• Why You should be Proactive with Complying with Local Law 87

    Why You should be Proactive with Complying with Local Law 87

    As part of the Greater, Greener Building Plan, Local Law 87 goes into effect next year. The law requires buildings over 50,000 square feet in New York City to file Energy Audit and Retrocommissioning Reports with the city… Read More

  • Deadline for LL84 submittals has passed! Avoid $2000 in fines by acting today.

    Deadline for LL84 submittals has passed! Avoid $2000 in fines by acting today.

    PlaNYC, introduced to the public on Earth Day in 2007, has established some laws that building owners and property or facility managers in NYC need to be aware of. LL84 requires annual benchmarking for energy and water for… Read More

  • RCx to "Unlock Efficiency" at NFMT Conference March 2012

    RCx to "Unlock Efficiency" at NFMT Conference March 2012

    RCx Building Diagnostics is going to be giving a presentation to the attendees of NFM&T Baltimore, in March of 2012. While most understand that energy efficiency is both an issue and an opportunity, most still have no idea where to start! Come and listen to us outline key components of an energy management program, and compare and contrast the energy consulting services of energy audits and retrocommissioning. We hope to see you at the NFM&T Baltimore 2012 show- Booth #2266, and Session R4.39 “Unlocking Efficiency: Keys to a Successful Energy Management Program”.

Trying to reach the facilities managers of government buildings?

Government (Federal, State and Municipal and Military) and Non-Profit
The government market, our broadest vertical sector, and the non-profit sector may make excellent long-term partners. The government market includes any building or facility with government or institutional ownership not falling under other categories. Private non-profits such as the Boy Scouts of America, churches and other religious organizations, and social service agencies often own commercial office spaces with private non-profit boards making the decisions about capital budget items involving their buildings. These two sectors’ unusual attention to reducing operational risk, their budget challenges, and their sometimes convoluted decision-making processes-often involving staff, government contracting, and boards or oversight agencies-require the understanding that AllFacilities brings to the table. Underneath ownership, we also help to organize all building types by use (e.g., “retail” versus “commercial office”), similarly to the other vertical sectors. We are experts in helping you to navigate the regulatory and bureaucratic barriers to bidding on these often lucrative contracts.

Are you trying to reach the facilities managers of higher education facilities?


Our education database spans the broad sectors of Universities and Colleges, K-12 school districts, charter, parochial and private schools as well as pre-schools, day care center and nurseries. We examine colleges and universities to keep track of ownership and government funding as well as understanding if facilities decisions are centralized or decentralized. Because of the unique operating hours of these facilities, they are challenged with uneven use and sometimes high operating costs with uncertain revenue streams from year to year, so cost-cutting solutions, energy management solutions and infrastructure issues are an ongoing concern.

Why You should be Proactive with Complying with Local Law 87

As part of the Greater, Greener Building Plan, Local Law 87 goes into effect next year. The law requires buildings over 50,000 square feet in New York City to file Energy Audit and Retrocommissioning Reports with the city every ten years, based on the building’s tax lot number. Some buildings will have to comply next year and others will have until 2022 until they first have to file. However, the sooner a building complies with the law the better.

If your building’s Energy Audit & Retrocommissioning Reports are due next year, you should start working on them soon. Energy Audit and Retrocommissioning projects can be time consuming. Depending on the size of the building and the systems in place, an Energy Audit could take upwards of 3 months depending what building documentation exists. A thorough Retrocommissioning project can also take between 6 months and 1 year.

If you are one of the lucky buildings who don’t have to file for another ten years, you should still consider acting soon. According to the PlaNY website:

An energy efficiency report, including both an energy audit report and a retro-commissioning report, can be submitted between January 1, 2006, and December 31, 2013, in order to achieve early compliance. In such cases, the next required report for the building would be due in the tenth calendar year after the first assigned due date for the report; for example if the due date would have been 2015, satisfying the early compliance would make the due date 2025.

This means that, potentially, you don’t have to worry about compliance for 19 years after filing your initial report, if your tax lot ends in “2”. Furthermore, the requirements of the law could change and become more strict over time.

Additionally, there is currently funding for 50% of the cost a ASHRAE Level III Energy Audit (which would exceed the Energy Audit requirements of the Local Law 87) from Con Edison. This funding has a will expire, so using it to comply with Local Law 87 as early as possible will cost you less money upfront. There are numerous other funding opportunities for implementing the recommendations that come out of an energy audit. Performing the audit now will help you secure funding for upgrades that otherwise might have expired, or allow you a longer time period to budget before making updates.

There is a direct benefit to the owner or manager for the building to comply with the law as well. An Energy Audit will provide you with valuable information on where energy can be conserved in your building. By implementing the recommendations from the audit, you will be able to economically reduce your buildings energy consumption and improve your bottom line. Retrocommissioning ensures that your existing building systems are operating as efficiently as possible, leading to energy conservation and improved occupant comfort. The sooner the Energy Audit and Retrocommissioning Reports are completed, the sooner you can start reducing your building’s energy use.

Don’t forget Local Law 84 went into effect in New York in 2010, requiring the same group of buildings to be benchmarked by filing their annual energy use with the City by May 1st each year for the previous year. Buildings out of compliance will be charged $500 per quarter. To avoid future fines, a building should submit their benchmark report to the city as soon as possible.

For more information on complying with Local Laws 84 and 87, please contact us at 866-382-8628 or info@rcxbd.com.

Deadline for LL84 submittals has passed! Avoid $2000 in fines by acting today.

PlaNYC, introduced to the public on Earth Day in 2007, has established some laws that building owners and property or facility managers in NYC need to be aware of.

LL84 requires annual benchmarking for energy and water for buildings, and the data must be submitted to the City EACH YEAR by May 1st.

Fines are being issued already for non-compliance with LL84! Building owners are to be fined $500 per quarter of non-compliance, beginning May 1.

Have you received this letter?       http://www.nyc.gov/html/planyc2030/downloads/pdf/2010_noncomply_violation.pdf

Gather your data and submit as soon as possible to avoid continued fines!  RCx is one of the Energy Efficiency service providers that can help- and we now have an easy to use online form: www.rcxbd.com/request

Also to keep on the radar, LL87 comes into play in 2013.  This law requires the same list of buildings (see www.nyc.gov/ggbp) to have energy audits or retrocommissioning done by certified providers. The deadline year that each of those buildings is assigned to comply is organized by tax lot numbers. This law affects buildings every 10 years, however, having retrocommissioning or energy audits done can be a time consuming process. Also, there are some significant advantages to early compliance!  There is also funding available NOW for building owners to have ASHRAE Level III Energy Audits (comply with LL87) to pay for half of the cost of the audit!  There is also funding to help with any first costs when making any energy efficiency improvements.

For more updates on PlaNYC 2030 and the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan, Mayor Bloomberg made an address on Earth Day 2012:

RCx to "Unlock Efficiency" at NFMT Conference March 2012

Many facility managers and building owners have “run the numbers” and researched the effectiveness of energy reduction in their buildings.  Not to mention, it also increases the value of an existing building, reduces risks associated with downtime, and reduces regular operating costs- which can now be viewed as controllable costs.  Oftentimes, due to certain types of energy analysis and building and operations detective work, we are able to reduce current energy consumption in existing buildings by anywhere from 15 – 40%.

Well, the market realizes that there is a significant opportunity out there to make a change, but no one is educating the masses on where to start and what kinds of solutions may be applicable to your specific building and BUDGET.

Come and see us speak on this subject at the **FREE to attend** NFM&T conference in Baltimore, MD.

Unlocking Efficiency: Keys to a Successful Energy Management Program

Thursday March 15th, 2012.

3:10 – 4:00pm

Room 339

Our engineers and industry experts will be presenting:

  1. the development and implementation of an energy-management program
    • key components will be outlined
    • overview of where and how to start managing your facility’s energy use
    • determine current energy consumption
  2. the differences (and similarities) between energy-audits and retrocommissioning
    • when/if either of these services might be applicable
    • what to expect from either service
    • what to look for in a qualified energy auditor or retrocommissioning agent

While we hope to see you in our audience as we speak at NFM&T, if your schedule is tight, we also will be available to answer any of your questions at our BOOTH  #2266 at any time that the exhibit hall is open (Tues – Thurs).

If unable to make it to the Baltimore area for the show, please feel free to contact us through our website, or by email: info@rcxbd.com and we will answer your questions as soon as possible!

PlaNYC's Benchmarking Law (LL84) deadline is extended!


Do you own, live in, or operate a building in New York City that is greater than 50,000 SQ.FT?

Is your building (or condo) one of two or more  that share the same tax lot and total over 100,000 SQ.FT?

If you answered “yes” to either of these questions, I hope that you’ve been doing some reading into Local Laws 84, 87, and 88!

(If you’re still not sure, check out this list: Buildings That Must Benchmark Under Local Law 84)

Most everyone has heard of Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC, and maybe even his 2011 update released in May:

PlaNYC 2011 Update

If not, then maybe you’re doing some research because you’re one of the 30% of owners who received a letter from the Department of Buildings warning of non-compliance with the Benchmarking Law, and that penalties that will be assessed of $500 per building per quarter of non-compliance as of December 31st, 2011!

The benchmarking requirements of Local Law 84 are not overly extensive, but have been designed and organized such that building owners can either meet the requirements in-house, or hire consultants (like RCx Building Diagnostics) for a very low annual fee.  The law does require that single buildings greater than 50,000 SQ.FT, or multiple buildings or condos that share tax lots and total over 100,000 SQ.FT input annual energy and water benchmarking data directly from their utility companies.  This data is to be reported on a publicly available tool: EPA ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager.  However, each building owner will create their own private log-in for the data input.

When creating the profile for Portfolio Manager, some general building information will be requested.  Some of these categories include: building use category (office, residential, manufacturing, hospital, etc), number of occupants, operating hours, gross square footage, number of computers, etc.

Absolutely NO ONE should be charged the fee for non-compliance of this reporting.  Start gathering together your energy bills for the past year, attend a free seminar given by the Urban Green Council and Department of Buildings, and either build your benchmark or hire a consultant to do so for you before December 31st!!!

Also…. if you have a building that does qualify under Local Law 84, please make yourselves aware of Local Laws 87 and 88, as they require more of an investment and will soon be coming into play beginning in 2013.  (If you comply earlier than your deadline, there may be more funding available, and you will still not be required to re-comply until 10 years after your original deadline- gives you a little more time to budget and plan.)

Happy Holiday Season

from your friends at RCx Building Diagnostics!

Benefits of Benchmarking

Starting an energy management program or project can be very overwhelming when you first begin; there are many tasks to perform and it can be confusing as to where you should start. However, before you begin to tackle implementing energy saving measures or even having a more thorough Energy Audit or Retrocommissioning Project done, it is a good idea to determine if your building is a good candidate for one.

Benchmarking is a great way to quickly assess how well your building is performing relative to other, similar buildings. It is the process of comparing your building’s energy use to other buildings, while accounting for differences in size, location, use, weather differences, and other variables.  Benchmarking is a relatively simple process and many energy consulting firms should offer the service at a relatively low cost.

Benchmarking will tell you if your building is a top performing building, indicating that, most likely, your building would not benefit from further analysis at this time. If benchmarking tells you that your building is a bottom performer, this indicates that there are probably opportunities for reducing energy use in your building. If you have a campus of buildings, you can also benchmark your buildings against one another to prioritize which building’s energy use you focus on first.

Once you make changes to your building, you can rebenchmark your buildings performance against what it was in the past to ensure progress towards reducing your energy consumption.

New York City and Washington DC are two of several cities that now require buildings to be benchmarked.  It is vital to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to local energy reporting requirements. It is expected that more and more cities across the country will passing similar legislation to New York and DC.

Better Buildings Initiative

Last year the Home Star Act was introduced has since become part of the Clean Energy Jobs and Oil Company Accountability Act of 2010. The purpose of the Home Star program is to create new green jobs by incentivizing energy efficiency improvements in residential buildings using rebates. The program would offer rebates for energy efficient appliances, upgrades to residential mechanical systems, insulation, and whole home energy efficiency retrofits. The $6 billion Home Star Act is currently before the senate. The issue that some have had with the act is that it only addresses energy efficiency improvements in residential buildings and does not encourage energy efficiency in commercial buildings.

Earlier this year, President Obama announced the Better Buildings Initiative, which has the overall goal of making commercial buildings 20% more energy efficient by 2020, saving businesses a total of $40 billion dollars annually. Commercial buildings were responsible for 20% of the total energy used by the U.S. economy in 2010, therefore addressing commercial building energy efficiency is vital to significantly, improving the overall energy efficiency of the country. The President plans on achieving success with the Better Buildings Initiatives through a series of strategies.

The current Energy Efficient Commercial Building Tax Deduction, which is part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, will be changed to a tax credit and will be more generous. The tax deduction allows commercial buildings to deduct between $0.30 and $1.80 per square foot based on energy efficiency upgrades implemented in the building. Additionally, real estate investment trusts (REITs) will now be able to take advantage of the tax credit. Changing the incentive from a tax deduction to a credit greatly improves the value of the tax incentive to building owners.

President Obama is also seeking to increase the number of financing opportunities available for commercial retrofits. Lack of financing opportunities has been a hurdle for some building owners. The Small Business Administration is working with lenders to take advantage of increased loan size limits to encourage new energy efficiency retrofit loans for small businesses. Additionally, the President’s Budget will introduce a new pilot program through the DOE to guarantee loans for some commercial buildings.   

States and local governments typically have control over building codes, regulations, and performance standards. President Obama plants to incentivize states and localities with competitive grants, to streamline energy efficiency standards, encouraging building upgrades and attracting private sector investment.

The President is reaching out through the Better Buildings Challenge to leaders in the commercial and university sectors to make their organizations more energy efficient. Organizations that become partners in the challenge will commit to making their buildings more efficient. Partners will become eligible for benefits such as technical assistance, information on best practices being used by peers, and public recognition. 

The last piece of the initiative is to train all of the workers who will be needed to perform the upgrades. The Administration is currently working on creating a Building Construction Technology Extension Partnership that would provide workforce training in areas that will be in high demand in the future, such as energy auditing.

Although the White House still has not announced the budget for the program, according to the Wall Street Journal, President Obama has said he would like to fund the program by increasing taxes for oil and natural gas companies.

The details of the Better Buildings Initiative still have to be formulated, but there are several issues to consider when determining how effective the President will be in laying the ground work for a 20% reduction in commercial building energy consumption.

The initiative provides incentives for implementing energy efficient upgrades, rather than creating penalties for not becoming energy efficient. Commercial building owners are not forced to do anything.  Although owners may end up paying more over the long run as a  result of higher energy bills, incentives tend to result in less action than penalties.

Additionally, projects that do not have the greatest return on investment may be prioritized over more economical projects. When it comes to energy projects, people often choose to implement the “sexy” projects that will draw attention to their sustainability efforts, such as solar panels, rather lower cost more effective measures, such as building controls. A standardized analysis should be required prior to any building applying for financing or tax incentives and project with a qualifying return on investment should be given priority.

Providing funding for or requiring Energy Audits to be performed prior to receiving any funding or tax credits would ensure that the maximum reduction in energy consumption is achieved per dollar invested in the program. Through Energy Audits, building owners would become educated on their building’s current energy use and on which potential energy efficient projects will provide them with the greatest savings. Often projects which are perceived to yield significant energy savings, do not. Additionally, this would drive the demand for Energy Auditors, which would in turn result in a larger green workforce.

Reducing the energy consumption of commercial buildings by 20% over ten years is an ambitious endeavor. Actively engaging all kinds of commercial building types is imperative to achieving the goal of the Better Buildings Initiative. The amount of funding the bill receives

The Difference between Energy Audits & Retrocommissioning

Many property managers have been struggling to reduce operating costs by improving the energy efficiency in their buildings.  For many owners and operators, an Energy Audit or Retrocommissioning project is the perfect starting point. However, it can be difficult to understand the difference between the two processes, and to determine the best option for your building.

An Energy Audit is meant to inform a building manager how well a building is performing from an energy consumption standpoint.  The audit report includes a list of energy-saving measures one may choose to implement, including the payback and annual energy savings associated with each measure. An energy auditor will examine at least one year of energy bills to understand how the building consumes energy throughout the various seasons. Then they will use that data to benchmark the building’s energy use as compared to similar buildings in the area.

The auditor will also analyze all of the building systems in place and their operating schedules, breaking down the building’s total energy consumption by use (i.e. lighting, heating/cooling, outlet plug loads, etc). The scope of an Energy Audit can also be expanded to include a review of water use, if a building manager is interested in reducing water consumption.

The final product of an Energy Audit is a report explaining how the building is currently performing and providing a list of no cost, low-cost, and capital-cost energy conservation opportunities.  Building owners that want to understand and reduce their energy consumption should invest in an Energy Audit.

The Retrocommissioning process systematically analyzes and fine-tunes an existing building’s individual systems as well as all operation and maintenance (O&M) procedures. Unlike an Energy Audit, energy reduction is not the sole goal of Retrocommissioning. The precise goals of a Retrocommissioning project can vary between projects, but can include any combination of the following: extending the life of equipment, improving comfort of a building for its occupants, improving indoor air quality, improving the effectiveness of operation and maintenance procedures (thus reducing a facility manager’s time spent on unplanned maintenance), reducing utility bills, reducing energy consumption, and reducing the number of complaints from building occupants.

The outcome of Retrocommissioning is a more comfortable and efficient building and a guide for operating and maintaining it. Candidates for Retrocommissioning include: buildings where the occupancy and use has changed since the building was constructed, buildings that have occupant comfort issues, and buildings that need to reduce energy consumption.

Both an Energy Audit and Retrocommissioning will lower a building’s operating cost and improve a property’s value. Before taking on any building performance improvement project, it is vital for a building owner or operator to outline the goals s/he hopes to achieve in order to choose the best course of action for building improvement.

Trying to reach the facilities managers of government buildings?

The government market, our broadest vertical sector, and the non-profit sector may make excellent long-term partners.

Learn More

Are you trying to reach the facilities managers of higher education facilities?

Our education database spans the broad sectors of Universities and Colleges, K-12 school districts, charter, parochial and private schools as well as pre-schools, day care center and nurseries.

Learn More

Want to reach more facility managers?

We can help you reach facility managers of commercial office buildings and corporations

Learn More