Audits and Retrocommissioning


Local Law 87 was implemented in 2009, as part of the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan. Large buildings must go through an audit and retro-commissioning, in order to have an understanding of the full scope of the building’s performance. This is an important step towards increasing the overall sustainability of New York City, as large buildings cover up to 48% of the city’s overall energy use.

An Energy Efficiency Report (EER) must be completed once every decade. Buildings are required to comply if either of the following is true:

  • If the building is over 50,000 square feet
  • If the building is tax lots with two or more buildings that are 100,000 square feet total

To check if your building is required to submit an EER, the list of covered buildings can be found here.

Auditing and Retro-commissioning are two separate processes with different goals.


An Energy Audit lets you know how well your building is doing in terms of energy consumption. Past bills are analyzed in order to find out how the building performs over different months of the year. Then, possible solutions are presented on how to best save money and energy in the future. Each solution reveals how much money will be saved in the long run.


Retro-commissioning involves optimizing the building’s current systems and procedures. The process strives to ensure a healthy life of equipment and calibrates the building’s systems with its use and occupancy. Cooling, heating, lighting, pressurization, and humidity controls are among the various systems that are checked.

The process improves the comfort level for the building’s occupants. This, in turn, decreases complaints made to the building’s management. Additional benefits include improved air quality and lower operating costs.

Reporting to the City

The EER is due on 12/31 of the year with the same end-digit as the end-digit on your tax block number. For example, if your tax block number ends in a “9,” you will have to submit in the year 2019.

A filing fee of $375 is required to be paid along with the EER. In addition, there is a registration fee of $200 for the registration of auditors and retro-commissioning agents and $90 for their renewal.

The penalty for not submitting an EER on time is $3,000, with an additional $5,000 each year, cumulatively. The payment can be mailed to the NYC Department of Buildings with a copy of the Notice of Violation. If you have been issued a warning incorrectly, you may complete a Violation Challenge Form.

Auditing and retro-commissioning can take up to a year to administer on a building. Therefore, it is important to come up with a timeline well in advance, in order to meet your December 31st deadline.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s