Climate ChangeRenew Boston


By October 19, 2019 No Comments

Each year, under the Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance (BERDO), the City of Boston is required to report the energy and water usage of large and medium sized buildings in Boston. This is the third year that the City released the energy metrics, adding nonresidential buildings greater than 35,000 square fee

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 to the public. 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.

To find the new and updated energy metrics, visit the City’s interactive BERDO Mapping Tool at

Boston is home to thousands of large buildings, including commercial buildings, industrial facilities, university and hospital campuses, cultural institutions, and municipal facilities. Because these buildings account for nearly half of the greenhouse gas emissions in Boston, climate action from large buildings will play a crucial role in achieving the City’s climate goals.

Read more on how BERDO plays a crucial role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions here.

The City’s Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance (BERDO), an ordinance passed by City Council and signed into law in 2013, requires owners of medium- and large- sized buildings to report their energy and water usage. BERDO also requires the City to disclose that reported information to the public. The City of Boston uses BERDO information to assess citywide energy efficiency, and ensure that it’s reaching people who need support in making their buildings more cost-effective. It also helps owners, tenants, and other stakeholders be more aware of their energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions – which supports Boston’s climate change emissions reductions goals.

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.