By Grey Lee

The US Green Building Council Massachusetts Chapter supports the proposed building energy disclosure ordinance for the City of Boston. We have more information at our website here.

The Building Energy Reporting & Disclosure Ordinance is a Boston policy that could transform our city and make it possible to reach our climate change mitigation goals. Mayor Menino is calling for 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and the only way we're going to get there is if we can bring down the % of energy that our buildings consume. In Boston, it's a whopping 70% and most building owners don't have a great handle on their building's energy and water usage. The Building Disclosure Ordinance would require owners of buildings over 20,000 sq ft to report their energy usage in a free online EPA tool called Portfolio Manager that all sectors across the country use to manage energy.

Make your voice heard by making a phone call or sending an email to your City Councilor and/or to an at large City Councilor TOMORROW. (You have to have a City of Boston address). The Ordinance is up for vote by the City Council on Wednesday, May 8th.

If you want to send a letter, NRDC has put together an Action Page that has a pre-drafted (but editable) letter of support for activists to send to all Boston council members (supporters must have a Massachusetts address in order to send). Please feel free to push this link out in any way you can via mailing list, social media, etc:

Why BERDO is a good idea:
1) Tenants have a right to know. Without BERDO, prospective tenants and buyers can't get comparable information about the utility costs of buildings they're considering moving into. BERDO will help us avoid being stuck in cold, costly apartments. Community groups support BERDO.

2) More building owners will be motivated to improve their buildings. We have had years of a voluntary benchmarking program for building owners to know how efficient their buildings are and many owners/managers have benchmarked their buildings. Now we need a mandatory program to make sure that all tenants have the option of living in buildings that are as energy efficient as financially possible. Environmentalists and smart building owners support BERDO.
3) Jobs. When owners want to get their buildings insulated, they need to hire people here. These are jobs that can't be outsourced. Organized labor, including the Greater Boston Labor Council, supports BERDO.

4) Air Quality. Our neighborhoods are already plagued by high asthma rates and other illnesses associated with environmental exposures. More insulation means reduced demand for energy generated from dirty power plants — and that means we'll have cleaner air and improved health. Moms and kids support BERDO.

What BERDO is NOT:

1) No tenants will be forced to share their utility use information.
2) No tenant will be fined.
3) Does not apply to small buildings. Only the 1200 largest buildings in Boston will be required to measure their energy efficiency (25,000 square feet or larger).
4) We do not expect that building owners will have to spend a lot of time to do the energy reporting
5) City buildings are not exempt and will be the first to be measured.

Call Your City Councilor
Here is the breakdown of Councilor contact info and how to identify which district you live in:
Verify your district:
Look up your city councilor:

Salvatore LaMattina – District 1 (Charlestown, East Boston, North End) 617.635.3200

Bill Linehan – District 2 (South Boston, Chinatown) – 617.635.3203

Frank Baker – District 3 (Dorchester) – 617.635.3455

Charles C. Yancey – District 4 (Dorchester) – 617.635.3131

Robert Consalvo – District 5 (Mattapan, Hyde Park, Roslindale) – 617.635.4210

Matt O'Malley – District 6 (Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury) – 617.635.4220

Tito Jackson – District 7- (Roxbury, SouthEnd, Fenway) 617.635.3510

Michael P. Ross – District 8 (West End, Mission Hill, Back Bay)- 617.635.4225

Mark Ciommo – District 9 (Allston, Brighton) – 617.635.3113

Felix G. Arroyo – At Large – 617.635.4205

Stephen J. Murphy – At large – 617.635.4376

John R. Connolly- At large – 617.635.3115

Ayanna Pressley – At large – 617.635.4217

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