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Mayor Approves Boston Energy Mandate Delay; No Fines For First Year

Boston Energy Mandate Delay

Mayor Martin Walsh approved a 120-day delay for implementing the city’s Energy Scoring Ordinance. Originally scheduled to take effect on May 15, the delay also reprieves building owners from enforcement and penalties during the first year of implementation for noncompliance of the ordinance, including non-reporting. Residential owners will receive identical relief in 2015, which will be the first year they are required to report. This compromise follows an April 30 vote in which the City Council approved a full one-year delay.

The ordinance, also known as energy benchmarking, requires owners with commercial buildings over 35,000 gross square feet and residential buildings of 35 units or more to report and publicly disclose energy and water use. Cities with similar benchmarking ordinances, including Washington D.C., New York and Seattle, have delayed implementation for similar reasons. The causes include building owner preparedness, lack of education regarding the software tools often necessary to track and disclose energy use, and lack of aggregate building data from utility companies.

The Boston ordinance, which captures commercial buildings, condominiums and apartments, is being phased in over three years starting this year. The first reporting deadline, which applies to commercial buildings, is now set for Sept. 15. Once the enforcement delay expires, however, buildings could face fines up to $200 a day for non-compliance. The full ordinance can be viewed  online

Sources: Greater Boston Real Estate Board, City of Boston