DOB Proposes “Good Faith Efforts,” to Mitigate Local Law 97 Penalties

New York City has proposed rules for its greenhouse gas emissions law, Local Law 97 of 2019, that would allow for “Good Faith Efforts” to mitigate penalties for exceeding emissions limits. Good Faith Efforts would require submitting the building emissions report on time on May 1, 2025, being up-to-date on benchmarking (per Local Law 84 of 2009), being compliant with lighting upgrades and sub-metering upgrades (per Local Law 88 of 2009), AND one of the following:

  • Work towards compliance is permitted and underway.
  • The building is preparing for an electrification upgrade.
  • The building was under emissions the previous reporting year.
  • The building also submits a Decarbonization Plan by May 1, 2025 (showing how the building intends to be compliant by 2026 and thereafter). The proposed rules also detail the enforcement and mediation frameworks.  

Local Law 97 of 2019 requires covered buildings (most building over 25,000 square feet, which accounts for roughly 60 percent of total building area in the city) to stay within emissions limits starting in January 2024. The aim of the law is to reduce emissions by 80% by 2050. Beginning on May 1, 2025, the owner of a covered building must submit an annual emissions report for the building every May 1st; the report must include the building’s emissions limit (based on square footage, occupancy type and emissions factors) and its emissions (based on the building’s energy bills and city-determined CO2 intensity values for each type of energy). Buildings that exceed their limit will be fined $268 for each ton of CO2 in excess of limit. Reports that are submitted late will be fined at a rate of 50 cents per square foot per month.