What is Local Law 88?

As part of New York City’s Greener, Greater Buildings Plan (GGBP), Local Law 88 requires common areas in residential buildings greater than 25,000 square feet and all areas in non-residential buildings greater than 25,000 square feet to upgrade lighting to meet current New York City Energy Conservation Code standards. All non-residential buildings greater than 25,000 square feet are also required to install electrical sub-meters for each large non-residential tenant space greater than 5,000 square feet and provide monthly energy statements.

According to the Council, non-residential lighting is responsible for approximately 18% of energy use and carbon emissions from buildings in NYC. These improvements aim to enhance the energy efficiency of large buildings and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Local Law 88 Deadlines

The compliance deadline for both the lighting and sub-metering requirements is January 1, 2025.

Local Law 88 Requirements

Complying with Local Law 88 involves the following steps:

  1. Determine whether your building is subject to the requirements of LL88. If your building’s non-residential spaces exceed 25,000 square feet, it will need to comply.
  2. Develop a plan for meeting LL88 requirements. This may involve hiring contractors, purchasing materials, and allocating resources.
  3. Upgrade the lighting systems where necessary. The upgrades should comply with NYCECC standards. This can include replacing old or nonfunctional fixtures, installing energy-efficient lighting, and implementing lighting controls.
  4. Install electrical sub-meters in tenant spaces. Sub-meters must be installed in tenant spaces larger than 10,000 square feet to allow tenants to monitor their energy usage.
  5. File a report with the NYC DOB. Report on the upgraded lighting systems and installation of sub-meters to demonstrate compliance.

Safari Engineering is ready to assist you throughout this process, offering expert assistance and arranging for an inspector to verify compliance and provide certification. Reach out to us and speak with one of our Professional Engineers to learn more about how we can help you today!

Local Law 88 Fines

Failure to file a lighting upgrade report by the deadline will result in a penalty of $1,500 per year until compliance is achieved. Similarly, failure to report on the installation of electrical sub-meters in tenant spaces will incur a penalty of $1,500 per year until compliance. Installing sub-meters is mandatory; if building owners do not install them as required, they will face a fine of $500 per missing meter each year until all required sub-meters are installed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Since many buildings in NYC depend on a single meter to monitor electricity consumption, non-residential tenants are typically billed a standard rate regardless of their actual consumption. The installation of sub-meters would make actual energy use information available to tenants regularly, which would likely reduce their energy consumption and contribute to achieving significant energy savings.

Local Law 87 primarily focuses on energy audits and retro-commissioning for existing buildings 50,000 square feet or more, while Local Law 97 applies to buildings that are 25,000 square feet or larger and focuses on limiting greenhouse gas emissions.

Exemptions or waivers may be available under certain circumstances, such as financial hardship or technical feasibility issues. However, these exemptions typically require approval from the NYC Department of Buildings. Building owners should carefully review the eligibility criteria and application process for any exemptions.

For more information about Local Law 88, including updates, requirements, and compliance assistance, visit the official website of the NYC Department of Buildings or consult with legal and engineering experts familiar with LL88 compliance.