Published onDecember 14th, 2020
Local Laws 86 and 87: Saving Energy With Pipe Insulation & Energy Management Systems
New York City has been at the forefront of saving energy with numerous programs to encourage green building and use power and water in more efficient ways. The benefits are many, ranging from reduced carbon emissions to long-term savings for landlords. Here are the basics of NYC Local Laws 86 and 87, which are a key element of this initiative, along with two tips for saving energy if you own or manage a New York City property.
What Are Local Laws 86 and 87?
Local Law 86
Local Law 86 was adopted in October of 2005 and was one of the country’s first green building laws. It requires certain building projects to achieve an LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating of Certified or Silver and exceeds regular building codes with regard to energy and water usage.
Buildings that receive $10 million or more in city funds are subject to Local Law 86. Additionally, buildings for which city funding comprises 50 percent or more of the project cost are also included in Local Law 86. Exceptions to covered occupancies include:
- Residential buildings
- High-hazard spaces
- Industrial properties
- Outdoor assembly and equipment projects
Local Law 87
Local Law 87 goes beyond Local Law 86 to optimize the energy use of buildings in New York City. Large buildings are required to audit, retro-commission, and submit information about the following to the City:
- Basic team information
- General building information
- Existing equipment inventory
- Energy end use breakdown
- Energy conservation measures identified from the audit
- Retro-commissioning measures
The details of this are outlined in the Final Audits and Retrocommissioning Rule created by the New York City Department of Buildings.
How Can You Save Energy in Your Building?
Whether your property needs to comply with Local Law 86, or if you simply want to conserve energy, protect the environment, and save money, there are steps you can take in your building. One of the best is pipe insulation.
Pipe insulation has many advantages for property owners, including:
- Protecting workers from hot pipes
- Preventing pipes from freezing and bursting in winter
- Improving tenant comfort and satisfaction
- Reducing noise
- Conserving energy by decreasing heat loss
The last point above can be significant, depending on the size and plumbing anatomy of your building. You may find your boiler firing less often, which reduces fuel and saves money, when less heat is lost through your pipes before it reaches hot water taps or steam radiators.
How do you know your pipes may need insulation?
- The presence of condensation or frost on pipes
- Previous problems with leaking or burst pipes in cold weather
- Excessively high utility bills or boiler firing continuously
- Tenants complaining of not enough heat or hot water when boiler is functioning properly
Energy Management Systems
Installing energy management systems is another way of saving energy in your building. Even if your property is not covered by Local Law 86, you may wish to consider this upgrade. Also known as building management systems or building automation systems, these systems provide long-term cost savings.
Energy management systems provide automated control of energy consumption in buildings. While energy management systems used to require in-house software, many are now cloud-based and can be run by building staff or outsourced to professionals in that field.
The benefits of energy management systems are numerous:
- Lowered energy consumption
- Reduced strain on utilities
- Decreased carbon emissions and environmental waste
- Better energy usage data collection
- Ability to forecast energy use based on past data
- Greater comfort and security for building users and tenants
- Less staff required for basic maintenance, freeing them for other tasks
- Reduced human error
- Cost savings for building owners
The earliest energy management systems were programmable thermostats. These are still a highly effective way of saving energy. However equipment has evolved to a much more sophisticated level now, aided by the Internet.
Every building is different when it comes to both Local Laws 86 and 87 and voluntary energy savings through pipe insulation or energy management systems. We are happy to confer with you on both city compliance and upgrades to your property for cost savings. Reach out to Calray Boilers today by calling us at 212-722-5506 or use our convenient online form to schedule an appointment.