What Does the Ordinance Require?
Building owners are required to track their energy (i.e., electricity, natural gas, steam, and fuel oil) and water use and report it to the Community Development Department annually through the U.S. EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.
The web-based tool requires the user to input monthly energy and water data and building information. Portfolio Manager processes the information to show energy use intensity (i.e., energy use per square foot), greenhouse gas emissions, and other metrics.
The first year of energy and water use data will not be disclosed for new buildings. This will give the City time to work out any problems with private building reporting and also give owners an opportunity to improve their energy performance before the first year of disclosure.
By May 1 annually
- Parcels with non-residential buildings singly or together contain 25,000 S. F. or greater
- Parcels with residential buildings singly or together contain 50 or more units
- Municipal buildings 10,000 S. F. or greater
How to Report Your Building Energy and Water Use Data
- Check to see if your property is required to comply with the ordinance.
Property thresholds are found under the "About the Ordinance" tab and Covered Properties Lists are found under the "Who Has to Report" tab.
- Set up an ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager account and add your property to your portfolio.
Check out our fact sheet on Reporting and Sharing on Portfolio Manager and this handy data collection worksheet to help you get started. Make sure to enter your Cambridge Building Energy Reporting ID in the "Unique Identifiers" section under your property details (see below).
- Gather your energy and water use data and enter them into Portfolio Manager.
Eversource is providing whole-building electricity and natural gas data via their energy reporting and disclosure portal. All energy sources (electricity, natural gas, oil, steam, etc.) should be reported for the previous calendar year (i.e. January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015 to comply in 2016). Water use data is available via the Cambridge Water Department website.
- Submit your report through our data request link.
Instructions are provided on the page: 2019 Cambridge Building Energy and Water Use Data Request for Calendar Year 2018. Once submitted, you will receive a confirmation email from Portfolio Manager.
Cambridge Building Energy Reporting ID
It is important to include the building ID number for each building that is reported in your Portfolio Manager account. This is a unique number for each building provided by the City that allows us to verify that reports have been received. Building ID numbers are provided on the covered properties lists (check out the "Who Has to Report" tab). They can also be identified using the Cambridge CityViewer online map. A short video about how to find a building ID number in CityViewer can be viewed by clicking here. Contact us if you have trouble finding your building ID number.
Reporting at the Building Level
Building data should be reported on a one-report-per-building basis if possible, but there are some cases where you might need to "rollup" a property and submit energy and water use data for multiple buildings in a single report. For multifamily properties, if there are multiple buildings on a single parcel, report each building separately only if there are separate meters for each building and there are 50 or more units in each building. For multiple nonresidential buildings on a single parcel with shared meters, you may either 1) submit one report as a "rollup" of all buildings and note each additional building ID in the "Property Notes" section in Portfolio Manager or 2) if the space uses are similar, prorate energy use according to square footage and submit as individual reports. If you have any questions, please contact email@example.com.
How to Get Building Data
BEUDO Help Desk for Technical Assistance
A help desk has been created to assist building owners, trustees, and their agents in complying with the ordinance. The help desk is operated by ICF International, the City’s technical assistance consultant. Questions can be directed to the help desk by contacting:
The help desk will respond to you as soon as possible and within one business day. The help desk will cover the following types of questions:
- Issues in using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager®
- Accessing energy data and building attribute information
- General questions about the applicability of the ordinance
In accordance with the ordinance, the City began posting BEUDO data for individual properties in 2016. The 2015, 2016, and 2017 data are available on the Cambridge Open Data Portal. The Community Development Department (CDD) is continuing to work with stakeholders on the design of the website and provision of contextual information. CDD analyzes the annual data to understand energy use patterns and trends in Cambridge and issues reports about the aggregated results each year.
Every year the City will publish a summary report on the results of that year's reporting cycle. The report contains compliance information as well as statistics on building characteristics, building energy performance and water use.
Check out our interactive Compliance Map to see which properties submitted reports in 2015. For a PDF version, click here.
Municipal Building Reports
Under the ordinance, the City of Cambridge is the first entity that is subject to the building energy use reporting and disclosure requirements. Energy use data is reported for City-owned buildings that contain at least 10,000 square feet of floor area. The Department of Public Works publishes building energy information on their website every year.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I get whole-building electricity and natural gas data?
Eversource has set up an online portal where you can request aggregate data for your entire building (both tenant spaces and common spaces).
Do I need to get data from each of the tenants in my building?
If you have four or more meters in your building and no single meter uses more than half of the energy, you will not need to get tenant authorization to obtain whole-building data (tenant and common spaces) from Eversource. If you have less than four meters, have each tenant fill out a tenant authorization form and submit to Eversource via the instructions on the form. If you own several meters in your building but do not have any tenants, contact us for obtaining your whole-building data if you run into issues on the Eversource portal.
Does Cambridge automatically receive my data if I submitted last year?
No, reports must be submitted every year. When you submit your data through our data request link, we get a snapshot of your portfolio at the time you submitted. Each year we'll post a new data request link where you can submit that year's report.
How do I know if you've received my report?
Once your report is submitted through our data request link (see "How to Report" tab), you will receive a confirmation email from ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager that includes a copy of your report. If you do not receive this confirmation email, we have not received your report.
How do I know if I need to report my energy and water use to the City?
Check out the thresholds for residential and nonresidential properties under the "About the Ordinance" tab.
What exactly do I need to report?
All energy use (electricity, natural gas, steam, oil, etc.) and water use in your entire building(s). Enter monthly data into Portfolio Manager for the entire reporting year. For example, in 2016 you will report whole-building energy and water use for calendar year 2015.
How do I report my energy and water use?
Set up an ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager account and enter your energy and water use data as well as your property use details. Once that is complete, send your data to us via the data request link. Be sure to enter your Cambridge Building Energy Reporting ID number so we can identify your building.
Where can I get help with Portfolio Manager?
Contact our help desk at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 617/250-4205. Send questions regarding the ordinance itself or compliance to email@example.com.
What is my Cambridge Building Energy Reporting ID?
Check out the Covered Properties List under the "Who Has to Report" tab. Alternatively, you can use the Cambridge City Viewer to find your building ID (video tutorial here). This is helpful for parcels that contain multiple buildings. Email us if you have trouble finding your building ID.
My property has changed owners, where can I update our contact address?
To update where you receive BEUDO notifications, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. To update your owner address with the official City of Cambridge property database, click here: Assessing Department Mailing Address Change Form. Make sure to share Portfolio Manager login information in the event that owners or property managers change so you continue to have access to your entire energy and water use history.
What is the difference between site and source energy?
Check out this comparison between site and source energy to understand how source energy is calculated from your site energy use (the usage you see on your utility bills).
How do I transfer ownership for a property I’ve benchmarked in Portfolio Manager?
- Log into the Property Data Administrator's (PDA/owner) account (only the PDA can transfer)
- On the My Portfolio tab, on the left under the 2 charts, click "Transfer Ownership"
- Select the Properties that you want to transfer
- Select the Person/Account you want to Transfer to. (You must be "connected" to the user to transfer.)
- Click Transfer Property. You'll get a notification that says you have chosen to transfer a property, and if the other person accepts you will no longer have access to this property.
- Click Continue to proceed.
- The person you are transferring to will get a notification that you are transferring a property to them. They can accept or reject the transfer. If they accept the property will be removed from your account and put into the new account
Note: If you wish to maintain a degree of access to the property without being the owner, please request shared access directly from the new owner.
When you transfer a property to another user, it will not affect all of the people who have access to that property. They will all still have the same access.
How do I benchmark multiple buildings on a single property?
- If the property contains multiple buildings, each with separate utility meters:
- Benchmark each building separately.
- If the property contains multiple buildings that share a single meter:
- Benchmark each building individually by allocating energy meter data to each building based on gross floor area, as long as the facilities have similar energy use patterns. To ensure accurate benchmarking results, property owners may wish to sub-meter each building in order to track individual building energy performance.
- If multiple buildings share a heating system, the energy use should be divided among the buildings based on relative usage data, [ARH1] or gross floor area if sub-metered heating data is not available.
- If you are unable to allocate energy use by building, set up a “campus” property type and enter the shared meter at the “parent” level. Individual meters applying only to a specific building should be entered at the “child” level.
- If the property contains multiple multifamily residential buildings:
- Multifamily housing properties are often comprised of several buildings under the same management or ownership. These may be clustered together on one parcel or spread among multiple parcels. To ensure accurate and specific benchmarking results, we encourage benchmarking at the level of the individual building.
- Properties with three or fewer tenants require tenant permission to release whole-building electric or gas data. More information including the Tenant Authorization and Property Owner Verification forms can be found on the BEUDO landing page.
- Multifamily Housing properties, along with K-12 schools, hospitals, hotels and senior care facilities, are also eligible to benchmark as a campus with individual buildings organized under a parent property account. For more information, please see this FAQ.