This law takes the very basic “big picture” reporting in LL 84 up a notch. It is essentially a more detailed audit of all energy-related equipment of buildings over 50,000 sq. feet, with two goals. First, it helps the government identify the key sources of greenhouse gas and thereby guides its legislation to control it. Second, it provides building owners with deep insight into the building’s functioning, specifically highlighting the priority that must be given to retro-commissioning – identifying failures, degraded performance, or other indications that clearly indicate a reason to repair, upgrade or replace this equipment. Note that the solution is often a quick, inexpensive repair or modification, not a massive, complete replacement of the entire system.
As LL87 is incredibly labor-intensive, it is only required every ten years. Unlike LL84, which has a single submission deadline for all buildings, LL87 assigns a date in one of ten years, based on the last digit of the property’s Borough, Block, and Lot (BBL) ID matching the last digit of the next year (BBLs ending with a 7 will need to submit by the last day of 2027, etc.)
File your EER or face fines
The document summarizing this extensive audit is called an Energy Efficiency Report (EER). Failure to submit it in compliance with LL87 will trigger a $3000 fine the first year, and then $5,000 for each following year.
There are three ways to be exempted from this energy audit: (a) a LEED certification, issued by the US Green Building Council, less than 4 years old; (b) An existing ENERGY STAR label from the EPA for two of the three previous years; (c) A confirmation for a registered New York Design Professional, stating that the overall energy performance surpasses that of similar buildings by over 25 points (this assessment must use a LEED or other standard system).
You can also have a Design Professional certify that your building meets minimum requirements in over 6 of the 7 of these areas: Plumbing insulation; Cool roof; Washing Machines; Domestic Hot Water Systems; Low-flow domestic bathroom plumbing fixtures; Lighting in public spaces; Individual heating controls.
The audit and resulting EER essentially contain the following elements:
- Itemizing all obvious areas for improved efficiency in the buildings energy systems and associated operating costs
- Itemizing specific pieces of equipment and energy impact of said changes
- Financial calculations of annual savings, the cost for implementing improvements, and ROI schedule
- Confirming that all data matches aggregate data in LL84 reporting
- Review each tenant’s privately owned equipment (as opposed to that owned by the building at large) and assess its impact on the building as a whole
Following this, the retro-commissioning portion of the EER involves first servicing the equipment – operation schedules and protocols, calibration, sequencing at tuning. The next step is the cleaning and repairing systems as needed, and finally training facility management staff as to best practices and procedures – essentially the creating of a building’s “energy regulations.”
Benefits beyond just following the rules
The interesting fact here is that with all the analysis and documentation, this data is technically only required as guidance – there is no explicit requirement to act on it under LL87. However, any smart building owner will realize the dual benefits of doing so: More efficient equipment and utility usage simply cost less to operate. That alone should be motivation enough, especially as EZ Energy Service can help identify financing options that can return immediate ROI and sometimes literally offset costs completely. Second, both the government of NYC and potential tenants will be requiring reasonable ENERGY STAR scores for your building. The government has implemented (See Local Law 97) – and will only be adding – regulations to this effect, and tenants are increasingly using it as a consideration for renting residential or commercial space.
EZ’s team can help your team analyze your systems, using a combination of invoice review, on-site inspections of all relevant equipment, and our unique EZ Sensors that connect seamlessly to your infrastructure to track usage and report with incredible precision.
The bottom line: You have to do this only once a decade, and may have never done it before. Our team worked on this process every day. Our experience is your key to a smooth energy audit.