On September 12, 2023, Mayor Eric Adams announced his “Getting 97 Done” initiative. The plan aims to deliver on the goals outlined in Local Law 97 of 2019 – a 40 percent reduction inbuilding emissions by 2030, and a 70 percent reduction in citywide emissions by 2050. The plan is part of Mayor Adam’s long-term sustainability plan, “PlaNYC: Getting Sustainability Done”, published in April 2023.
The “Getting 97 Done” initiative is fourfold: (1) identify government and utility-based funding for building upgrades, (2) improve awareness and provide technical assistance to buildings through the NYC Accelerator, (3) enhance Department of Buildings (DOB) rule enforcement, and (4) work with New York State to decarbonize central systems.
First, the plan aims to identify government and utility-based funding to support building upgrades. The City is estimating $625 million in support from the Federal Inflation Reduction Act that will help make buildings more efficient and emit less carbon. The City will also collaborate with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, Con Edison, and National Grid to pipeline state funding to update buildings, especially those in disadvantaged communities. The City will also develop a federal grant proposal – targeting $40 billion allocated to clean energy projects- to support Local Law 97 projects, especially for buildings unable to access market-rate loans. Mayor Adams will also work with the New York City Council to enact the J-51 housing quality incentive program, which the New York State Legislature passed last year and is awaiting Governor Kathy Hochul’s signature. The bill will help building owner’s cover Local Law 97 compliance costs.
Second, the City will utilize NYC Accelerator and hold information sessions in partnership with City Council members to increase Local Law 97 awareness and provide technical support. The City will convene a Local Law 97 Mobilization Council and meet regularly to review the effectiveness of implementation efforts. The Council will include building owners and managers, workforce, and companies that provide financing for Local Law 97 projects.
Third, the Department of Buildings (POB) published a set of rules to guide Local Law 97 implementation. Under the rules, building owners may mitigate compliance fines if they can demonstrate steps towards decarbonization that will result in them achieving their 2024 goals by 2027 and their 2030 goals on-time. DOB published a second set of rules – targeting the City’s worst emitters – with focus on reducing emissions, advancing retrofitting projects, and outlining enforcement mechanisms.
Lastly, the City will work with New York State to decarbonize the electric system and Con Edison’s steam system, both on a schedule that is consistent with the State’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA).
Mayor Adams stated, “Every part of the ‘Getting 97 Done’ plan builds towards one core goal: reversing the effects of climate changes. The data shows that our administration’s efforts are already working, and we’re going to continue moving forward. Building owners are learning every day that complying with Local Law 97 and going green will save green, and we are addressing climate change from all angles in New York City.”
By: Nick Negron (Nick is a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2023.)