission limits are set based on type of occupancy spaces within the building. For instance, a mixed-use building, with a ground floor serving as retail space and the rest as residential, calculates its emission limits proportionately to the square footage of type of space. Here is a list of carbon emission limits by occupancy classifications:

Local Law 97 2024-2029 CHG Targets

  • Hospitals- 0.02381 (tons/sf)
  • Laboratories, Civic Emergency- 0.02381 (tons/sf)
  • High Hazzard- 0.02381 (tons/sf)
  • Mercantile- 0.01181 (tons/ sf)
  • Senior Assisting Living- 0.01138 (tons/sf)
  • Assembly- 0.01074 (tons/sf)
  • Hotels & Dormitories- 0.00987 (tons/sf)
  • Business- 0.00846 (tons/sf)
  • Education- 0.00758 (tons/sf)
  • Daycare- 0.00758 (tons/sf)
  • Residential, Multifamily- 0.00675 (tons/sf)
  • Factory & Industrial- 0.00574 (tons/sf)
  • Storage- 0.00426 (tons/sf)
  • Parking- 0.00426 (tons/sf)
solar-panels-set-up-for-local-law-97 Starting from May 1, 2025, building owners must report emissions from the previous year. Under Local Law 97 GHG emissions that exceed the building’s GHG budget are subject to a penalty. The penalty at the time the bill was passed is $268 per metric ton of CO2e. Houses of worship, buildings with regulated units and other forms of affordable housing are excluded from the bill. The Deal also establishes the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program to facilitate retrofits through long-term financing, and requires installation of solar PV and green roofs on new buildings and major renovations. PACE financing is tied to the property and not the owner, allowing obligations to be transferred to a new owner when the property is sold and assuaging concerns about securing long-term savings from large retrofit investments.

How to Test for Carbon Emissions Under Local Law 97

So what does Local Law 97 mean for building owners? The first step is to calculate your building’s current emissions. This can be done by inputting the type and quantity of fuel used in the building into the free US EPA’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager. This will allow you to gauge the excess emissions you need to eliminate in order to comply with the new law.’ If your building is in the process of completing your Local Law 87 energy audit, this could be a good place to start. Ask your energy auditor to look into longer-term energy saving strategies.

How to Reduce Carbon Emissions to Meet Local Law 97 Goals

The time and costs required to reduce buildings’ emissions can vary significantly from building to building. It’s important to begin assessing and improving your compliance as soon as possible. To reduce emissions building owners can implement:
  • Energy efficiency strategies
  • Behavioral change programs and deductions
  • GHG offsets
  • Investments in clean distributed energy sources
  • Renewable energy credits (REC)
There are a variety of ways to reduce energy usage and GHG emissions to ensure compliance with Local Law 97. Yet all these strategies have one thing in common—they begin with understanding and managing your building’s energy usage. This can be a difficult task for some owners, which requires time, effort and analysis to make the best economic decision. This is where we can help you. Our team at Energy Solutions 360 has the expertise, time and analytics to help you make cost-effective decisions. Our cloud-based energy management platform will consolidate your building and energy consumption data, then present a clear and comprehensive analysis.  This provides building owners insight and confidence in their energy decisions. Our platform can make your transition into NYC’s carbon-free future stress-free and certain. Contact us today about complying with Local Law 97 with the help of Aggressive Energy.