NYC buildings now required to post scores based on energy efficiency

January 23, 2018

By Leah Simmet

A recent article by Smart Energy Decisions outlines New York City’s recent bill requiring commercial and residential buildings to post their energy efficiency scores. This new bill effectively makes New York City the first city in the United States to require the public display of energy efficiency scores and associated grades near public entrances.

Measurement is the first step

The original benchmarking law in New York City, known as LL84, was launched in 2009 and required commercial buildings over 50,000 square feet to measure their annual energy and water consumption. The law has been implemented in phases so that starting this year the threshold will be lowered to 25,000 square feet, essentially expanding the number of buildings required to measure their consumption.

This law also required building owners to report energy data to the city, which was made available to the public online. Unlike the new requirement, LL84 did not require building owners to present the information to prospective tenants or buyers.

Energy usage data to be publicly posted

The new legislation, 1632A, will assign letter grades based on the reported annual energy consumption of the building(s). The letter grade must be posted near the public entrances, similar to how New York City restaurants post their health grades. The law will allow the public to easily access information about the energy use of a building.

The passage of 1632A will essentially provide companies and individuals with the ability to make more informed decisions about choosing an apartment or commercial space. This bill will also encourage landlords to make energy upgrades in an effort to achieve higher scores – leading to financial benefits for businesses and environmental benefits for the city.

The value of benchmarking

The implementation of benchmarking and disclosure requirements for commercial buildings is a growing trend among cities in the U.S. With 50 percent of CO2 emissions attributed to building operations, cities are looking to commercial buildings as an area of improvement.

The true value of benchmarking does not stop with emissions and energy reductions. Improved building performance is related to increased worker productivity, higher quality tenants, lower risk to investors, and improved occupant health. There are also significant financial benefits. It is estimated that the U.S. alone could save $327 billion per year in energy costs if energy productivity is doubled by 2030.

To help organizations reach their energy goals, our benchmarking tool leverages both ENERGY STAR and DOE databases to compare annual energy cost and consumption against a dataset of 4.8 million buildings. This allows you to see how your buildings rank against other similar buildings across the country. With these insights, you can find opportunities for improvement across your portfolio.

Go to to gain a better understanding of your building’s energy use.

Leah Simmet

Leah is a sustainability professional with eight years of experience in business development, project management, and stakeholder engagement. With a legal education and business background Leah is a strong communicator with a passion for building relationships and working within cross-functional teams to drive change and timely achieve project deliverables.