BERDO: Complying with Boston's Energy Benchmarking Ordinance

by ‐ Tags: tracking and benchmarking, benchmarking policy

Boston and Cambridge are requiring building owners to benchmark their energy and water use in 2015. BERDO and BEUDO will help their respective cities meet significant greenhouse gas reduction goals over the next few years. Buildings in Boston account for 70% of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions, and that statistic is even higher in Cambridge at 80% . That is more than double the emissions from the transportation sector!


Ordinance Overview

The ordinance applies to over 3000 buildings in Boston and Cambridge. Building owners must submit information to the City regarding their annual energy use, ENERGY STAR rating (if applicable), water use, and greenhouse gas emissions. Information must be submitted through ENERGY STAR’s Portfolio Manager, or an equivalent mechanism approved by the Air Pollution Control Commission. This information will be made public, engaging not only building owners in improving their building's performance, but also educating tenants, the broader public, and increasing participation in local utility energy efficiency programs. 

The reporting deadlines are tiered depending on building size and type:

Boston by May 15th

Cambridge by May 1st

Similar to benchmarking disclosure laws in other cities, building owners are required to provide whole building energy and water use. This data may be available directly from the utility, but tenants are required to submit information to building owners, if requested.  Building owners are NOT held responsible for data that a tenant fails to report, but must still report data for the rest of the building. Boston’s ordinance also exceeds the requirements of other ordinances, requiring poor performers to undergo energy audits every five years.  These audits will hopefully identify opportunities for energy efficiency improvements in the city’s biggest “energy hogs.”


The fines for non-compliance are steep so start planning in advance. For Boston they start at $35/day. Owners of buildings required to report this year can be fined up to $200/day! In Cambridge the first violation of non-compliance results in a warning but subsequent violations result in a fine of $300 per day.

Don't risk being late for your reporting deadline - contact WegoWise for assistance with the process. We've helped hundreds of buildings in cities with disclosure laws report on time, and can push data to ENERGY STAR's Portfolio Manager with just a click of a button.

Preparing to comply with BERDO? Request a 30-minute benchmarking consultation today!