Boston enacted the Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance in 2013, requiring large buildings to report their annual energy and water use to the City. As of 2015, the requirements apply to all buildings greater than 50,000 square feet. The ordinance also requires the City to make the information public. By providing better information on building energy use, reporting and disclosure is enabling owners and tenants to become more aware of energy use, energy costs, and greenhouse gas emissions and opportunities to reduce all three.
Buildings track and report their energy and water use through Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, which calculates a number of metrics:
Building info: The reported property name and address, along with the gross square footage, year of construction, and property use.
Site energy use intensity, or EUI (in kBTU/sq. ft.): This sums up all of the energy used in the building (electricity, gas, steam, etc.) each year, and divides by square footage. There are many drivers of energy use intensity, such as energy-intensive work, and, since EUI is not adjusted for these factors, it is not a definitive indicator of building efficiency. (This metric uses site energy, not source energy.)
ENERGY STAR score: Portfolio Manager calculates a 1-100 score for many types of buildings, though not all types are eligible for a score. The score uses details about the building and its location to adjust for how the building is used, and provides some measure of how it performs relative to similar buildings. A higher score means that the building uses less energy than similar buildings.
ENERGY STAR certification: Buildings with a score of 75 or higher can apply to be ENERGY STAR-certified by EPA.
User-submitted contextual information: This is a field in which the property owner can describe ongoing efficiency work or other related information. The Excel download contains the full text of longer submissions.
On-site renewable energy (in kWh): Buildings that have on-site solar panels or wind turbines can report the amount of electricity generated annually.
Total site energy use (in kBTU): This is a gross sum of all annual energy use in the building, not adjusted for size or uses.
Electricity, gas, and steam intensity: This indicates the percent of building energy use from each of these three common sources.
GHG total and intensity (in MTCO2e and kgCO2e/sq. ft.): Portfolio Manager uses averages for the regional electric grid and other fuels to estimate annual greenhouse gas emissions. Intensity divides this value by the building’s gross floor area. Buildings and campuses that have central plants or buy bulk power may have different emissions than estimated.
Water use intensity (gallons/sq.ft.): The total water use divided by gross floor area.
kWh = thousand kilowatt hours
kBTU = thousand British thermal units
kBTU/sq. ft. = thousand British thermal units per square foot
MTCO2e = metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent
kgCO2e/sq. ft. = kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent per square foot
View the report on first-year analysis and findings, identifying energy use patterns across different building types and sectors.
The data linked below is the energy and water use for calendar year 2014, as submitted by reporting buildings. This year, over 88 percent of the floor area required to report did so.
The map linked below shows energy and water metrics for all reporting buildings.
Questions? Contact EnergyReporting@boston.gov