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New Cambridge Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Requirements


Cambridge, MA recently became the first city in the country to mandate non-residential buildings to reduce their annual greenhouse gas emissions, with a net zero requirement by 2035 for large buildings (100,000 square feet or larger) and by 2050 for mid-size buildings (25,000 to 99,999 square feet). The reason for the focus on buildings is because their energy use accounts for approximately 80% of greenhouse gas emissions in Cambridge according to the City.

Massachusetts and the United States have committed to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The City of Cambridge has now set a more aggressive initial target of 2035 for large non-residential buildings.

With the adoption of these amendments to the Cambridge Building Energy Use Disclosure Ordinance (BEUDO), overall emissions for buildings covered by the Ordinance will be reduced approximately 50 percent by 2030 compared to today, and will be reduced by approximately 70 percent by 2035. Details on the timelines for all new and existing buildings covered by BEUDO are outlined in the Ordinance.

BEUDO was first passed in 2014 with the purpose of encouraging efficient use of energy, reducing the emission of greenhouse gasses, and slowing the pace of global warming. It requires energy use reporting by larger commercial properties (over 25,000 square feet) and residential properties over 50 units. A Reporting Fact Sheet is available that details the process for reporting. The Ordinance regulates approximately 1,100 buildings in Cambridge.

In the Cambridge announcement on the changes to the Ordinance, it’s noted that the City is committed to supporting property owners with robust technical assistance and connections to incentives and moving forward together with this challenging yet absolutely critical work. To help with the process, Cambridge has setup a BEUDO Help Desk that can be reached at [email protected] or 617-250-4205.

For additional information about the changes to the Cambridge Building Energy Use Disclosure Ordinance, or for assistance understanding how the new requirements will impact your facility, please contact us!

This blog was written by Beth Graham, Director of Quality, Research, and Training (QRT) with contributions from Cris Yordan, Sr. Team Leader, Operations and Dana Zafiropoulos, Sr. QRT Specialist.

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