Local Law 84 Grading System Takes Heat for Blunt Approach

Energy Efficiency energy jobs bill

The Energy-Benchmarking Grades Are Out. Do They Really Matter?

Habitat, January 7, 2014

Under Local Law 84 of 2009, large buildings must record and keep track of their energy and water use — and then the city posts the results for all to see. The letter grades are linked to a numerical score called theEnergy Use Intensity (EUI), which measures the energy used by a building per square foot, per year. The median EUI for multifamily buildings in New York City is 132.1. Score a 109 or lower and you earn an A; higher than 160 is a D. But in practical terms, how well do these grades translate to real-life energy use?

Warren Schreiber, board president of Bay Terrace Cooperative Section 1, a 200-unit garden apartment complex in Queens, says he was not surprised by the “D” his co-op earned with an EUI score of 248.2. The co-op board is now considering submetering, which would require unit-owners to pay for the power they use, hopefully convincing them to use less. Schreiber notes that retro-commissioning of the heating system is also under consideration, but the board isn’t ready to pull the trigger on a major job right now.

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