How to prepare your buildings for local laws to avoid penalties

For those unfamiliar with New York City and its (many) local laws, here’s some quick background on two that impact utility metering for property owners:


LL88: What is it?

Part of NYC’s Greener Greater Buildings Plan, LL88 makes submetering and monthly energy statements mandatory for commercial property larger than 25,000 square feet for each tenant space larger than 5,000 square feet (aka “covered buildings”). LL88 dates back to 2008 but has been amended a few times: the part we’re discussing takes effect in 2025. The purpose of the law is to incentivize energy savings by requiring that tenants receive a detailed monthly statement of utility consumption.

LL88 contains an exception that the tenant space may have its own utility meter and therefore will not be required to be submetered by the owner/landlord (known as “direct metering”). Some landlords may prefer this option so they can avoid having to bill tenants for actual consumption. Although direct metering is a clean solution with regard to compliance, it isn’t always a practical one for some building, tenant, and lease types.


LL97: What is it?

LL97 requires that all non-city property larger than 25,000 square feet report their utility consumption as a proxy for carbon emissions. Properties that exceed the city’s emissions limits will be liable to penalties, as calculated by utility consumption for the previous year. Limits vary by occupancy group category and year in question. Note that although LL97 takes effect in 2024, properties don’t begin reporting until 2025. Also, emission limits are relatively high for the first six years, becoming significantly lower in 2030.

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