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Retrofit Accelerator

What is the NYC Retrofit Accelerator?

The NYC Retrofit Accelerator offers free, personalized advisory services that streamline the process of making energy efficiency improvements to your building that will reduce operating costs, enhance tenant comfort, and improve our environment.

How can the NYC Retrofit Accelerator assist me?

The NYC Retrofit Accelerator’s team of Efficiency Advisors are trusted experts who can help you make energy efficiency, water conservation, and clean energy improvements. Here's how it works:

  • We work with you one-on-one to understand your needs.
  • We connect you with qualified contractors to do the job.
  • We find cash incentives and financing to help pay for your upgrades.
  • We train your building staff so your building runs efficiently for years to come.
  • We support you every step of the way, from project start to finish.

If your building has already completed an energy audit, either in compliance with Local Law 87 or on your own, our team will walk you through the audit and help you select projects. If your building has not yet completed an energy audit, we can help you get started.

Is there a fee for the NYC Retrofit Accelerator assistance?

No. The NYC Retrofit Accelerator is a free program provided by the City of New York as part of its efforts to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by helping our buildings become more energy efficient.

Why did the City create the NYC Retrofit Accelerator?

The NYC Retrofit Accelerator is part of New York City’s commitment to reduce citywide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80 percent from 2005 levels by 2050 (80x50). This is the level that the United Nations projects is needed to avoid the most dangerous effects of climate change.

Because the energy used in buildings accounts for nearly three-quarters of the city’s GHG emissions, increasing the energy efficiency of our buildings is essential to achieving this goal. Reducing GHG emissions from buildings will also improve local air quality, reduce building operating costs, and improve resident comfort.

How do I pay for energy and water upgrades?

Many projects pay for themselves within a competitive return on investment. Some owners choose to pay for projects themselves out of building reserves or capital improvement budgets. There are also cash incentives to help cover the costs of upgrades, as well financing options if you need them. See our resources page for some available financing options.

Is financial assistance available?

Yes, financial assistance is available. In New York City, numerous non-profit organizations, state agencies, utilities, and other entities offer a variety of financing and incentive programs and resources to help you finance energy efficiency and water conservation upgrade projects. Details about these programs and resources are on our resources page.

For more information about financing and incentives that may be right for your building, contact us and we will help you identify which programs best fit your needs.

Building Energy Local Laws

What are Local Law 84, Local Law 87, and Local Law 88?

In 2009, New York City enacted a comprehensive effort, called the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan (GGBP), help ensure that information about energy is provided to building decision-makers and that the most cost-effective energy efficiency measures are pursued. GGBP consists of four regulatory pieces that include:

  • Local Law 84 of 2009, which requires owners of buildings that are greater than 50,000 square feet in floor area to measure, or “benchmark,” the energy use of these buildings annually and disclose this information to the City.
  • Local Law 87 of 2009, which requires owners of buildings that are greater than 50,000 square feet in floor area to complete an energy audit and retro-commission building systems once every 10 years and submit the results to the City through an Energy Efficiency Report.
  • Local Law 88, which requires owners of non-residential buildings greater than 50,000 square feet to upgrade lighting to meet current New York City Energy Conservation Code standards and install energy sub-meters in all non-residential tenant spaces greater than 10,000 square feet by 2025.

The NYC Retrofit Accelerator assists buildings that have to comply with Local Law 84, Local Law 87, and Local Law 88 of 2009.

In 2016, New York City passed three additional laws that bring the benefits of the GGBP to mid-sized buildings. For more information about these laws, visit the City’s Greener, Greater Buildings Plan page.

What is benchmarking?

Benchmarking is the process of measuring a building’s energy and water consumption annually. This can be done by entering annual energy and water use into the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's online tool, ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager®. For more information, visit the City’s Benchmarking page

How do I know if I have to comply with Local Law 84, Local Law 87, or Local Law 88?

In general, Local Laws 84, 87, and 88 cover buildings that are greater than 50,000 square feet in gross floor area or properties with multiple buildings on a lot with more than 100,000 square feet of built space in New York City.

Local Law 84 requires covered buildings to report whole-building energy use on an annual basis to the NYC Department of Finance by entering this information into the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Portfolio Manager tool. Every year, the City releases a Local Law 84 Covered Buildings List that includes all properties that are required to comply by May 1 of that year. View this year’s Covered Buildings List to see if your building is required to comply with Local Law 84.

Local Law 87 requires covered buildings to submit an Energy Efficiency Report to the NYC Department of Buildings once every 10 years. The compliance year coincides with the last digit of the building’s tax block number. Buildings with tax block numbers ending in 3 are required to file an energy efficiency and retro-commissioning report by the end of 2013, those ending in 4 are required to file by the end of 2014, and so forth. View this year’s Covered Buildings List to see if your building is required to comply with Local Law 87.

Local Law 88 requires non-residential buildings to comply by 2025. More information about compliance with Local Law 88 can be found at www.nyc.gov/ll88.

What is an energy audit?

An energy audit is an assessment of a building’s energy-using systems and equipment that includes an analysis of the measures that would reduce energy use from these systems and equipment.

Buildings that are required to comply with Local Law 87 must submit an energy audit to the City once every ten years. For more information, visit the City’s Energy Audits and Retro-commissioning page

What is retro-commissioning?

Retro-commissioning is the process of tuning up existing building systems and equipment to ensure they are operating as originally designed and as efficiently as possible. Buildings that are required to comply with Local Law 87 must complete retro-commissioning measures and submit a retro-commissioning report to the City once every ten years. For more information, visit the City’s Energy Audits and Retro-commissioning page.

Clean Heat Conversion

How does the NYC Retrofit Accelerator help buildings convert off No. 6 and No.4 heating fuels?

The NYC Retrofit Accelerator can help you understand cleaner fuel choices, which include ultra-low sulfur (ULS) No. 2 oil, natural gas, biodiesel, district steam, and renewable energy alternatives, and will help you complete the heating fuel conversion process. Learn more at NYC Clean Heat.

What is required to start the conversion process for my building?

Many buildings will be able to switch to one of the cleanest fuels using their existing equipment. Others may need to replace or upgrade system components. Contact the NYC Retrofit Accelerator team to help you understand the conversion process for your building, and learn more at NYC Clean Heat.

When will my building need to convert?

All certificates to operate No. 6 oil expired on or before July 1, 2015. Buildings that burn No. 4 oil have more time to convert, but why wait? Contact us today and we can help you get started.

Does the boiler or burner have to be replaced when switching to gas?

Replacing the existing boiler will most likely not be required, unless a licensed professional determines that it needs to be replaced. Single-fuel burners will need to be replaced, but very few buildings have them. Dual-fuel burners are capable of burning both gas and oil. For more information, contact us or learn more at NYC Clean Heat.

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