A major step in the implementation process for Local Law 97 took place this week as the New York City Department of Buildings released rules to address compliance with the law and penalties for noncompliance. The rules outline how building owners can demonstrate a “good faith effort” in complying with the law to avoid penalties, prohibits the use of renewable energy credits (RECs) as part of a decarbonization plan to qualify for the “good faith effort” provision, establishes a credit for early electrification work that can be applied towards compliance with emission reduction targets, and provides guidance on complying with the law for affordable housing buildings. DOB will be holding a virtual hearing on October 24 to hear public comments on the proposed rules.
In addition, Mayor Adams launched a new plan called Getting 97 Done to mobilize building owners to comply with Local Law 97 and provide information on financing and funding opportunities as well as technical advice through NYC Accelerator. Local Law 97 was passed in 2019 setting carbon emissions limits for most buildings over 25,000 square feet starting in 2024. The Getting 97 Done plan states that 70% of carbon emissions in the City come from buildings, so Local Law 97 is a significant step towards New York City in reaching climate goals. An estimated 50,000 buildings will be affected by the law. The DOB rules and Mayor’s plan are critical in the implementation of the law to provide building owners with ample opportunity to comply while also setting strict enforcement mechanisms.