Councilor O’Malley Proposes the Boldest Step Yet: Important Updates to the Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance (BERDO)

On June 16, the Boston City Council unanimously signed on to Councilor Matt O’Malley’s motion (a passionate and moving 7 minutes; watch if you can) to hold a hearing and then working sessions regarding his proposed amendments to the Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance (BERDO), which the Council originally passed in 2013. The NRDC Action Fund’s headline afterward read: “Boston Poised to Lead on Powerful Building Emissions Reduction Ordinance” (rightly noting that among other changes, the “E” will now refer to “Emissions” henceforward).

It is indeed hard to overstate the importance of these amendments, which will provide teeth, transparency, and tools rarely utilized in other cities to date in order to place meaningful requirements aimed at reducing the emissions of large buildings in Boston—where the building sector is responsible for more than 70 percent of the city’s GHG emissions annually. Reducing these emissions will mean better health for all residents, lower energy bills, and an increase in jobs needed to ensure the new standards and requirements are adhered to.

July 22: City Council Hearing on Updating BERDO
Three panels (administration, institutions, and advocates) and more than 70 individuals who signed up to give public testimony spoke for four hours to the Boston City Council about the proposed amendments to BERDO. Nearly all testimony was in favor of making the changes, acknowledging that we need to act quickly and boldly to rein in building emissions in Boston.

Coming up on August 23: First Working Session on BERDO Amendments
Will be livestreamed—watch on Boston City Council TV.
Details in the amendments need to be hammered out, and he working sessions will give stakeholders the opportunity to get into the nitty gritty of the amendments and push for their desired “tweaks” prior to the vote to approve the amendments by the Council.

BCEC has worked hard to help get Boston to this point, and now we are asking for your help to make sure these updates are put in place without being watered down due to lobbying by those who will want to remove many of the teeth that make these amendments worthwhile. Please sign the petition supporting the bold action required by the City Council and the Acting Mayor to make our buildings cleaner and greener by enacting these changes into legislation.