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Bridget's Suite

NYC Local Law 97 – Bridget’s Suite August 2023

Every month our colleague Bridget Donofrio offers us, directly from the VDA Telkonet headquarters in the United States, her personal point of view on the latest innovations in terms of technology, sustainability and energy saving to help hotel and non-hotel establishments remain competitive.

Let’s read together her article for Bridget’s Suite, August 2023.



New York City is the largest city in the US, with over 8.5 million residents. NYC plays an outsized role in contributing to greenhouse gas emissions in our country. That’s why in 2019, their city council passed Local Law 97.


NYC Local Law 97 is one of the most ambitious laws in the nation for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It mandates that most buildings over 25,000 square feet must meet new greenhouse gas and energy efficiency limits by 2024. This applies to apartments, hotels, and other large buildings. Ultimately by 2050, the reduction must reach 80%!

Although they represent a small fraction of the city’s buildings, these properties produce nearly HALF of all NYC building emissions. That’s precisely why the law targets them. Most properties that must comply by 2024 are residential, including MDUs and condos.

Energy Star actually assigns grades to these buildings, A through F. They base these grades on energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and water usage. Remember how your grades in school were a private matter? Not in this case. Buildings are required to post their grades in conspicuous locations.

Similar programs across the US.

If you aren’t a property owner in NYC, why should you care? Well, New York City may have the most ambitious carbon emissions law in the country, but they are simply one city in a growing list of American cities and states enacting such laws.

California’s Title 24 is an example. It’s a set of building efficiency standards that includes master lighting switches, something VDA Telkonet knows a thing or two about!

Washington DC was named the world’s first LEED Platinum city in 2017 for successfully achieving “sustainability and resiliency goals,” according to a press release  by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)

Energy Star also named Boston, Seattle, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Atlanta top EPA energy-efficient cities. Energy efficiency policies are coming to your area soon.


In NYC, there are fines for non-compliance with Local Law 97. Some efforts are relatively affordable, like swapping out incandescent light bulbs with LEDs and improving insulation.

However, some solutions come with hefty price tags, like updating wiring in old buildings and installing heat pumps. In a recent New York Times article, middle-class residents in these buildings express fear about just how expensive compliance will be.


An EMS (Energy Management System) is a powerful solution with an oversized impact on your energy-saving goals. An EMS can save up to 45% of your property’s in-room energy expenditure. With that kind of savings, the return on investment is typically less than three years.

Thermostats, an integral part of an EMS platform, can be easily retrofitted in existing properties. And using existing Wi-Fi access points saves on both parts and labor.

For residential buildings, property managers can control room climate and the energy use while also allowing occupants to control their thermostats through Wi-Fi via their mobile devices. And they can control multiple properties from a single platform

Streamlining operations is a bonus of energy management platforms.

A state-of-the-art EMS can gather and analyze data, so you’re not left with a mountain of raw data and no clue how to act on it. Actionable reports and graphs assist in monitoring energy consumption, predictive maintenance and troubleshooting.

Does your property operate with a building management system? An EMS can integrate with existing BMS solutions to enhance their value, and can help maintain health of building, mechanicals, and HVAC systems.

In the hospitality market, EMS platforms can streamline processes through robust integration with property management systems, door locks, smart light switches and more.

You can customize email and text alerts for your facilities managers using your EMS. Common alerts include excessive HVAC runtime, patio doors and windows left open while the a/c is running, and extreme high or low room temperature.

Reducing your carbon footprint, advancing your sustainability initiatives, and streamlining your facilities operation…all in a day’s work for a good EMS.


Here’s how we can help your property save energy

VDA Telkonet’s new EMS is Rhapsody, and it helps properties save energy and streamline facilities management by reducing energy consumption in unoccupied rooms and remotely monitoring in-room HVAC systems, thermostats, and other devices.

Contact us to learn more about our new EMS, Rhapsody. Write us an email now