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The Cotocon Group Unveils Strategies for Demonstrating ‘Good Faith Effort’ Compliance with NYC’s Local Law 97 for Building Owners

Hicksville, NY, United States, October 11, 2023 – All NYC buildings greater than 25,000 square feet, comprising apartments and workplaces, are subject to carbon emission restrictions under Local Law 97, which the City Council approved in 2019.

Most building owners subject to the regulation must comply beginning in 2024, and the emissions limit will be progressively reduced in 2030 and 2050. Owners who do not comply risk $268 fines for each tonne of excess emissions. The DOB has proposed additional regulations that would give building owners two more years before being subject to fines if they make a “good faith effort” to adhere to the caps but cannot do so by the 2024 deadline.

Experts believe the flexibility is logical and will help alleviate the worries of building owners and co-op members over the NYC Local Law 97.

‘Good Faith Efforts’ To Comply With Local Law 97 Explained

The term “good faith” has several different meanings. Boards must first demonstrate compliance with local rules that call for:

  • Benchmarking of energy and water use (Local Law 85),
  • Energy audits and retro-commissioning work (Local Law 87),
  • And lighting upgrades and submetering (Local Law 88).

The board must additionally satisfy at least one of the extra six requirements if those two conditions are met. They include signing contracts with Con Edison for electric service and panel upgrades that support building-wide electrification and obtaining permits from the DOB for retrofit work sufficient to meet 2024 carbon caps but not yet finished.

They also include submitting a plan for zero carbon emissions by 2050. Now, with local law 97 explained, let’s see what experts say about the ‘good faith efforts’ initiative.

Experts View On Local Law 97 ‘Good Faith Effort’

When fines for excess building emissions are computed in 2024, owners and boards that can demonstrate they are making a “good faith effort” to comply with emission cutbacks mandated by Local Law 97 New York may receive reduced penalties.

(In 2025, the penalty will be imposed.) You’ll need to provide some documentation to prove that your New York City building is trying to reduce fossil fuel emissions. NY experts advise beginning immediately since the city wants to see the ideas put into action.

“The goal of the New York Local Law 97 good faith effort is for each building to have a workable decarbonisation plan in place, with the necessary expertise on hand, financial plans and timeframes, and a clear path towards completion. This goes beyond simply engaging a business to conduct an assessment,” says Mark B. Levine from EBMG.

Submitting Benchmarking Info & Emission Report: A Step To Comply With ‘Good Faith Efforts’

The prior year’s emission report for the building demonstrating compliance with any emission adjustments issued by the Department of Buildings, the body responsible for enforcing the standards, is among the records required to demonstrate a good faith attempt.

Attestations regarding the building’s lighting upgrades are included in other paperwork. According to Local Law 88, the structure must comply with current energy efficiency standards by 2025. Uploading benchmark data from the prior year is an additional need. This is the energy efficiency letter grade assigned to your building.

Since the compliance period for the current standards regarding good faith efforts is just 2024–2029, new rules will be in effect for 2030 and later. Dean M. Roberts, an attorney with the law firm Norris McLaughlin, claims that the NYC Local Law 97 regulations and standards are a living, changing thing.

Building owners must develop a decarbonization plan demonstrating how emissions can be lowered below the limitations to prove a “good faith effort” and avoid fines for two years following the initial 2024 compliance date. The schedule and the associated financial information must be included in the plan. Buildings that don’t carry out the strategy risk retroactive penalties.

Experts recommend hiring the Best Local Law 97 Compliance Consulting Group to handle the next compliance step with ‘Good Faith Efforts–’ in preparing the Decarbonisation Plan.

Decarbonization Plan For Your NY Building – The Ultimate Compliance Solution For LL97 ‘Good Faith Efforts’

One or more actions the board took to minimize emissions serve as additional evidence of efforts made in good faith to achieve the new emission limits. This is your building’s decarbonization strategy, and it may take the form of an energy audit or an inventory of the mechanical systems, as well as evidence that work is being done to achieve emission compliance.

The deadline for submissions is May 1st, 2025. If the work lowered emissions in the building by 10% or more since 2013, the papers might additionally include information about that work. A list of changes that will put the structure on the road to net-zero emissions by 2050 could serve as another type of local law 97 requirements.

This might be the building being electrified and a note confirming the work from the power company. Each change must be listed separately and include a timetable, a capital plan, and a projected emissions reduction. Roberts suggests making a separate file for each piece of paper so that everything is in one location. “It is crucial for NY building owners to have those documents ready–whether in digital or paper form–so they can use them as evidence to the City’s authorities,” he added.

According to Local Law 97 NYC, the building’s emission limits gradually decrease every five years to reduce emissions by 80% by 2050. You must provide evidence in the decarbonization plan submission that the structure will reach its 2024 goals by 2027. Additionally, to reach the 2030 targets on time, applications must be authorized by the DOB by May 2028.

Access Low Penalties With Good Faith Efforts Compliance

The difference between the annual emissions cap and the reported actual emissions determines the fine for breaching building emission restrictions.

Buildings are subject to fines of $268 for each metric ton of excess CO2 emissions. According to Levine, most NYC buildings won’t be subject to fines for the first tier of reductions. He added that only 11% of the city’s buildings are non-compliant with the initial set of standards.


Suppose you fall into that category of non-compliance. In that case, the recommendation is to begin evaluating the condition of your building and determining the extent and expense of the work required to be compliant.

So, collaborate with the best New York City Local Law 97 compliance consultants to eliminate all these hassles once and for all. Contact today!


Contact Info:

Name: Jimmy Carchietta

Company: The Cotocon Group

Email: info@thecotocongroup.com

Website:  https://www.thecotocongroup.com/

Address: 44 Bethpage Rd, Hicksville, NY 11801, United States