Boston Releases New Website for Energy Metrics and Analysis

The City of Boston’s Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance (BERDO) was enacted in 2013 and as of 2015, requires buildings greater than 50,000 square feet to report energy and water use.  Today they released their first report on energy metrics and analysis covering 2013 data received from municipal, commercial and institutional buildings.  Check it out at

In this compliance cycle, the BERDO had more than 1,300 buildings report representing over 30% of Boston’s built space.  Boston shared that key findings from that data include:

  • In the first year, 84 percent of the floor area required to report complied with the ordinance.
  • The properties that reported in 2014 represent approximately 31 percent of all the energy used by buildings in Boston.
  • Buildings of the same type can vary greatly in energy use intensity. Among Boston’s large office buildings, for example, the most energy-intensive buildings reported using over ten times more energy per square foot than the least energy-intensive buildings.
  • On average, older buildings perform well. Office buildings built before 1950 used significantly less energy per square foot on average than those built after 1950.

Boston is one of fourteen cities, like Kansas City Missouri, nationally with a policy for transparency on building energy performance.  Kansas City’s program staff is reviewing Boston’s findings, especially their ‘Observations on Implementation’ and will be following up with Boston’s program staff.

In the meantime, I highly recommend you visit and use the ‘View the Map’ tool to check out your favorite Boston landmarks.

How Kansas City is Leading Energy Efficiency Action in the Heartland


Bloomberg Philanthropies, an organization at the forefront of solving city issues, interviewed Kansas City’s Chief Environmental Officer, Dennis Murphy about the city’s approach to energy efficiency, sustainability, and climate protection. Mr. Murphy explained the role of the city’s Climate Protection Plan and greenhouse gas inventory to facilitate decision-making. The Climate Protection Plan provided a process for stakeholder engagement in shaping the city’s sustainability outlook, while the greenhouse gas inventory provided the data to facilitate decision-making about how to achieve sustainability goals collaboratively set by the community. Ultimately, the city’s largest non-single family buildings were identified as the highest energy users. Strategically, the Kansas City government joined the City Energy Project with the “hope to make significant progress toward our ultimate greenhouse gas reduction goal,” Mr. Murphy said. Click here to read the full interview.


Links to references:


Climate Protection Plan:

GHG inventory:

Greetings from J.C. Martel, now supporting Kansas City’s Energy Empowerment Ordinance

Hello, I am now supporting Kansas City’s Office of Environmental Quality to assist with the Energy Empowerment Ordinance adopted by the City Council in June 2015. I have been in the energy efficiency field for 10 years, with experiences ranging Martelfrom building retrofits to city and state level public policy. I have an educational background in Urban Planning and Public Administration, professional accreditation in LEED for green buildings and a realtor’s license in Missouri and Kansas.

I have been captivated by opportunities to elevate energy efficiency using data science to gain new perspectives on the built environment. I believe that the digital age in which we are living shows promise for energy and water measurement for better city management, but we still have a long way to go in terms of data collection and knowledge gathering. Benchmarking building energy and water consumption supports this process. Once we have the data, we can analyze it in all sorts of ways using spatial imagery and statistical techniques to better understand how our city works.

Kansas City’s new Energy Empowerment Ordinance requires the disclosure of energy and water consumption data for private buildings of at least 50,000 square feet and municipal buildings of at least 10,000 square feet, affecting approximately 1,500 buildings. These buildings, while comprising only 3-4% of the building stock, account for almost 50% of the greenhouse gas emissions used by Kansas City’s commercial buildings sector. The City has the goal to reduce community emissions by 20% by 2020, and has to-date only achieved 4% of the desired emissions reduction. Improving the energy and water consumption in the largest buildings is the only way that we, as a city, can feasibly reach our goals. Ultimately it is up to building owners to make their properties more sustainable for the betterment of the city as a whole in addition to achieving individual cost savings. Benchmarking jump starts retrofits. The reality is that property owners and tenants often do not know how much natural resources their building uses compared to similar properties unless buildings are benchmarked. Further, the consumption data must be analyzed and visualized in various ways to be useful to property owners, tenants, city managers, and others. It is this market transformation that I will support over the coming months.

I look forward to working with many of you to improve data transparency, city management, and environmental outcomes in the building stock of Kansas City.

Metropolitan Energy Center looks to reopen Project Living Proof

Our friends at Metropolitan Energy Center have launched a crowd funding website to reopen Project Living Proof.   Find more in formation and a link to their page below.

Project Living Proof (PLP), a demonstration home in a historic neighborhood, teaches visitors how to lower energy bills, make their homes more comfortable, and protect their families from unseen pollutants and contaminants. At PLP homeowners can see different heating and cooling systems, solar water heaters, solar photovoltaics with battery storage, reused and sustainable lumber, alternative fuel uses, urban gardening. They can access information about costs and savings and find resources they need to make greener, more cost-effective decisions when retrofitting their own homes.

Due to a shortage of operating funds, we need your help to re-open the space and assure that its educational services will remain available to the public for years to come. Please support MEC and PLP to transform the way we use energy in America’s heartland!

  • Realtors and appraisers can learn about increasingly common energy efficiency and renewable energy features of homes, and how those features can impact home valuation.
  • Our alternative fuel vehicle demonstration features will expose potential customers to alternative fuel technologies and savings.
  • Homeowners will learn about energy efficiency techniques and technologies, becoming inspired to invest in their own improvements by energy efficiency professionals.
  • Urban gardeners can volunteer to work with Master Gardeners in Project Living Proof’s no-mow yard.
  • Situated where active transportation features include nearby transit stops, Brush Creek trail system, and wide sidewalks in a walkable community.
  • Beyond energy and environment, PLP hosts a variety of cultural, academic and artistic events that will keep it vibrant and consistently draw visitors.

Energy conservation, water conservation, alternative fuels and energy. Project Living Proof has everything—except your financial support. Donate today! Metropolitan Energy Center is a 501c3 nonprofit. Your donation is tax deductible. We are grateful for your support.

Top Certifiers for ENERGY STAR buildings have a heavy Kansas City presence

Recently, the ENERGY STAR program recognized the top certifiers of ENERGY STAR rated buildings.  A total of 13 companies have earned ENERGY STAR certification for 2,600 buildings. Those companies were able to :

  • Saved $562 million on their utility bills
  • Prevented 2.7 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions
  • cut their energy use by 20.5 trillion BTUs.

Several of the top performers have a heavy Kansas City presence.  They include:

  • CBRE – 420 buildings certified in 2014
  • Target Corporation – 346 buildings certified in 2014
  • JLL – 199 buildings certified

ENERGY STAR is celebrating its 15th year of existence.  The program offers a free, online tool that allows building owners to benchmark their energy use.  Those who earn a score of 75 or higher are eligible for ENERGY STAR certification.

The recently passed KCMO Energy Empowerment ordinance requires buildings over a certain size to benchmark and report their energy usage.  The program will be phased in over time.

Minneapolis releases its latest benchmarking report

The City of Minneapolis recently released its second annual report on the results of its benchmarking and reporting ordinance.  This is the first year that privately owned buildings over 1000,000 square feet had to report.  The report states that buildings in Minneapolis have the potential to save $11 million on energy costs per year and avoid more than 62,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions by increasing their energy efficiency and reducing consumption by 10%.

The key findings of the report include:

  • Building age did not relate to the amount of energy the buildings used
  • Of the 146 largest properties in Minneapolis, 27 are high-performers, 51 are considered above-average, and 68 are below-average performers.  The below-average performing buildings could save 43 percent on energy costs if their performance improved to the current average.
  • Of buildings reporting, hospitals, hotels and schools have the greatest potential for energy savings.  Office buildings are generally high performers with an average ENERGY STAR score of 87.
  • The median ENERGY STAR score for all buildings was 64.