By Nathan Kingery, EPMA Committee
Our August Emerging Professionals Committee meeting was brimming with activity! We welcomed new members, made progress with event planning for autumn, and enjoyed an enlightening presentation about the City of Boston’s continued efforts to improve building efficiency. We hope to see you soon at the Annual Bike Tour in Allston/Brighton this Saturday, and stay tuned for information about the Boston Medical Center Rooftop Farm Tour in September!
This week we were joined by City of Boston Program Manager Benjamin Silverman, who shared his work on the Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance, or BERDO. Enacted in 2013, BERDO requires all buildings of sufficient size to submit a report on their energy usage via their utilities information. Currently covering all residential buildings and non-residential buildings above 35,000+ sq ft, this accounts for 35% of all built space in Boston. Through a combination of education, outreach, and on-site visits, Ben and his team have managed a stunning 87.8% response rate across the city, with the goal of hitting 90% by October 1st. This program is not only helping individual building managers and owners track their energy usage, it’s also providing a previously unheard of amount of raw data to better understand our city’s building energy footprint.
Having been in effect for four years, BERDO moves into its next stage in 2019. After a building has qualified for BERDO for five years, they are required to show either a 15% reduction in total energy usage, or perform an ASHRAE Level 2(or equivalent) energy audit. A defining feature of ASHRAE level 2 energy audit is a cost-benefit analysis addressing specific energy-use reducing behaviors, helping our Boston buildings save cash by going green! This second phase is hopefully going to help the push for the Boston Climate Action Plan’s goal of 25% energy use reduction by 2020.