Hey NYC! Let’s Improve Your Buildings’ Energy Performance Today (LL84 is Looming)
Editor's Note: Want to learn about the upcoming changes to LL84 in 2015? Join us for Beyond LL84 Compliance: Getting More from Energy Benchmarking on Thursday, December 11th. Also, get our Local Law 84 compliance guide for up-to-date deadlines, fines and requirements. Best of all, we show you how quick and painless it is to comply with LL84 using WegoWise!
Complying with Local Law 84 (LL84) and other local laws doesn't need to be painful. WegoWise offers an affordable compliance service so you can quickly collect, track and analyze energy data over time. And the fringe benefits? Improved building energy performance and cost savings.
Last month, New York City launched an ambitious plan outlining Mayor de Blasio's vision for building energy performance targets. Here’s how the plan breaks out by the numbers:
- Goal is to reduce citywide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 80% (over 2005 levels) by 2050
- To reach this goal, building improvements must be realized by 2025
- Currently over 75% of the city’s total emissions are attributed to building operations
- All 3,000 city-owned buildings will implement energy and water efficiency retrofits within the 10-year timeframe
The city is encouraging private building owners to invest in improvements by offering incentives and setting incremental milestones. NYC may also consider additional legislation to reach its targeted reductions, just as it did with new local laws enacted in 2009.
Along with the feel-good benefits of greening your portfolio, the business case for retrofits is strong. Energy efficiency projects impact your buildings in several positive ways including:
- Reduced operating costs and improved NOI
- Increased property value
- Improvement in the quality of life of your occupants (health, safety, and comfort)
- Green buildings appeal to potential new tenants
- Improved retention rate of current tenants
Need motivation? Here are some suggestions to jumpstart your building retrofit projects:
- Use data to inform your options – NYC’s Local Law 84 (LL84) is part of the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan. LL84 mandates that all buildings over 50,000 square feet benchmark energy and water consumption and submit findings to the city annually. LL84 data is now publicly available to all markets, allowing building owners and occupants alike to view their own usage performance, and also see how they stack up against buildings with similar profiles.
But don't wait! The deadline for LL84 is May 1 of each year. Fortunately, WegoWise offers an affordable compliance service that takes the legwork out of the process. Our service provides a tool that will automatically collect and track all of your building(s') utility data, prepare and submit the necessary documentation to the city, monitor data over time to reveal cost savings, and provide guidance to find financial incentive programs where applicable. No worries!
- Go after some big wins – Complying with Local Law 87 (LL87) requires buildings to undergo an ASHRAE Level II Energy Audit and Retro-Commissioning Study. But LL87 can be a painful, compulsory exercise if you don’t actually use the info you collect. On the other hand, an energy audit gives you valuable insight into the efficiency of your systems so you can prioritize upgrades that result in the highest ROI. Energy service providers like Steven Winter Associates help you comply with energy laws and provide valuable info to guide your strategic upgrades. Old and outdated boilers? Replacing them with a new and efficient model can result in a significant annual operational cost savings. Retro-commissioning will realize savings immediately by ensuring that building systems are performing optimally.
- Upgrade with quick, easy fixes – Lighting upgrades provide some of the most simple, low-cost, and effective opportunities to reduce energy consumption. Start with the places you can control: Common areas, mechanical spaces, stairwells, and other back-of-house areas. However, occupant-controlled areas account for 40-60% of a building’s energy use, which makes it a bit difficult to ensure optimal efficiency. You can make an impact though, by supplying the right equipment. CFL bulbs (LED if feasible), smart strips, low-flow devices, and ENERGY STAR appliances and electronics can add up to significant savings. Your utility provide might even install these free of charge.
- Leverage incentive programs – Timing is everything when it comes to incentives! There’s no guarantee how long they’ll be available and when the money is gone, who knows when - or if - it will be replenished. But currently, there are programs available in New York for both commercial and residential buildings through state and local agencies, and utility providers. New York is offering unprecedented energy incentive programs for reducing energy use during peak demand as part of the Demand Management Program (DMP), available through NYSERDA or ConEdison. Use these incentives now to reduce your capital expenditures for energy efficiency projects. Don’t wait!
There are also exciting new loan products that underwrite energy savings. Two worth checking out are the NYC Energy Efficiency Corporation’s (NYCEEC) Program for Energy Retrofits Loan (PERL) and Fannie Mae’s Multifamily Property Improvements to Reduce Energy (M-PIRE) Loan Program. Plus, buildings that participate in NYSERDA programs can access low interest loans through its NY Green Bank, making retrofits even more attractive.
- Provide training – Preventive maintenance is where it’s at! There’s no substitute for a well-trained staff and good communication among owners and managers, the maintenance staff, and occupants. It doesn’t matter how much money you invested in new energy efficient technologies if your staff isn’t properly trained to operate and maintain them. If occupants understand and know how to operate the energy efficient features in their space, they’re more apt to use them and care about the positive impact they have.
Keep the communication lines open so your occupants, your building(s) and your bottom line will continue to benefit from your compliance efforts and energy efficiency upgrades!