Local Law 97: How building analytics software can help achieve compliance

May 29, 2023

New York City's Local Law 97 mandates significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from buildings, with steep penalties for non-compliance. As the 2024 deadline for compliance approaches, building owners must identify cost-effective strategies to achieve the required reductions. Building analytics software has emerged as a powerful tool for owners to optimize energy management, reduce carbon emissions, and comply with Local Law 97. In this article, we explore how building analytics software can help building owners meet the requirements of Local Law 97 and take steps toward a more sustainable future.

What is Local Law 97?

According to Local Law 97, buildings over 25,000 square feet must meet emissions intensity limits starting in 2024, with increasingly stringent limits in 2030 and beyond. The emissions intensity limits are based on property types and are measured in kilograms of CO2-equivalent emissions per square foot per year. The limits will require significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from covered buildings, with penalties for non-compliance. You can find the 2024-2029 limits here. For more information on Local Law 97 and its requirements, check out our blog on the legislation here.

Step-by-step compliance with CIM:

The process of achieving emissions reductions in commercial buildings is incredibly complex, and can take a significant amount of time. Here is a step-by-step process that owners can follow to reduce their emissions, with the use of CIM’s innovative PEAK Platform:

Step 1: Gather data

In order to determine how much emissions have to be reduced in their buildings, building owners must start by gathering data. Here’s how CIM’s PEAK Platform can help you gather data to gain visibility across your portfolio and begin to plan specific actions for emissions reductions:

  • Quick installation: The PEAK Platform can install quickly, capturing data right away with minimal disruption to tenants and users. In as little as two weeks, you can start collecting and analyzing data to help improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions
  • Utilizing existing infrastructure: PEAK builds on top of BMS integrations, API, data platforms, and analytics systems, saving you time and money.
  • Data collection: PEAK collects and analyzes all of your available building data – including equipment IoT sensor data, HVAC, lift and electricity feeds, BMS and NMI feeds, weather and people data – and transforms it into valuable information to pinpoint efficiencies and opportunities for improvement
  • Data analysis: PEAK calculates virtual points even when meters are not available, which allows for a more in-depth unit analysis. The platform analyzes current and historical data and presents it in an intuitive interface so the user can view a holistic representation of system operations in real-time.

Step 2: Identify energy efficiency measures to be taken

Once data is gathered, building owners can develop a plan for the implementation of some of the energy conservation measures, outlined in LL97, that are appropriate for their business, building type and energy usage. Here are some examples of measures listed in the legislation:

  • Adjusting temperature set points for heat and hot water to reflect appropriate space occupancy and facility requirements
  • Repairing all heating system leaks
  • Maintaining the heating system
  • Installing individual temperature controls or insulated radiator enclosures with temperature controls on all radiators
  • Insulating all pipes for heating and/or hot water
  • Insulating the steam system condensate tank or water tank
  • Installing indoor and outdoor heating system sensors and boiler controls to allow for proper set-points
  • Replacing or repairing all steam traps 
  • Installing or upgrading steam system master venting at the ends of mains, large horizontal pipes and tops of risers, vertical pipes branching off a main
  • Upgrading lighting
  • Weatherising and air-sealing
  • Installing timers on exhaust fans
  • Installing radiant barriers behind all radiators
  • Target peak demand

Step 3: Ensure effective implementation of energy efficiency measures:

The continued use of a building analytics platform will ensure the maximum amount of energy savings are achieved in the implementation of chosen measures, through ongoing monitoring and analysis. The PEAK platform can help building owners effectively implement numerous measures outlined by the legislation. Here are a few examples:

  • Adjust set points: CIM's PEAK platform can help building owners adjust temperature set points for heating and hot water to reflect appropriate space occupancy and facility requirements. The platform's advanced analytics capabilities enable building owners to optimize temperature set points based on historical data, occupancy patterns, and weather forecasts. This helps to minimize energy waste and reduce emissions while maintaining occupant comfort.
  • Repair and maintain heating system: The PEAK platform can also assist building owners in repairing and maintaining their heating systems, including ensuring that system parts covered by Local Law 97 are clean and in good operating condition. The platform provides real-time visibility into the performance of heating equipment and can alert building owners to issues such as leaks or malfunctions. This allows building owners to take prompt action to repair and maintain their heating systems, reducing energy waste and emissions.
  • Target peak demand: CIM's PEAK platform can help building owners target peak demand by providing real-time data on energy usage patterns and demand spikes. By analyzing this data, building owners can identify opportunities to reduce energy consumption during peak periods and implement demand response strategies that help to avoid penalties and reduce energy costs. The platform's predictive maintenance capabilities also help to reduce the risk of equipment failures during peak demand periods, ensuring that buildings remain operational and avoid costly downtime.

Additionally, usage of the PEAK Platform alone can help owners achieve significant emissions reductions for building owners as a result of its innovative capabilities and intelligent monitoring. Here’s how:

  • Real-time data visibility: The PEAK platform provides building owners with real-time data on energy usage, which can help them identify areas where energy is being wasted and take steps to reduce consumption. This visibility can help owners make informed decisions on energy efficiency measures that can lead to lower emissions.
  • Predictive maintenance: The PEAK platform uses artificial intelligence to predict when equipment is likely to fail, enabling owners to take proactive steps to prevent breakdowns. This can reduce energy waste and emissions associated with emergency repairs or replacement of equipment.
  • Building optimization: The PEAK platform uses advanced analytics to identify areas where energy usage can be reduced without sacrificing occupant comfort. By optimizing heating, cooling, ventilation, and lighting systems, building owners can reduce energy consumption and emissions.

Ready to achieve compliance and reduce your building’s carbon footprint?

Our team of experts is here to help! Request a callback to discuss building automation and sustainable operations in the NYC area. 

Or, watch a demo session to gain a better understanding of how our innovative platform can help you achieve energy savings.

Connor Holbert
May 29, 2023