Apply to receive free assistance for BERDO reporting and third-party verification
- We are offering data reporting and verification services to building owners who need extra assistance. Funding is limited and will only be provided to building owners who are self-managed residential buildings, small non-profit owners, or commercial buildings with small business tenants. If you believe you qualify and are interested in receiving this assistance, please apply online.
- Second round applications are due by March 15, 2024.
Attend weekly office hours or schedule a one-on-one building emissions consultation
- The BERDO team is offering weekly office hours to answer questions about BERDO emissions estimates and potential compliance strategies. Office hours are held weekly on Fridays at 10 a.m. on Zoom. Please register for a session.
- If you have completed reporting in previous years, you can schedule an individual building emissions consultation. A member of the BERDO team will help you understand your current emissions and compliance options. Please schedule a time slot.
Attend upcoming webinars on flexibility measures and emissions compliance
WHAT IS BERDO?
Adopted in 2021, BERDO is an Ordinance that aims to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions generated by large buildings in Boston. BERDO gives the City of Boston authority to set emissions standards for large existing buildings, including residential buildings with 15 or more units and non-residential buildings that are 20,000 square feet or larger.
The emissions standards set by BERDO decrease over time, with all buildings expected to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. BERDO encourages retrofits, energy efficiency improvements, fuel switching, and renewable energy generation in local buildings. These improvements can increase thermal comfort and indoor air quality for building occupants, reduce outdoor air pollution, promote the hiring and development of green jobs, and direct further investments into building a low-carbon and equitable Boston.
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.
OBLIGATIONS UNDER BERDOOBLIGATIONS
Every year by May 15, building owners need to report the total energy and water use of their buildings from the previous calendar year.
Building owners must third-party verify their reported data on their first year of reporting and every "Verification Year" thereafter.
Building owners must reduce emissions from their buildings below an emissions standard. All buildings are expected to reach net-zero by 2050. Buildings must begin complying with these emissions limits in 2025 or 2030, depending on their size.
HOW TO REPORT TO BERDO
There are three main parts to reporting:
- Energy Star Portfolio Manager: Energy Star Portfolio Manager is used for reporting key building characteristics and energy and water usage.
- BERDO Reporting Form: This form captures data required for BERDO 2.0 that isn’t included in Energy Star Portfolio Manager.
- Third-Party Data Verification
Before you begin reporting to BERDO, please first review our detailed How to Report Guide and the following instructive videos:
HOW TO COMPLETE THIRD-PARTY VERIFICATION
Third-party verification of reported data is required for the first year of reporting under BERDO 2.0, and every "Verification Year" thereafter. Verification Years include:
HOW TO COMPLY WITH EMISSIONS STANDARDS
Emissions standards set annual emissions limits based on different types of building uses. All emissions standards are measured in kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent per square foot per year.
To comply with emissions standards, building owners must decrease or mitigate the total annual emissions produced by consuming electricity and fossil fuels in their buildings. These annual emissions must stay below the emissions limit for the respective building type. For example, a multi-family apartment building must comply with the emissions standards for "Multifamily Housing" and work towards achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.Compliance Mechanisms
BERDO provides building owners with multiple compliance mechanisms, i.e., options to achieve compliance with emissions standards. These include direct emissions reductions in buildings, local renewable energy generation, renewable energy purchases, and Alternative Compliance Payments.Flexibility Measures
BERDO also offers building owners the opportunity to apply for different flexibility measures, including Building Portfolios, Individual Compliance Schedules, and Hardship Compliance Plans. All flexibility measures must be approved by the BERDO Review Board.
The Retrofit Resource Hub provides information to make healthy, climate resilient, and low-carbon building improvements. We have information to help building owners, tenants, and contractors.
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.