Grading Buildings on Energy Consumption

By Nicholas Rizzi

People might avoid eating at a restaurant with a “C” grade, but will they avoid living in a building with the same score? That’s the question Main in white hardhat inspecting a door - FirstService Residentialbuilding owners have to start asking themselves when a new law takes effect next year that will give properties a letter grade based on their energy consumption for the year.


Last year, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed Local Law 33 into effect, which would require residential and commercial buildings of more than 25,000 square feet to post an energy efficiency grade — ranging from “A” to “F” — near a public entrance starting in January 2020. And, as part of the nine-bill Climate Mobilization Act passed earlier this year, the city passed an amendment to Local Law 33 which slightly lessened the scores needed to achieve each grade.

“Owners are fearful,” said Jeff Hendler, the CEO of Logical Buildings, which operates a building energy management software platform. “[If a prospective tenant] walks into a building and they see a ‘D’ they’re going to ask why is there a ‘D’ on the front door of the building, [why] they have a very poor Energy Star score … When there’s another choice up the block that has an ‘A’ or a ‘B,’ that’s going to go into their decision box of things that’s important to them when they sign the lease.” 

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