utiliVisor and Gotham 360 Explain Impacts and Mitigation Options of NYC Greenhouse Gas Emissions Legislation

utiliVisor In Conversation with Richard Angerame, utiliVisor, and Jennifer Kearney, Gotham 360, discusses New York City Local Law 97, its impact on building owners, tenants, and brokers. LL97 caps carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (known collectively as carbon equivalent, or CO2e) for buildings within the five boroughs larger than 25,000 square feet or campuses larger than 50,000 square feet. This series of audio episodes address what Local Law 97 is, its implications, mitigation possibilities, submetering advantages, C-PACE, and lease considerations. (Graphic: Business Wire)

NEW YORK--()--utiliVisor, a leader in holistic solutions for submetering and energy plant operations, and Gotham 360, a full-service energy consulting and management firm, announced the release of a new audio series on the impacts, challenges, and mitigation options related to New York City’s Local Law 97 (LL97). The law is a central part of the City’s Climate Mobilization Act.

Passed in 2019, LL97 has been described as the world’s most ambitious initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from buildings. The law caps carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (known collectively as carbon equivalent, or CO2e) for buildings within the five boroughs larger than 25,000 square feet or campuses larger than 50,000 sf. A 2016 inventory of New York’s GHG emissions showed that buildings produce 66% of the City’s total emissions, or approximately 35 million metric tons of CO2e. Although some large buildings are exempted from the law, including City-owned properties, covered buildings are estimated to produce 13 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually.

Each covered building will be assessed by its occupancy type and square footage. Emissions are determined based on the building’s energy consumption, whether onsite or through purchased electricity or steam. Limits start in 2024 and fines will be levied annually the following May for emissions over the limit for the previous year. Emission limits start relatively low in the first five years. However, caps become significantly stricter beginning in 2030. The penalty for exceedance is $268 per metric ton of carbon dioxide over their limit, or a total of more than $2.8 billion annually should emissions not change.

The stiff fines and increased costs for buildings that upgraded to new generation units at the City’s request after Superstorm Sandy have sparked protests from building owners as well as architects, engineers and developers. “Those same building owners who made those investments at the behest of the state and the City to provide a more reliable grid are now being penalized for the consumption of natural gas,” said Jennifer Kearney, one of the audio series presenters and a partner at Gotham 360.

Because different occupancy types have different emission limits, it’s easy to be confused about what the limit is for a specific mixed-use building. “In New York City, buildings are never used for solely one purpose,” Kearney pointed out. To lower their penalties, she encourages building owners to delineate usage by tenant or occupancy type through submetering. Without knowing usage by occupancy type, said Kearney, the law “is also going to result in significantly higher fines to a building owner or [a] medical school, because when you divide it by square feet and you've got classrooms and labs, you're going to be subject to cost-averaging among the space types to a lower cap.”

In addition to submetering, Kearney and fellow speaker Richard Angerame also recommend owners audit their buildings for energy consumption. Angerame, who is president of utiliVisor, also recommends that owners prioritize key tenants to approach about energy conservation and efficiencies. “We believe that it's easier to take the 5% as we call it, the 5% of the building tenants that represent 40% of the square footage of the building, and make an impact on them,” he noted. Other owner recommendations include buying carbon offsets and applying for financing through New York’s Property Assessed Clean Energy (also known as C-PACE) program.

Although tenants are not initially financially responsible for energy overages, they will ultimately be held responsible for their energy usage through new leases. And tenants whose activities consume large quantities of electricity, such as a data center, may find it harder or more expensive to secure new leases. Therefore, tenants should conduct their own energy audits to determine needs and usage patterns for lighting, thermal control and plug load and ask for leases that charge them for the energy they actually use, rather than charge a flat fee per square foot, so that those cost savings are passed directly to them.

Kearney and Angerame also recommend that owners and tenants seek out brokers and building consultants who understand the implications of LL97. Angerame noted that questions that made sense for leases 20 years ago are not the same questions owners and tenants should be asking today, resulting in a lack of clarity over responsibility and poor representation for both sides of the lease.

“This information in general is incredibly important to get out there because there is so much misinformation, and then there's so much confusion,” said Kearney. “And I think when building owners are confused, their default is to do nothing. And that's the most dangerous thing that a building owner can be doing right now.”

Listen to the discussion of LL97’s impact on building owners and tenants here.

For specific recommendations on dealing with the challenges of LL97, read more here.


Your tenant submetering and energy plant optimization services are an essential part of your operation. You deserve personalized energy insights from a team that knows buildings from the inside out, applies IoT technology and is energized by providing you with accurate data and energy optimization insights. When you need experience, expertise, and service, you need utiliVisor on your side, delivering consistent energy and cost-saving strategies to you. What more can our 40 years of experience and historical data do for you? Call utiliVisor at 212-260-4800 or visit https://www.utilivisor.com


Gotham 360 is a full-service energy management consultancy located in New York City. We have been in business since 2007 offering solutions that are tailor-made and cover our four key pillars of service: energy procurement, resiliency, sustainability, and efficiency. We work with building owners across the country across all vertical sectors from higher education and heathcare to some of the largest commercial REITs. Our expertise covers the full intersection of market opportunities and regulatory compliance – all driving to the very best economic outcome.

Contact Gotham 360 at contact@gotham360.com or visit https://gotham360.com


Kathy Fealy
utiliVisor Marketing Director

Release Summary

Building energy experts utiliVisor and Gotham 360 discuss NYC Local Law 97 carbon cap legislation and its effects on building owners and tenants.


Kathy Fealy
utiliVisor Marketing Director