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City of Boston releases third year of building energy metrics

October 19, 2016


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Boston continues reporting of citywide energy usage

BOSTON -  The City of Boston released today the third year of energy metrics for large and medium sized buildings, adding nonresidential buildings greater than 35,000 square feet. The new and updated metrics on energy and water usage is accessible through an interactive map.

"The more open we are about our energy use, the more opportunities we have to become energy efficient and save money," said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. "Transparency and tracking is key to creating an energy-efficient city."

This is the second year of detailed public disclosure. More than 1,600 large properties, encompassing more than 38 percent of the built space in Boston, are now sharing their energy and water use. Last year all buildings greater than 50,000 square feet were required to report.

"We're eager to help even more people connect with energy efficiency incentives and financing programs," said Austin Blackmon, Chief of Environment, Energy, and Open Space. "Buildings account for more than half of our greenhouse gas emissions in Boston so regularly reporting their energy use is crucial to achieving our climate goals."

The building energy metrics and a map of 2015 data from municipal, commercial, and institutional buildings are available online.

Key findings from that data include:

  • In only the second year, 85 percent of the floor area required to report complied with the ordinance, an uptick in last year's rate.
  • The properties that reported in 2016 represent approximately 36 percent of all the energy used by buildings in Boston.
  • Buildings of the same type can vary greatly in energy use intensity.

Boston enacted the Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance (BERDO) in 2013 and shortly thereafter began sharing data on the City's municipal buildings. BERDO requires large buildings to annually report their energy and water use to the City along with non-residential buildings over 50,000 square feet since the beginning of 2014. Residential buildings of this size began reporting in 2015.

By 2017, more than 40 percent of Boston's built floor space will be tracking and reporting its energy use and GHG emissions, but to achieve this, less than 4 percent of Boston's buildings will report. Boston is one of 20 cities nationally with similar policies for transparency on building energy performance.