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Building Emissions Reduction and Disclosure

Boston’s Building Emissions Reduction and Disclosure Ordinance (BERDO) sets requirements for large existing buildings to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions over time. 

WHAT IS BERDO?

BERDO is a local law that aims to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions generated by large buildings in Boston. Owners of buildings subject to BERDO are required to report their buildings’ annual energy and water consumption. Starting in either 2025 or 2030, they will also need to comply with building emissions standards (i.e., emissions limits). The emissions standards set by BERDO decrease over time, with all buildings expected to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. 

learn more about BERDO
↗ BERDO 101 QUICK guide
 ORDINANCE
 REGULATIONS
 POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
learn about the Regulations development process
↗ BERDO REGULATIONS WEBSITE

Who is covered?

BERDO applies to the following buildings:

  • Residential buildings that have 15 or more units.
  • Non-residential buildings that are 20,000 square feet or larger.
  • Any tax parcel with multiple buildings that sum to at least 20,000 square feet or 15 units.

Please note that a mixed-use building is considered residential if 50% or more of its Gross Floor Area, excluding parking, has a residential use. Likewise, a tax parcel is considered residential if 50% or more of its Gross Floor Area, excluding parking, has a residential use.

WHAT ARE MY OBLIGATIONS UNDER BERDO?

OBLIGATIONS
Reporting

Annual reporting of total energy and water use from the previous calendar year.

Learn how to report to BERDO

Third-party verification

Third-party verify reported data on the first year of reporting and every "Verification Year" thereafter.

Learn how to complete third-party verification

ㅤEmissions reductions

Reduce annual emissions below an emissions standard (emissions limit) corresponding to your building use type.

Learn how to comply with emissions standards

HOW DO I REPORT TO BERDO?

There are main parts to reporting:

  1. Report key building characteristics and your annual energy and water use through ENERGY Star Portfolio Manager
  2. Complete the BERDO Reporting Form to provide key data related to emissions compliance
  3. Complete third-party verification
Before you begin reporting to BERDO, please first review our detailed How to Report Guide and the following instructive videos:

HOW DO I COMPLY WITH THIRD-PARTY VERIFICATION?

You must hire a third-party qualified energy professional to verify your reported data.

Third-party verification is required for the first year of reporting and every "Verification Year" thereafter. Verification Years include:

  • 2022
  • 2026
  • 2031
  • 2036
  • 2041
  • 2046
  • 2051

HOW DO I GET STARTED WITH EMISSIONS COMPLIANCE?

1. Determine your first year of emissions compliance
  • Buildings must begin complying with emissions standards in 2025 or 2030, depending on their size.

Please note that a mixed-use building is considered residential if 50% or more of its Gross Floor Area, excluding parking, has a residential use. Likewise, a tax parcel is considered residential if 50% or more of its Gross Floor Area, excluding parking, has a residential use.

 

 

BERDOCoveredBuildings

 2. identify your emissions standard
  • Use the chart on the right to identify the emissions standard that applies to your building. 
  • As a default, buildings are required to comply with the emissions standard that matches its largest primary use type.
  • Mixed-use buildings may adopt a Blended Emissions Standard based on the square footage of each of the building's primary uses.

BERDOTable1

3. start planning for emissions compliance
  • Buildings can decrease their emissions by reducing energy use and transitioning away from fossil fuels, using or buying renewable energy, or investing in environmental justice communities through Alternative Compliance Payments.
  • All building owners are encouraged to start planning early to utilize equipment turnover and capital improvements as opportunities to reduce energy use and emissions.
  • Our Retrofit Hub provides a step-by-step guide for BERDO compliance.
follow the step-by-step emissions compliance guide in our RETROFIT RESOURCE HUB:
RETROFITTING BERDO BUILDINGS

Get in Touch

SCHEDULE A BUILDING CONSULTATION 

If you have already reported your data to BERDO, you can schedule a free one-on-one virtual building emissions consultation with us to help you understand your current emissions and compliance options.

REGISTER FOR OFFICE HOURS ON EMISSIONS COMPLIANCE 

The BERDO team hosts weekly virtual office hours focused on emissions compliance. Office hours are held weekly on Thursdays at 10 a.m. on Zoom. 

Data Disclosure

The City of Boston is required to annually disclose BERDO reported data from the previous year. 

Future data disclosures will report on metrics related to environmental justice and the equitable implementation of BERDO. Staff, in collaboration with community members, are identifying appropriate metrics to track and report on over time. Initial research has been conducted to evaluate options for the development of environmental justice metrics for BERDO and has been summarized in a memo.

PREVIOUS WEBINARS

WEBINARS
Renewable energy webinar (March 27, 2024)
HARDSHIP COMPLIANCE PLANS WEBINAR (FEBRUARY 14, 2024)
INDIVIDUAL COMPLIANCE SCHEDULES WEBINAR (JANUARY 31, 2024)
BUILDING PORTFOLIOS WEBINAR (JANUARY 17, 2024)
EMISSIONS COMPLIANCE WEBINAR (JANUARY 3, 2024)
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