Local Law 33 – What it means for NYC Building Owners
Published on: November 29, 2019
Local Law 33
Energy Efficiency does not have to be a drain on your building’s expenses.

Local Law 33 requires building owners in New York City to display a letter grade similar to what restaurants have been doing for years beginning in 2020. These letter grades markedly denote a building’s energy efficiency score. Specifically, the letter grades are based upon the Local law 84 Benchmark law.

In other words all buildings that must comply with the Local Law 84 benchmark law, will be required to display the Energy Grade.

The Local Law 33 Energy Grade has two main elements:

Energy Star Score

The Energy Star score ranges from 1 to 100. In short it is generated from a Local Law 84 submission into the US Portfolio Energy Manager website.


Letter Grade

ENERGY STAR ScoreEnergy Grade under LL33/2018
90-100A
50-89B
20-49C
1-19D
No data SubmittedF
Exempted buildingN

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Prior to beginning a plan to increase your score, consider scheduling an appointment with us. To begin with we can help you raise your building’s grade. Most notably, we may be able to secure cash incentives or rebates for you.


Local Law 33 Fun Fact….

The original version of Local Law 33 only required the A to F grade and not the ENERGY STAR score.

  • For example, a “B” building with an ENERGY STAR score of 89 surprisingly would have to display the same grade as a building with a score of 50.
  • Undeniably, if only the grade B is displayed and not the score, it gives the wrong impression that both buildings have equivalent performance.

Indeed a score above 90 means the building is among the top 10% of performers. Nevertheless, energy efficiency measures boost the ENERGY STAR score, and this is a visible improvement in the grading system.


How can Local Law affect your building

To conclude, buildings do not get fined for having a low score. However if they do not place the grade in a visible location, the building can be subject to violations and fines.

Obviously a low grade does not prevent a building from operating. Nevertheless it can have a negative effect on business. To illustrate, here are some examples:

  • On the whole, getting tenants becomes more difficult. Potential clients will undoubtedly associate the low energy grade with higher gas and electricity bills, and more efficient buildings will be preferred.
  • On the other hand, if a building is owner-occupied, a low grade adversely affects corporate image. Most businesses take energy efficiency seriously, indeed they will rent space from more energy efficient buildings.

A high Building Grade unquestionably brings competitive advantages for building owners.

All things considered, the demand for residential and commercial spaces in “A” buildings will be high. As has been noted “A” Buildings will have lower energy costs leading to less burden on the Tenants. Whereas building owners typically can charge premium rents if the building is energy efficient. To put it another way, landlord’s could offer premium rents if those rents will be offset by lower energy costs.

Local Law 33
Green Leases Command Premium Rents

Give us a call……

Our Firm has helped Clients remove millions of tons of CO2 from the environment. To that end we have secured over $150M in cash rebates and incentives to help offset the cost of energy efficiency projects.

In light of Local Law 33, if you need to upgrade your score, don’t wait till the last minute. Being that energy efficiency requires planning and time, we should be contacted well in advance. Click on the button to visit our self-service scheduler page. Or give us a call at 212.579.4236.

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