NYC becomes 1st city to mandate buildings to post energy grades - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, Energy Efficiency, Regulation  -  December 20, 2017

NYC passes mandate for buildings to post energy scores

New York City Council on Dec. 19 approved a landmark bill that will require commercial and residential buildings to post their energy efficiency scores and associated grades near their public entrances.

In passing the legislation, New York City becomes the first city in the country to require such disclosures, according to a policy update from the Guarini Center on Environmental, Energy and Land Use Law at New York University School of Law.  The scores and grades are derived from data collected by the city as part of the benchmarking program launched in 2009.

"As the federal government shirks its stewardship of our environment, it is up to cities to step in — and
with our energy grade legislation, New York is in the lead,” Council Member Dan Garodnick, who authored the legislation, said in a statement. "Just as restaurants post their health grades and cars advertise their fuel efficiency, buildings will begin posting letter grades corresponding to their energy efficiency scores. This legislation will equip companies and individuals with the data they crave to make more informed decisions about the best place to buy or rent."

Since the passage of Local Law 84 in 2009, New York City buildings over 50,000 square feet have been required to annually measure their energy and water consumption. In 2016, the City Council passed Council Member Garodnick's bill expanding the number of buildings required to be benchmarked, by lowering the threshold to 25,000 square feet.

Although Local Law 84 requires that property owners report energy performance data to the city, which then publishes the data online, it does not require property owners to ensure that prospective tenants or buyers are at any point presented with the information collected. 

With the passage of the new legislation, Intro. 1632A, buildings will be assigned a letter grade based on their energy score and landlords will be required to post that grade, along with the energy score, in a conspicuous location near the building's public entrances, the city council said in a Dec. 19 news release. The intent is to make information about a buildings energy use "easily available to tenants and visitors, including prospective purchasers or lessees, and presented in the easily understood of a grade." 

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