A Webb & Brooker Publication March 2011 


Local Law 84 is part of a package of laws known as the “Greener Greater Buildings Plan,” which was enacted in December 2009 to improve the energy and water efficiency of New York City’s largest existing buildings. Local Law 84 requires property owners to report on (“benchmark”) the energy and water use of their buildings through an online tool called Portfolio Manager, which is maintained by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Portfolio Manager is an online, interactive energy management tool that allows building owners to measure and track their building's energy and water consumption, identify investment priorities, and verify improvements over time. Multifamily housing communities can use Portfolio Manager to track weather-normalized energy use intensity (EUI), energy costs, greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption.

All buildings need to comply with Local Law 84 no later than May 1, 2011 and annually thereafter no later than May 1st of each subsequent year. 

Below are some Low‐Cost Energy‐Saving Tips from ENERGY STAR to reduce energy and water use:

Better Manage Vacant Units
Vacant unit energy costs can be significant without sound energy management. Effective measures for vacant units include turning off breakers when feasible, turning heating and cooling off or to a minimal temperature setting, adjusting refrigerators and freezers to their warmest settings and turning off water heaters. Review vacant unit bills to identify unnecessary energy use. Frequently walk through vacant units to ensure lights and thermostats are off and windows and blinds are closed. Educate vendors and contractors who work in vacant units on the steps being taken to save energy.

Conduct Regular Preventative Maintenance on Heating and Cooling Equipment
Check and replace filters regularly. Clean and treat evaporator and condenser coils, and clean dampers, air ducts, blower units, housing units and motors. Inspect fans, bearings and belts. These activities will ensure your equipment runs efficiently and extend its useful life.

Take Steps to Minimize Heating and Cooling Load
Install weather stripping on doors and windows to eliminate drafts and air leakage.  Utilize existing ceiling fans (or install ENERGY STAR qualified ceiling fans) to reduce the need for air conditioning. Use window shades, tinting, films or blinds to reduce heat gain in the summer (and heat loss in the winter). When weather is temperate, open windows rather than using mechanical heating or cooling equipment.

Install Programmable Thermostats in Common Areas
Programmable thermostats allow you to automatically adjust temperature settings during times of little or no use. Setting back temperatures by 10‐15 degrees Fahrenheit  for 8 hours per night will reduce heating and cooling costs – the primary component of your energy bill – by 10%. Programmable thermostats can cut costs in management offices, fitness centers, model units, clubhouses, and other amenity areas.

Source: The Real Estate Board of New York