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What is Local Law 84?

Cities in the US are home to more people than the rural areas. Urban populations are the largest consumers of our nation’s energy resources and water and also the most significant source of carbon emissions and pollutants. Realizing that we have to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and lower our collective carbon footprint, cities in the US have undertaken unique measures to tackle consumption of energy and water in urban populations. The city of New York has passed legislation known as Local Law 84 to ensure than large residential and commercial buildings should submit data of their energy and water use to the EPA’s Energy Star database every year. Monitoring usage, efficiency and performance is the first step towards finding solutions to improving sustainable use and reduction of energy costs.

Local law 84 was passed in December 2009 in New York, in a legislation termed “Greener, Greater Buildings”. The aim for this legislation is to bring down the carbon footprint of the city by 5%. Larger buildings, both residential and commercial, are being targeted under this law as they are they the major producers of carbon emissions and consume more energy and water than any other source. Local Law 84 aims at benchmarking use of resources in buildings that are over 50,000 sq. feet in area. The data is stored and information released to the public via the internet. This is an effective motivator to ensure that buildings use their energy resources in a more judicious manner. Other cities in the US are also using benchmarking to measure and rate buildings and businesses against their peers, in order to make business owners and property owners employ methods to reduce consumption and improve energy efficiency.

Benchmarking allows the city authorities to measure their degree of success in efforts to curb carbon emissions and reduce energy related costs. Buildings that do not comply with the benchmarking will, over time, have to face hefty penalties. Benefits of benchmarking include:

  • Tracking of trends and rating energy performance
  • Analyzing relative properties
  • Providing justification for suggested improvement
  • Determine the effectiveness of conservation plans
  • Providing accurate data analysis to owners and managing bodies.

Now that Local Law 84 mandates that a building owner or company must submit data about its energy efficiency and consumption, some companies and owners have enlisted professional help to develop strategies on better technologies and techniques to enhance efficiency and conservation. Professional consultancies can offer customized solutions to enhance performance and offer better records in energy benchmarking.

If you are looking to improve your record in energy benchmarking in compliance with Local Law 84, find help from Associated Renewable, a carbon management company that offers customized solutions.