Frequently asked questions on The Building Energy Reporting & Disclosure Ordinance (BERDO), an energy and water-saving initiative for Boston’s 2019 Climate Action Plan to help lower greenhouse gas emissions and assist the City in meeting its Carbon Free by 2050 climate goal.
The Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance (BERDO) is an initiative within Boston’s 2019 Climate Action Plan, which aims to help Boston achieve its goal to become carbon neutral by 2050 by significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.
In order to meet the goal, Boston is now requiring all medium-large Boston buildings to report their energy usage annually and reducing it by at least 15% every 5 years. an initiative makes building owners, tenants, and other stakeholders more aware of their energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions and opportunities to reduce both. Buildings covered must also show concerted efforts to reduce their emissions every five years through energy actions or audits. This helps Bostonians save money and the City achieve its emissions reduction goals, as laid out in its Climate Action Plan.
The ordinance passed in 2013 requires Boston’s large and medium-sized buildings to report their annual energy and water use. Buildings must also report the ways they are improving their energy performance by completing an energy savings action plan, which should report the ways they are improving their energy performance.
For example, by lowering their energy usage, decreasing reliance on fossil fuels, or getting an energy assessment.
This requirement is meant to help spur action in Boston’s largest buildings, helping them to lower their greenhouse gas emissions, save money on their energy bills, and assist the City in meeting its Carbon Free by 2050 climate goal.
Carbon Free Boston is the city’s initiative to become carbon neutral by 2050 by significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.
The ordinance requires the City to make the information public. By reporting usage data, makes owners and tenants more aware of energy use, energy costs, and greenhouse gas emissions, and opportunities to reduce all three.
This data and the owner’s awareness of it will help the City of Boston achieve the main goal for its Carbon Free Boston initiative to become carbon neutral by 2050, by significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.
Reports on buildings’ first-year analysis and findings, which identifying energy use patterns across building types and sectors, are available publicly on boston.gov. The Most recent version is the Energy and Water Use in Boston’s Large buildings.
Beginning in 2017 and continuing every year thereafter, the requirements apply to:
The building owner or condominium association is responsible for reporting. Non-residential tenants must, if asked, supply the necessary information to the owner or association.
Which Properties are Required to Report?
On boston.gov, you can find a list that identifies all properties required to report, including those that began reporting in previous years.
Boston has provided a step-by-step guide to completing an annual energy and water report through Portfolio Manager. If the data is complete before you submit your report, the order in which you enter data is flexible.
See the Boston Energy Reporting How-to Guide for more detail on submitting your report.
Companies are required to submit their reports through the Energy Star Portfolio Manager, which is an online tool you can use to measure and track energy and water consumption, as well as greenhouse gas emissions. Use it to benchmark the performance of one building or a whole portfolio of buildings, all in a secure online environment.
The Energy Star Portfolio Manager, which is an online tool you can use to measure and track energy and water consumption, as well as greenhouse gas emissions. Use it to benchmark the performance of one building or a whole portfolio of buildings, all in a secure online environment.
Within the portal, users can see a Metric Summary, Property Uses and Use Details, Energy Information (use, utility, utility accounts, etc), Energy Goals, and Design of Property (including usage plan, estimated energy consumption, and/or the target).
The Portfolio Manager allows users to connect and share their profiles with others.
Users can add anyone as a contact, regardless of whether they have a Portfolio Manager account. Sharing can be helpful if the user wants to allow other people to:
There are also other resources in the How-to Guide, which include answers to FAQ and special issues, Portfolio Manager help and training webinars, as well as contact information for any questions regarding compliance with Boston’s reporting ordinance.
You can go to Boston’s energy reporting website and see the compliance status as well as the energy and water performance of covered buildings. This data is also available on the City’s open data portal Analyze Boston.
The data portal allows property managers or owners to follow-up about any revisions, errors, or tenant non-compliance issues.
When you complete an Energy Action ways, it should include an institutional master plan for the building and a corresponding energy management plan. The institution must also show an overall energy use or greenhouse gas emissions reduction of at least 15 percent over 5 years.
We compare the energy data for your building over the previous five years. To complete a report, you must either improve your Energy Star rating by at least 15 points or show one of the following improvements over the five-year time:
You can also undertake a combination of the actions listed above.
To show that a building is compliant, an online report must be completed and submitted it to the City and include all the supporting documents that are requested. A qualified energy professional must certify the report. Energy Action Report Form
To comply, buildings must demonstrate that they are highly efficient, have achieved significant reductions in carbon emissions, or have performed an energy audit.
There are three main pathways to meet the energy action and assessment requirement.
For buildings that were first covered by BERDO starting in 2015, such as residential buildings greater than 50,000 sq ft, or 50 residential units, this energy action or energy assessment report is due in 2019.
There are many ways to achieve these benchmarks through:
If you are looking for ways to achieve the 15 percent or 15-point goal, consider these options for your building:
The city of Boston provides a list of properties required to submit an Energy Action and Assessment and their Energy Action and Assessment Due Dates, which depend on when the date of their first Year they Submitted a Report.
New buildings must report their EEAs five years after their first data report, but for most buildings, the due dates for this Energy Action and Assessment (EAA) requirements are:
Your Energy Action dude date is based on your fifth year BERDO submission to judge whether you have met these requirements or not. You can request an extension, which only lasts for six months after the May 15 deadline. It is also required that your building must show compliance through another pathway. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org to request an extension.
Failure to comply with the Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance can be subject to a Notice of Violation and subsequent fines.
You can a list of other helpful resources on our BERDO Resources page, which includes, links to pages provided by the city of Boston about BERDO, more information on BERDO, help tools provided by the City of Boston, and other links you may need.
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