New York’s Sub-Metering Law: Energy Efficiency in Commercial Buildings

New York’s New Power Metering Law to Reduce Energy Consumption

It is a challenge to keep a city like New York running smoothly. Traffic flow, clean water systems, and waste disposal all have to be managed effectively. The city’s energy needs are no less complicated. With everyone crammed in closely together, city leaders prefer to encourage residents to act responsibly rather than attempt enforce onerous and unpopular rules. Overconsuming power is a major problem, and all of that excessive use puts strain on the city’s limited resources. A new metering law is expected to lessen the impact by creating conditions that make self-regulation more likely.

What is the New Metering Law?

Local Law 88 requires submeters to be installed in all commercial buildings in the city with more than 50,000 square feet. It also requires submetering to be used in residential buildings that are 10,000 square feet or more that also allow commercial businesses to operate. Currently, many buildings do not meter the individual usage of tenants. The power consumption for the building is managed by the owners, and the costs are incorporated in the leasing fees. Businesses have little to no idea how much power they are consuming or the true costs of their operations.

How does metering work?

Main power for a building energy meters record the amount of electricity that is used. Power companies use electrical meters track how many kilowatts per hour are passing through a circuit. As power loads are placed onto the circuit, the amperage is increased. At a submetering station, meters can be placed on the individual circuits for each office of business instead of the entire building. This would make each individual business responsible for its own usage.

Monthly Statements

In addition to installing the equipment, landlords will be required to provide individual statements to tenants. Instead of a large bill that is handled by the property management team, it is believed that this individual billing strategy will bring awareness to the amount of power that is being consumed. Individual businesses are expected to control their consumption rates in an effort to reduce their operating costs.

Energy Efficient Lights and Switches

Not only must landlords install submeters, building requirements have been updated to include more energy efficient LED light bulbs and switches. This is expected to reduce the consumption of electricity and also cut down on hazardous waste. LED lights have been proven to produce more light, consume less energy, and produce lower amounts of toxic waste than other bulbs.

The Expected Impact

In office settings, the consumption of power to run lights, computers, and fax machines may remain nearly constant regardless of the new york power metering law. The major benefits will come from new strategies to manage climate control and larger pieces of equipment. Businesses that depend on large appliances or machinery, such as restaurants and printing companies, will need to look for new ways to control their energy requirements.

Although this law has been passed, there is still plenty of time for building owners to upgrade their buildings and renegotiate lease agreements to meet the new requirements. It doesn’t actually go into effect until 2025. Proactive landlords and business owners are encouraged to adapt their practices in order to come into compliance as quickly as possible.