Key Compliance Requirements of Local Law 87: What You Need to Know

Local Law 87

Local Law 87 (LL87) is a crucial regulatory requirement in New York City aimed at improving energy efficiency in buildings. Enacted in 2009, LL87 mandates periodic energy audits and retro-commissioning measures for larger buildings to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. In this article, we will explore the key compliance requirements of Local Law 87, providing you with the necessary knowledge to navigate this important legislation in New York City.

Understanding Local Law 87 (LL87) in New York City

Local Law 87, also known as LL87 NYC, was introduced to address energy inefficiencies and promote sustainable practices in buildings throughout New York City. The law applies to buildings larger than 50,000 square feet and requires them to undergo energy audits and retro-commissioning every ten years.

Energy Audits

An Essential Compliance Requirement Under LL87, energy audits play a crucial role in identifying inefficiencies and potential energy-saving measures in buildings. These audits are conducted by qualified professionals known as energy auditors, who assess the building’s energy usage, systems, and operations. The audits analyze various aspects, including lighting systems, HVAC systems, insulation, and water usage, to determine opportunities for energy efficiency improvements.


Enhancing Building Performance Another vital compliance requirement of LL87 is retro-commissioning. Retro-commissioning involves optimizing existing building systems to ensure they operate at their peak efficiency. This process includes testing, adjusting, and balancing mechanical systems, as well as identifying and addressing any operational issues that may hinder energy performance.

Reporting and Filing Obligations

To comply with LL87, building owners must submit an Energy Efficiency Report (EER) to the Department of Buildings (DOB) by a specific deadline. The EER provides a comprehensive overview of the energy audit and retro-commissioning findings, as well as details on any corrective actions taken or planned. It is essential to adhere to the reporting and filing obligations to demonstrate compliance with LL87.

Benefits of Compliance with LL 87

Complying with Local Law 87 offers several advantages for building owners and occupants, as well as the environment. Some key benefits include:

  • Cost Savings: Energy audits and retro-commissioning help identify energy-saving opportunities, leading to reduced energy consumption and lower utility bills.
  • Improved Comfort: Enhancing building systems through retro-commissioning can improve occupant comfort by ensuring optimal temperature control and air quality.
  • Environmental Impact: LL87 aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by promoting energy-efficient practices, contributing to a more sustainable environment.
  • Building Value: Energy-efficient buildings often command higher property values and attract environmentally conscious tenants.

Penalties for Non-Compliance

Failure to comply with Local Law 87 can result in penalties and fines imposed by the Department of Buildings. Building owners who do not meet the required deadlines for energy audits, retro-commissioning, or filing EERs may face monetary penalties. It is crucial to prioritize compliance to avoid potential legal and financial consequences.

Compliance Assistance and Resources

Navigating the requirements of Local Law 87 can be complex. Fortunately, there are resources available to assist building owners in achieving compliance. Engaging professional energy auditors, retro-commissioning agents, or energy consultants can provide expert guidance throughout the compliance process. Additionally, the Department of Buildings offers support and informational resources on their website to help building owners understand and fulfill their obligations under LL87.

Ongoing Compliance and Future Considerations

Compliance with Local Law 87 is not a one-time event. Building owners must be prepared for future compliance cycles as energy audits and retro-commissioning are required every ten years. It is important to maintain records of previous audits and retro-commissioning reports to demonstrate compliance in subsequent cycles.

Moreover, it is worth considering the evolving landscape of energy efficiency regulations. As technologies advance and new energy-saving practices emerge, building owners should stay informed about potential updates or amendments to LL87. Being proactive and incorporating energy-efficient measures beyond the minimum requirements can position buildings for long-term compliance and maximize energy savings.


Local Law 87 (LL87) in New York City imposes significant compliance requirements on larger buildings to enhance energy efficiency and reduce environmental impact. Through energy audits, retro-commissioning, reporting, and filing obligations, building owners can identify energy-saving opportunities, improve building performance, and contribute to a more sustainable future.

By adhering to LL87, building owners can experience various benefits, including cost savings, improved occupant comfort, and increased property value. It is crucial to prioritize compliance to avoid potential penalties and fines. Engaging professional consultants and utilizing available resources can greatly assist in navigating the complexities of LL87 and ensure successful compliance.

As New York City continues its commitment to sustainability, Local Law 87 plays a vital role in promoting energy efficiency and creating a greener, more energy-conscious urban environment. By staying informed and actively embracing energy-saving practices, building owners can contribute to a brighter and more sustainable future for all.

Also Read: Understanding New York City’s Path to Carbon Neutrality