According to an email sent out by the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) the city’s annual energy efficiency letter grade sign program, which was instituted by 2018’s Local Law 33, officially went into effect on October 1.
Going forward, all NYC buildings over 25,000 square feet will receive a letter grade reflecting their DOB-verified energy efficiency; high or low, that grade must be printed and displayed at every public entrance of the building by October 31, 2020. The program is similar to the letter grading system applied to New York City restaurants by the Department of Health, which requires dining establishments to post their inspection letter grade conspicuously in a window or on an entrance door.
According to the DOB press secretary Andrew Rudansky, this legislation will affect approximately 40,000 buildings across the city. “This marks a big change in how New Yorkers think about building sustainability in our city,” he says, “and will affect large residential buildings throughout all five boroughs.”
The DOB’s energy letter grades are calculated using the benchmarking score a building earns using the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s EnergyStar Portfolio Manager—an online tool that compares the energy performance data of an individual building to that of similar buildings in similar climates. The signage to be printed and posted at entrances will include both a letter grade and the building’s energy efficiency score.
Of the new signs, Buildings Commissioner Melanie E. La Rocca says, “We must take action to meet the challenge of climate change. Our new energy efficiency letter grade signs are out today, and will provide a new level of transparency for building energy emissions. The public has a right to know which large buildings are taking their commitment to sustainability seriously.”
Members of the public can find out the energy efficiency letter grades for a particular building by looking up the address on the DOB NOW Public Portal. Those that have not submitted benchmarking data at all will automatically receive an initial grade of F.
For more information about the grading system, the benchmarking process, and the requirements for posting signs, visit the DOB’s Benchmarking and Energy Efficiency Grading website.