Bright Power submits first Local Law 87 report ever received by NYC


On November 27, 2013, Bright Power submitted the first Energy Efficiency Report ever received by the NYC Department of Buildings under Local Law 87.

A six-story multifamily building in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn is the very first to achieve compliance with NYC’s Local Law 87. Thanks to Bright Power’s energy auditing and retro-commissioning efforts, this building has not only satisfied a new city requirement, but is also saving $5,000 each year in reduced energy costs while providing more comfortable heating to its residents.  This project is a great example of how Local Law 87 is driving owners to look more closely at energy systems in their buildings and make improvements that will not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but will cut energy costs and improve occupant comfort.

The Bright Power project team was led by Dave Sachs, lead energy auditor; Greg Sherman, lead retro-commissioning agent; and Bernardo Borges, PE, supervisor.



During the Local Law 87 energy audit and retro-commissioning process, Bright Power quickly discovered issues with the building’s steam heating system. This came as no surprise, since tenants had been complaining about common steam heat problems – water hammer, hissing vents, and uneven heat distribution that caused some units to get so hot that tenants were keeping windows open in the winter, while other units remained cool. After analysis of the steam distribution piping, Bright Power designed an optimized air venting solution to correct the sources of inefficiency and provide even, comfortable heat across all parts of the building.

Bright Power identified all corrections required under Local Law 87 – which, for this building, included balancing the steam system, insulating 150 feet of uninsulated piping, optimizing boiler control settings, weatherizing doors, improving lighting, upgrading plumbing, and reducing drafts in the basement. In addition to the comfort benefits, the building will save at least $5,000 every year in energy-related costs from these required improvements.  Beyond the retro-commissioning requirements, Bright Power’s energy auditors also identified other improvements that would result in an additional $15,000 of annual savings for the building.

When Bright Power’s retro-commissioning agents returned to re-inspect the building after work was completed, the superintendent remarked that he was already experiencing fewer heating complaints from the tenants. The team also verified that there was no longer loud hissing from vents and water hammer noises were significantly reduced. The time to heat the furthest radiator in the building was reduced by over 7 minutes, allowing heat to reach the cold apartments rather than being wasted out the windows of overheated ones.


Local Law 87 (LL87) is one of four laws under the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan which address energy efficiency in buildings in New York City. The policy was introduced by Mayor Bloomberg in 2009 as part of his PlaNYC agenda to create a “Greener, Greater New York” by reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the City 30 percent by the year 2030. Currently, buildings in NYC are responsible for an estimated 75 percent of the City’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). 2013 is the first year in which buildings 50,000 sqft and larger are required comply with LL87 by undergoing an energy audit and retro-commissioning and submitting an Energy Efficiency Report (EER) to the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB). The EER summarizes the energy audit findings and retro-commissioning report and states that building system corrections required by the law were taken and verified by a retro-commissioning agent.