Boston building owners push back on efficiency reporting
A trade group that represents commercial property owners is pushing back on a plan to require large property owners to report their annual energy use.
A trade group that represents commercial property owners is pushing back on a plan by Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino to require large property owners to report their annual energy use.
Under a proposal being drafted by the Menino administration dubbed the “Building Energy Disclosure Ordinance,” owners of commercial and residential buildings above 50,000 square feet would have to report energy use annually and publish the results online. The new rules are expected to be drafted by the fall.
“The city believes if landlords report energy use, tenants will take that into consideration when they lease and choose energy efficient buildings which will encourage owners to have green buildings,” said David Begelfer, chief executive of NAIOP Massachusetts. “In theory, it’s a good idea. Unfortunately, in practice there are a couple of problems.”
Begelfer said the factors tenants consider when choosing a building is location, prestige, and most importantly — rent. Energy efficiency is not the driving force behind the decision to lease space, he said. In addition, Begelfer said older buildings, for example, in the city’s Fort Point Channel neighborhood, are not getting high enough rents to invest money for energy efficient HVAC systems up front in those buildings.
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