Cambridge, Mass., Institutes Energy Benchmarking

July 31, 2014 By Linda Hardesty

cambridge energy manageThe City Council of Cambridge, Mass., voted unanimously to approve the Building Energy Usage and Disclosure Ordinance (BEUDO), requiring the benchmarking and disclosure of building energy performance for large commercial, institutional, and multifamily buildings. In passing the ordinance, Cambridge joins its neighbor, Boston, along with eight other major US cities – Austin, Chicago, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, New York City, Seattle, San Francisco, and Washington, DC – in requiring energy benchmarking.

Cambridge’s new ordinance addresses energy and water use in commercial and institutional buildings that are 25,000 square feet or larger in size, along with multifamily buildings that have 50 or more units. Municipal buildings over 10,000 square feet in size also are included in the ordinance, which requires owners of the designated property types to annually benchmark and report to the City their properties’ energy use, water use, and building information via the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Portfolio Manager tool.

The ordinance will be phased in for the various building types, with municipal buildings reporting their data by the end of 2014. Starting in the second year of reporting, data collected will be disclosed annually through a public City website.

Photo: Cambridge, Mass., via Shutterstock

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