Understanding Boston BERDO: Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance

Most major U.S. cities have mandated benchmarking which requires that businesses track the energy usage of large and medium-sized commercial properties. Property owners must annually measure their energy and water consumption and report usage to their cities through Energy Star Portfolio Manager, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) free, online tool. The city of Boston, Massachusetts enacted the Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance, also known as BERDO in 2013. BERDO requires property owners to annually benchmark and report their utility data. It also requires that property owners complete a major energy savings action or energy assessment every five years. Assessment will offer recommendations on improving energy performance.

Why is Benchmarking for Boston BERDO Important?

Large buildings use a lot of energy. Benchmarking requirements were enacted in many cities to ensure that these buildings were operating as efficiently as possible. If businesses are made aware of their buildings’ energy efficiency, or lack thereof, steps can be taken to rectify any problems. Most cities have strict policies regarding benchmarking which include fines for non-compliance, so it is important that you are familiar with these obligations. A good resource is the Energy Star Benchmarking Programs and Policies document which can be found at http://bit.ly/2p6Vrq4. This document contains benchmarking requirements on national, state, and local levels.

Who needs to benchmark for Boston BERDO?

Owners of non-residential buildings that are 35,000 square feet or larger, residential buildings that are 35,000 square feet or larger or have 35 or more units, and any parcel with multiple buildings that sum to 100,000 square feet or 100 units, are required to report all utility data from the previous year by May 15th of the current year. The penalties for non-compliance can be substantial, so be sure to report your utility data by the deadline or request an extension, if warranted.

How to Comply with Boston BERDO

Demonstrate Efficiency

Buildings can demonstrate that they are highly efficient in a variety of ways:

  • Earn 3 or more EPA Energy Star Certifications of the past 5 years using Energy Star Portfolio Manager
  • Provide an LEED Silver Certification with 15 points in Energy and Atmosphere and scorecard
  • Zero-net Energy / Carbon, and E+ Buildings

Perform an Energy Audit

Buildings complying through assessment must perform an energy audit during the 5 years prior to the due date:

  • Buildings +50,000 sq ft must complete level 2 audit
  • Buildings -50,000 sq ft must complete level 1 audit or other equivalent audit
  • Buildings may apply to use alternative methods • Audits to be performed by qualified professional

Reduce Carbon Emissions

Buildings can use a combination of measures to achieve carbon emission reductions:

  • Provide proof of on-site renewable energy
  • Date of connection to District Steam or Cogeneration
  • Off-Site generated renewable electricity / low carbon
  • Institution of wide reduction in greenhouse gas or total energy use of 15% or more

How Albireo helps Boston BERDO

Albireo is a professional energy manager that has the deep market expertise and state-of-the-art technology to assist building owners in tracking and reporting usage, find energy saving solutions, and make energy purchasing a breeze.

Trust Albireo to ensure your business is Boston Berdo compliant. Contact us below or call us today at 800-201-3153.


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