City Warns, Keep Doors, And Windows Closed While Using AC To Conserve Energy

May 8, 2024

Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) Commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga today reminded local businesses to keep their doors and windows closed while air conditioning is running.

Since 2015, all stores in New York City are prohibited from running air conditioning while doors and windows are open, and stores with five or more locations in the city must post a sign on all exterior doors in plain view with information on how to report violations of the Air Conditioning Law to 311. In 2023, DCWP conducted nearly 2,300 inspections of local businesses for compliance with the City’s Air Conditioning Law and issued 58 violations for running air conditioning while doors were open and 111 violations for not having the required sign posted.

“As we enter the summer months, some businesses may try to attract customers by leaving their doors open while the A/C is running – an irresponsible practice that comes at the cost of our environment,” said DCWP Commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga. “If you come across a store operating their A/C with their doors or windows open, I urge you to contact 311 and file a complaint as soon as possible.”

DCWP is committed to an education-first approach to helping businesses understand their obligations and responsibilities under the law. In March, DCWP announced the expansion of the Visiting Inspectors Program (VIP), providing any new retail business the opportunity to receive an educational, violation-free visit from an inspector to help them learn about and comply with the laws that DCWP enforces. Since the program launched in 2017, DCWP has visited more than 12,000 businesses through VIP. New brick-and-mortar retail businesses in NYC can schedule a VIP visit by visiting nyc.gov/BusinessToolbox or by contacting 311.


As part of this effort, DCWP conducts series of Business Education Days across the five boroughs, going door to door to local businesses to answer questions and inform them about what they need to know to comply with the City’s business laws, which cover consumer and workplace protections, licensing, weights and measures, and more – including the City’s Air Conditioning Law. In 2023, DCWP staff visited more than 1,000 businesses during Business Education Days. In addition, DCWP’s most recent work to reduce fines for small businesses has led to a projected $1 million in savings, providing substantial relief for NYC’s local businesses. DCWP attorneys also hold “DCWP 101” sessions for specific industries to provide local businesses with more in-depth information about the laws that apply to their type of business to help them maintain compliance.

The NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP)—formerly the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA)—protects and enhances the daily economic lives of New Yorkers to create thriving communities. DCWP licenses more than 45,000 businesses in more than 40 industries and enforces key consumer protection, licensing, and workplace laws that apply to countless more. By supporting businesses through equitable enforcement and access to resources and, by helping to resolve complaints, DCWP protects the marketplace from predatory practices and strives to create a culture of compliance. Through its community outreach and the work of its offices of Financial Empowerment and Labor Policy & Standards, DCWP empowers consumers and working families by providing the tools and resources they need to be educated consumers and to achieve financial health and work-life balance. DCWP also conducts research and advocates for public policy that furthers its work to support New York City’s communities. 

For more information about DCWP and its work, call 311 or visit DCWP at nyc.gov/dcwp or on its social media sites.


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Photo credit: HWM.


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