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More Hurdles for Building Owners: DOB Denying Energy Efficiency Reports Due to Outstanding Violations

As of December 31, 2021, the NYC Department of Buildings no longer accepts Energy Efficiency Reports (EER) from owners who owe penalties for prior violations.

Under Local Law 87 of 2009, EERs are required for buildings of 50,000 gross square feet or more every 10 years (based on the last digit of the tax block number), after completing an energy audit and retro-commissioning of base building systems. This is part of the city’s efforts to track greenhouse gas emissions, since buildings, especially large buildings, account for two-thirds of New York City’s emissions output.

Failure to submit an EER is a major violation. It can result in penalties of $3,000 in the first year and $5,000 for each additional year.

Under the recent service update, the DOB will assign a temporary reference number for with outstanding penalties filing EERs, sent by email. If these penalties are not fully paid off within three months of receiving a reference number, then:

  • Any EER submission will be turned away,
  • An additional violation for failure to submit an acceptable EER will be issued, and
  • The applicant will not be allowed to resubmit the EER for that year (January 1-December 31).

This move appears to follow a trend over the past year or so to hold building owners more accountable for outstanding violations, particularly those that may compromise building and resident safety. Decoder has covered similar legislation, such as the March 2021 penalties for multiple dwelling violations.

More recently, the Bronx apartment building where a January 2022 fire killed at least 17 people was found to have unresolved fire safety violations, particularly in regards to its self-closing doors, which may have contributed to the casualties.

More than ever, building owners need to have their house in order, with outstanding violations causing increasing hurdles for new construction and existing buildings alike.

For instructions on how to make payments and to find out how much is owed, applicants who have submitted an EER for a property with outstanding penalties should reach out to with their temporary reference number.

For assistance resolving property violations, reach out to our expert team at Outsource Consultants.



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