How Does BERDO Impact Boston Commercial Properties?

June 20, 2021

Commercial properties in Boston

If you own commercial property in Boston, you’ve probably heard the term BERDO – The Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance. If so, you know it’s time to start making changes to your energy strategy. If not, it’s time to pay attention. There are important deadlines looming, and many of them come with hefty noncompliance fines (as much as $1,000 per day).

BERDO is an ordinance enacted by the City of Boston which requires Boston’s large- and medium-sized buildings to report their annual energy and water usage, complete a major energy assessment,  conduct energy-saving actions every five years, reduce emissions by 50% by 2030 and 100% by 2050.

The ordinance requires certain Boston properties to report their annual energy and water usage for the time period of January 1, 2019 – December 31, 2019. This data will be the baseline for future reporting and evaluation.

BERDO energy benchmarking reports are public. This not only enables building owners, and potential buyers, to see how a property’s performance compares to buildings of similar size and age, it also earns the property an ENERGY STAR® performance score. Buildings that do not receive an ENERGY STAR score of 75 or higher must undergo an energy audit at the owner’s expense.

The website states, “Buildings account for over seventy percent of greenhouse gas emissions in Boston. The Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance (BERDO) makes building owners, tenants, and other stakeholders more aware of their energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions and opportunities to reduce both. It also requires the City to make this data public. Buildings covered must also show concerted efforts to reduce their emissions every five years through energy actions or audits. This helps Bostonians save money and the City achieve its emissions reduction goals, as laid out in its Climate Action Plan.”


Which Boston Properties Are Covered by BERDO?

The ordinance states that the following Boston businesses must comply with BERDO:

  • Nonresidential buildings that are 35,000 square feet or larger.
  • Residential buildings that are 35,000 square feet or larger or have 35 or more units.
  • Any parcel with multiple buildings that sum to 100,000 square feet or 100 units.

Click here to see a list of specific properties by address – as provided by


How Can a Property Comply with BERDO?

Reporting must demonstrate that properties are becoming more highly efficient, have achieved significant, measurable reductions in carbon emissions, or are complying through an assessment program.

After five years of being covered by BERDO, and every five years thereafter, buildings must also report the ways they are improving their energy performance. Property owners can achieve compliance by:

  • Reducing energy usage
  • Decreasing reliance on fossil fuels
  • Getting an energy assessment
  • Adhering to reporting requirements

BERDO is in place to spur action in Boston’s largest buildings to help property owners reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save money on their energy bills, and assist the City in meeting its Carbon Free by 2050 climate goal.


Getting Started with BERDO

  1. Get your property certified as highly efficient – through LEED, ENERGY STAR, or zero-net energy certified.
  2. Complete energy efficiency or renewable energy projects that reduce your property’s energy consumption or greenhouse gas emissions by at least 15% in a five-year Term.
  3. Conduct an energy assessment or audit by a qualified professional. The audit must include specific recommendations for reducing a building’s energy use and greenhouse gas emissions provides a BERDO Handbook for Boston commercial properties. Click here to download the Boston Energy Reporting How-To Guide

Need assistance designing a roadmap to energy efficiency, Usource can help. Usource is part of the NextEra Energy family of companies. NextEra Energy, Inc. is the world’s largest producer of wind and solar energy. As part of NextEra Energy, Usource is uniquely positioned to analyze, facilitate and execute renewable energy projects, identify inefficiencies and provide practical solutions to achieve compliance and energy cost savings.


Tell us about your energy and decarbonization goals and we’ll source the best options for your organization.

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