Local Law 97

September 27, 2021


Local Law 97 was created to reduce the emissions caps for buildings in NYC larger than 25,000 square feet.

In 2019 the City of New York enacted The Climate Mobilization Act, the cornerstone of which is Local Law 97 (LL97), a new law that sets emissions caps for buildings larger than 25,000 square feet. This goal includes reducing carbon emissions to the following:

  • By 2030 – reduction goal = 40%  
  • By 2050 – reduction goal = 80% 


  • Benchmarking of current energy usage
  • Compliance to meet emissions reduction by 2030 and 2050

Local Law 97 of 2019 requires Buildings over 25,000 square feet to meet annual carbon intensity limits during each compliance period based on building type. It sets detailed requirements for 2024-2029 and 2030-2034 compliance periods and requires the City to clarify the requirements for future periods through 2050. This will cut carbon emissions from affected buildings at least 40% by 2030 and 80% by 2050.

May 1st of 2024 will be the first deadline for building owners to submit their building assessment to NY City’s Office of Building Energy and Emissions Performance (which has yet to be formed).


Covered Buildings:

New York City’s Local Law 97 of 2019 applies to, or “covers’, more than 24,000 buildings throughout the five Boroughs.

“Covered Buildings” generally means:

  • A building that exceeds 25,000 gross square feet, or
  • Two or more buildings on the same tax lot that together exceed 50,000 gross square feet, or
  • Two or more buildings held in the condominium form of ownership that are governed by the same board of managers and that together exceed 50,000 gross square feet
  • City owned building (NYC owned buildings have a differing path to compliance)
  • A housing development or building on land owned by the New York City Housing Authority (These properties have a differing path to compliance)
  • Rent regulated accommodations, buildings with less than 35% rent regulated units are covered and those with more than 35% have prescriptive requirements (These properties have a differing path to compliance)

Buildings that are not “covered” include:

  • Electrical generating and steam plants
  • Buildings of not more than three stories with no HVAC system or hot water heating system serving more than two dwelling units
  • Real estate owned by any religious corporation and used exclusively as a place of worship
  • Property owned by a housing development fund company pursuant to article eleven of the private housing finance law

Owner Responsibilities:

The NYC Benchmarking Law, Local Law 84 of 2009 as amended by Local Law 133 of 2016, requires owners of buildings that meet the criteria outlined in the law to annually measure their energy and water consumption through a process called benchmarking. The law standardizes this process by requiring building owners to utilize the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) online benchmarking tool, Energy Star Portfolio Manager®, to enter and submit the usage data to the City by May 1st of every year. This data increases transparency regarding properties’ annual energy and water usage.


Buildings must pay annual fines of $268 per metric ton that their carbon footprint exceeds the limit. There are also fines for not submitting a report (.50 per building square foot, per month).

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