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Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance Filed

Mayor Menino Announces Filing of Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance

Large Commercial and Residential Buildings Would Disclose Energy Usage in Order to Encourage Investment in Energy Efficiency

February 22, 2013

Mayor MeninoMayor Thomas M. Menino announced today the filing of the Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance with the Boston City Council. The proposed ordinance has two goals:
  • Encourage building owners to participate in local utility energy efficiency programs
  • Educate tenants on building performance
Mayor Menino has established greenhouse gas reduction goals and this ordinance is one of the components of the City's climate action plan.  The ordinance would require all large and medium sized-buildings to report their annual energy and water use to the City of Boston.

"In order for Boston to continue to be a sustainability leader, our buildings must aggressively invest in energy efficiency," Mayor Menino said.  "Bostonians demand buildings with high performance and this ordinance will encourage building owners to meet that demand."

Lessons from Other Cities  

Major cities across the country have already adopted similar ordinances including
  • New York City
  • Washington, D.C.
  • San Francisco
  • Seattle
  • Minneapolis
Lessons learned from these cities have informed the Ordinance proposed by Mayor Menino.

All large and medium sized buildings must report measures tracked by the Energy Star Portfolio Manager to the City of Boston Environment Department including.
  • annual energy use
  • water use
  • greenhouse gas emissions
The City would then make energy and water use per square foot, Energy Star ratings, greenhouse gas emissions, and other identifying and contextual information for individual buildings available online.

The Principle of:  Measurement Spurs Management

"The Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance follows the principal of what gets measured gets managed," says Brian Swett, Chief of Environment and Energy.  "Through measurement and transparency the Ordinance will encourage cost effective building investments in energy and water efficiency that will improve building performance, save money, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

Since fall of 2012, the City has been conducting extensive outreach to a wide variety of building owners, industry organizations, and other stakeholders to craft the Ordinance. In particular, Environment and Energy Services is working with local utilities to help develop a process that simplifies whole building data collection and reporting.

City to Make Public Disclosure of Building Energy Measures

Leading by example, Boston would annually disclose its energy and water use in all of its facilities starting with 2012 building data. In following years, the ordinance would apply to non-residential buildings greater than 25,000 square feet and residential buildings 25 units or more. The proposed roll out schedule for reporting requirements is as follows:

Non-residential buildings 50,000 square feet or more
2015 Residential buildings with 50 units or more in
2016 Non-residential buildings 25,000 square feet or more
2017 Residential buildings with 25 units or more

In addition to reporting energy and water use, buildings may be required to conduct energy audits or other evaluations every five years to identify opportunities for energy efficiency investments.  Buildings in the top tier of energy performance or already taking significant efficiency actions will be exempted from this requirement.

Climate Action Plan Highlights
  • The largest component of the Mayor's Climate Action Plan is reducing greenhouse gas emissions through investments in energy efficiency.
  • Mayor Menino has established Boston as a national leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting a clean energy economy through initiatives
    • Renew Boston
    • First in the nation green building standards for private developments
  • To further inspire action, Mayor Menino has launched Greenovate Boston, a new sustainability movement to ensure a greener, healthier and more prosperous future for the City.

Posted: February 23, 2013     Nancy J Conrad

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