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With recent the legislation passed in New York City and Philadelphia, energy use and emissions reductions have been top of mind. In years prior, other states have made similar efforts to enact legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In 2014, Boston enacted the Greenovate Boston Climate Action Plan that set a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent below 2005 levels by year 2020 and 80 percent by year 2050. With buildings accounting for over 70 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in Boston, the city needed to take significant steps toward building energy efficiency. The Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance (BERDO) aims to decrease these emissions, requiring Boston’s large and medium sized buildings to report their annual energy and water use and complete an energy action and assessment every five years.

Who is impacted by BERDO?

  • Nonresidential buildings over 35,000 sq. Ft​
  • Residential buildings that are 35,000 sq. Ft ​or larger or have 35 or more units
  • Any parcel with multiple buildings that sum to 100,000 sq. Ft ​or 100 units must report on all buildings.

Building owners must submit their energy and water use through EPA Portfolio Manager by May 15 each year. The reports should illustrate data for the previous calendar year. After five years of complying with BERDO, buildings must comply with the standards of the energy action and assessment and show how they are decreasing their energy usage over time.

Three main ways to meet the energy action and assessment requirement are:

  • Apply for an efficiency certification such as LEED Silver Certification, EPA EnergyStar Certification, or Zero-net Energy Certification.
  • Work with an energy management consultant that can plan and implement energy efficiency or renewable energy projects that reduce your building’s energy consumption or greenhouse gas emissions and save your organization money.
  • Have an energy assessment audit performed that will provide specific recommendations to increase the building energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions.

The minimum standard of action for BERDO is a 15 percent reduction in total site energy consumption, site energy use intensity, or total greenhouse gas emissions, or a 15-point increase in Energy Star score over five years. This improvement is verified through the annual BERDO reporting.

Upcoming deadlines to be aware of:

  • May 15, 2020: Residential buildings 50,000 sq. FT or 50 units and larger. First year of reporting to BERDO in 2015.
  • May 15, 2020: Non-residential buildings 35,000 sq. FT or larger. First year of reporting to BERDO in 2016.

For more information about BERDO, click here

For help with energy consulting or support to comply with BERDO, contact the Evolution Energy Partners Boston Office at 781-771-9651 or abianco@evolutionep.com.