Some housing managers are not waiting until the last minute to prepare their buildings for local Law 97, which comes into effect at the end of the year and requires major changes to heating systems.
As we reported, the law requires most city buildings to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to a specified level or face hefty fines.
Argo Real Estate manages 130 buildings containing 13,000 apartments in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn. Executive Vice President Gustavo Rusconi said they had “collaborated with [co-op and condo] since 2019 when the law was passed.”
Today Rusconi said: “I am pleased to say that only six of our buildings are not yet compliant.”
He said that while complying with LL 97 is not easy or cheap, it is by no means impossible.
No buildings managed by Argo have been converted to electric heating. “The cost is prohibitive,” said Rusconi. But he helped customers find ways to significantly reduce emissions by adapting old boilers to the new requirements. The goal was to avoid purchasing an entirely new boiler, which can cost $250,000 for a 100-unit building.
In some cases, the trick has been adapting boilers to dual-fuel systems that use both oil and gas.
Or, “Where boilers were in good condition, we switched burners from oil #6 to oil #2.” Rusconi explained, “No. 6 is a strong pollutant, very tarry. #2 is less polluting.”
Argo worked with engineers “to see that the boilers were working properly,” which is important for minimizing emissions. One step was to install sensors that monitor temperatures and reduce the number of times a boiler is cycled on and off.
Rusconi said most upgrades were paid for through reviews. “But we have also worked with heating companies to fund part of the installations and in some cases through mortgage refinancing.”