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The Boston Globe

Opinion

The Podium

Boston needs the building energy disclosure ordinance

The City of Boston’s proposed building energy disclosure ordinance will help Boston remain economically competitive with cities like New York, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Chicago that have already taken action to require building owners to track and report their energy use data. The ordinance will give property owners, tenants, utility companies, and the city an enhanced ability to both measure and manage energy use. This will lead to greater energy savings for businesses and more effective energy efficiency practices and incentives; you can’t manage what you don’t measure.

Climate change directly threatens the economy, infrastructure, and quality of life in Boston. This threat is real and incontrovertible and requires focused and sustained action by all sectors of society to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We cannot sit idly by while increasingly powerful storms threaten to flood land and property along our coastline and inland low-lying areas. The commercial sector is responsible for more than 50 percent of Boston’s community emissions and many in the city’s business community have aggressively pursued energy efficiency and renewable energy opportunities that both improve their bottom lines while reducing their carbon footprint. Much of this success is due to our nation leading energy efficiency programs provided by our utilities. These programs will continue to invest billions of dollars in efficiency programs over the next three years. While these efforts are laudable, they are not enough.

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