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Retrofitting BERDO Buildings

Is your building subject to BERDO? Follow these steps to start planning for compliance and learn more about retrofits that can help you improve energy efficiency, procure renewable energy, and reduce emissions in your building

1. IDENTIFY IF YOUR BUILDING IS SUBJECT TO BERDO

The Building Emissions Reduction and Disclosure Ordinance (BERDO) applies to the following buildings:

BERDOCoveredBuildings

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.

To learn more about BERDO, read the following resources:

 BERDO 101
BERDO COVERED BUILDINGS LIST
 ORDINANCE
 regulations
 pOLicies and procedures
 ADMINISTRATIVE GUIDANCE

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. UNDERSTAND YOUR EMISSIONS

If you have reported your data to BERDO, you can use the public BERDO Emissions Calculator to view your building’s emissions projections and plan for emission reduction projects.

BERDO EMISSIONS CALCULATOR
BERDO EMISSIONS CALCULATOR GUIDE
 EMISSIONS COMPLIANCE GUIDE

BERDO buildings must report their annual energy and water use data every year by May 15. This data is used to calculate emissions. If you have not reported your energy and water data, please read the How-to-Report Guide to get started.

4. EXPLORE BUILDING IMPROVEMENT MEASURES

A. UPGRADE HOT WATER SYSTEMS

Heating water uses a lot of energy. Consider upgrading to a more efficient electric water heater.

B. INSTALL ENERGY STAR APPLIANCES

Plan to replace appliances with ENERGY STAR* certified electric appliances at the end of their useful life. Check Mass Save to see if new equipment is eligible for rebates.

C. INSTALL INDUCTION STOVES

Induction stoves are highly efficient electric stoves. Switching away from gas stoves can improve indoor air quality and provide a healthier cooking experience.

D. SWITCH TO HEAT PUMPS

Heat pumps are an alternative to fossil fuel heating systems**. Cold climate heat pumps can provide efficient heating in the winter and cooling in the summer.

E. upgrade HVAC systems

A building’s Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system generally consumes the most energy, with less efficient systems accounting for over 40% of a building’s emissions.

F. install TEMPERATURE CONTROLS 

ENERGY STAR certified smart and programmable thermostats can save users an average of 8% on their utility bills. For accurate readings, locate your thermostat in a room you use a lot, on a clear wall inside your home.

G. install LED BULBS

LEDs provide the same brightness as traditional light bulbs but use 90% less energy and last up to 15 times longer.

H. WEATHER STRIP AND SEAL

Weather stripping along windows and doors can help improve a building envelope*** and prevent conditioned air from leaking outside.

I. upgrade WINDOWs

Replace single pane windows with more efficient ENERGY STAR rated windows.

J. install WINDOW TREATMENTS

Blinds with reflective finishes, honeycomb shades, or well-hung draperies can stabilize room temperatures in south-facing windows with more sun exposure, reducing the need for cooling in hot months.

K. IMPLEMENT ROOF UPGRADES

Sealing cracks with roof sealer, and adding insulation can prevent conditioned air from escaping. Roofs coated with light colors like white paint can reflect heat from the sun during summer months, reducing the need for air conditioning.

l. SOLAR ENERGY

Installing solar panels or joining a community solar project are some ways to obtain local renewable energy.

M. IMPROVE INSULATION

Insulation helps keep a building warm in the winter and cool in the summer by reducing the amount of conditioned air that can escape through a building envelope***.

 BUILDING DECARBONIZATION GUIDE

BERDOBuilding

* An ENERGY STAR rating is an EPA certification given to energy-efficient products that use less energy and help reduce utility bills and greenhouse gas emissions.

** Fossil fuels include natural gas, fuel oil, diesel, propane, and kerosene.

*** A building’s envelope includes all the building components that separate the indoors from the outdoors including exterior walls, foundations, roof, windows, and doors.

5. GET STARTED WITH MASS SAVE

Mass Save is a state-wide initiative that supports Massachusetts' residents, businesses, and communities to make energy efficient upgrades by offering a wide range of services, rebates, incentives, trainings, and education. The program is a partnership between the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources and local utilities such as Eversource and National Grid, which include the top utility companies and providers in the state. Get started by scheduling a building energy assessment to identify energy saving opportunities and explore existing rebates, incentives and loans:

REBATES, INCENTIVES, AND LOANS
↗ Residential
↗ Commercial

6. CONSIDER OTHER COMPLIANCE MECHANISMS

   
IF YOU WANT to reduce YOUR emissions from electricity USE

 

Solar

GET RENEWABLE ENERGY

Reduce your emissions from electricity use by using local renewable energy or making eligible renewable energy purchases:

▸ Enroll into Boston’s Community Choice Electricity "Green 100" Plan 

▸ Obtain local solar energy (e.g., on-site rooftop solar, community solar)

▸ Purchase eligible Renewable Energy Certificates

▸ Sign into an eligible Power Purchase Agreement

 RENEWABLE ENERGY GUIDE AND FAQS
   
IF YOU WANT TO MITIGATE YOUR EMISSIONS AND CONTRIBUTE TO ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE

 

ACP

invest in your community

Mitigate your emissions from fossil fuel and electricity use by making an Alternative Compliance Payment (ACP). ACPs can be made annually to keep your building in compliance. ACPs go into the new Equitable Emissions Investment Fund, which will fund future decarbonization projects in Boston’s environmental justice communities.

 EQUITABLE EMISSIONS INVESTMENT FUND

7. NEED MORE FLEXIBILITY?

Flexibility measures under BERDO refer to options that building owners may use to adjust their emissions limits and/or emissions reduction timelines. All flexibility measures have eligibility criteria and most require approval from the BERDO Review Board:

If you have building(s) with multiple primary uses
BERDO_BlendedEmissions

 
Blended Emissions Standard

Use a Blended Emissions Standard that takes into account the mix of primary uses present in your building(s). This allows you to have an emissions standard that is based on the size of different primary uses and may increase your emissions limit.

Use the following template to calculate your Blended Emissions Standard:

BLENDED EMISSIONS Template for individual Buildings
Opt-in or out through the BERDO reporting form on your first emissions compliance year or any verification year thereafter
If you have more than one BERDO building
BERDO_BuildingPortfolios

Building Portfolios

Group your BERDO buildings into a Building Portfolio and comply with a portfolio-level Blended Emissions Standard. Reducing emissions as a portfolio rather than building-by-building allows you to align your capital planning with BERDO compliance and gives you more flexibility to achieve emissions reductions over time.

Use the following template to calculate your portfolio-level Blended Emissions Standard:

 BLENDED EMISSIONS TEmplate for Building Portfolios
↗ APPLY HERE
Application Deadline: September 1
IF YOU HAVE BEEN TRACKING AND REDUCING YOUR BUILDING'S EMISSIONS FOR SEVERAL YEARS
BERDO_ICS

Individual Compliance Schedules

Create a customized emissions reduction timeline based on your own historical emissions. An Individual Compliance Schedule allows you to take advantage of emissions reductions that you have achieved prior to 2021 and adjust your emissions obligations based on your building operations.

Use the following template to calculate your own emissions reduction schedule:

 INDIVIDUAL COMPLIANCE SCHEDULE TEMPLATE
↗ APPLY HERE
Application Deadline: September 1
If compliance is extraordinarily difficult for your building(s)
BERDO_HCP

Hardship Compliance Plans

Demonstrate eligible technical or financial hardships for you or your building(s) and request an alternative emissions reduction timeline and/or more flexible emissions reduction targets.

↗ APPLY HERE
Application Deadline for Long Term Hardship: July 1

Application Deadline for Short Term Hardship: October 1
 lEarn about eligibility criteria and requirements to apply for flexibility measures
 Apply for a flexibility measure

8. 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 Zoom. Please register for a session before attending.

PAST EVENTS

PAST EVENTS
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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