The City of Boston has certainly been keeping its building owners busy in 2013, and 2014 is looking even busier! As most rental property owners in Boston remember, last year Boston City Counsel enacted a Registration and Re-inspection Ordinance. In addition to other requirements, the ordinance obligated almost all rental property owners to register with the Inspectional Services Department (ISD) by August 31, 2013. More information can be found at: http://www.cityofboston.gov/isd/housing/rental.asp
Well, this year Boston is looking join the ranks of cities like New York City, Washington D.C., and Chicago, and enacted the Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance. The goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Boston by 25% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. This ordinance affects both residential and commercial property owners.
Buildings will be required to report their energy and water use, as well as greenhouse gas emissions through Energy Star Portfolio Manager, a free web-based tool developed by the EPA.
Certain commercial and other non-residential properties will be required to submit their initial reports no later than May 15, 2014. Residential properties will not be required to submit their reports until May 15, 2015. Within 5 years of the building owner’s first energy report and every 5 years thereafter, the building will be required to complete and submit an energy assessment report to the Air Pollution Control Commission. There are no buildings or class of buildings which are exempt from the reporting requirements, but the specific deadlines will vary based on the size of the building. Failure to comply with the Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance is subject to a Notice of Violation and subsequent fines.
As with most new laws and ordinances, many building owners have expressed concerns about this new reporting requirement. Naturally, the owners are worried about the cost and the effort of obtaining an energy assessment. Furthermore, it is still unclear what criteria will be used to determine the appropriate levels of water consumption and green gas emissions for each building and what, if any, measures will be required from the owner to make the building ‘greener.’ It appears that in certain cases, the City will allow building owners to submit contextual information should a building owner need to explain an otherwise unfavorable energy assessment.
If you are a building owner or management company and would like to learn more about this new ordinance and how to comply, please contact Shur Law Group at (617) 959-1499 or email@example.com. Additional information may also be found at http://www.cityofboston.gov/environmentalandenergy/reporting/
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