Local Law Compliance

Across the country, cities and states have enacted laws to maximize performance of the built environment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. While each law is unique, there generally are three types of local laws and ordinances that owners and property managers of existing buildings may need to comply with:

Benchmarking and public disclosure
Mandatory benchmarking of building energy and water use has become a key tool in building optimization, energy efficiency, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Many municipalities require annual energy and/or water use disclosure through the free and publicly available ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager This is the same platform that building owners use to apply for ENERGY STAR certification.

Each local law is different, but the idea behind them is the same: tracking and disclosing energy use are the first steps to optimization. Some jurisdictions keep the first year’s data private so owners have the opportunity to make adjustments before their performance is made public. Some only track energy consumption, and others look at water use too. The bottom line is that knowledge is power. Mandating energy and water use disclosure is a step in the right direction for sustainable management of our shared resources.

Some localities require building owners to conduct periodic energy audits and implement retro-commissioning measures based on the findings of the audit. These measures can include replacing steam traps, installing weatherstripping, re-tuning boilers, and other maintenance and operations measures. They can also include some low-cost retrofits, such as heat pump water heaters.

SIG has been helping building owners comply with retro-commissioning requirements, such as New York City’s Local Law 87, since the beginning. Local Law 87 requires property owners, including co-ops and condo boards, to complete energy audits and retro-commissioning of their buildings every 10 years, as well as submitting an energy efficiency report (EER) to the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) documenting the results. We are already part of the solution and we want to help your building be a leader in energy management. SIG understands the requirements of LL87 and similar laws and knows how to work well with property managers to help you comply with the required energy audits and retro-commissioning. We leverage our vast green expertise and knowledge to drive, develop, implement, and deploy comprehensive energy solutions including audits and commissioning proven to streamline your organizational processes and reduce operational costs.  For more information on this work, please see our Retro-commissioning (RCx) page.

Emissions reductions
Currently the least common type of mandate, some cities require buildings to keep their greenhouse gas emissions within a set limit, which generally decreases over time, and impose penalties for emissions over the limit. The jurisdictions utilize published greenhouse gas coefficients to determine the emissions intensity of the building’s energy use, which can vary from region to region depending on the energy makeup of its electricity production.

We can help you with your local law compliance

Sustainable Investment Group (SIG) is the best partner for any energy and sustainability compliance needs, whether for benchmarking, retro-commissioning, or emissions reductions. We work all over the nation, have deep experience with the ENERGY STAR program, and have wide-ranging knowledge on green building and energy policy. Moreover, once you see your ENERGY STAR score through benchmarking, we can help you take the next steps to adjust and improve your building through energy audits, retro-commissioning, decarbonization, energy analysis, and more.

To learn more about how SIG can help you meet your local law requirements, please contact Amy D’Angelo, Director of ESG, at: energystar@sigearth.com

A Sample of Energy & Sustainability Ordinances Across the US – SIG can provide compliance, engineering, and sustainability consulting services in any of these locations and more.


For more information about our services, or if you would like to schedule a LEED Exam Prep Class, please contact Asa Posner

Sustainable Investment Group (SIG) Atlanta Headquarters 1155 Mt Vernon Highway NE Suite 800 Atlanta, GA 30338


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