nzero 2024
Net zero has a new standard
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We are entering a new and welcomed era of emissions avoidance, but it’s not without some complexity. 

At its core, energy benchmarking ordinances and regulatory laws serve two primary objectives: they assist building owners in monitoring and reporting energy usage, and establish guidelines for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. However, timelines, penalties, and compliance pathways often vary to align with local emission and energy reduction targets. By catering to local specifications, such as city-level reduction goals, these laws aim to streamline community-wide sustainability efforts and provide essential guidance and restrictions for building owners to transition to low-carbon practices within a geographical area. When managing geographically dispersed portfolios, navigating compliance with Building Performance Standards (BPS) can be overwhelming. And we should know.

Our extensive collaboration with building owners managing assets across diverse locations have given us a front row seat to the challenges our customers and many others face in meeting and understanding compliance requirements. With regulations in a constant state of flux and varying based on factors such as building size, location, property type, and even type-of-service provided, a comprehensive, user-friendly tech-solution that ensures compliance at all levels in the United States – local, state, and potentially federal in the near future – is needed now more than ever. 

It is to address that need that NZero proudly introduces our latest innovation, the Rapid Emissions Profile (REP). We developed REP to overcome the major barriers to decarbonization progress, including collecting asset data, navigating complex regulations and prioritizing resource allocation. And we designed it with you in mind: whether you own one or multiple buildings in cities with diverse energy and emissions benchmarking standards you need to know if your assets are subject to these standards, if any penalties apply and the steps you can take for penalty-free compliance. 

With a single file upload, REP leverages NZero’s advanced machine learning and AI technologies to swiftly conduct compliance checks relevant to your locality and deliver comprehensive emissions profiles for entire portfolios. Join the waitlist to be among the first to try REP when it's available. 

Because performance standards are already here and only growing as more jurisdictions adopt similar approaches, the penalties can have a major impact on costs. 

Diving Deeper: Tracking Standards in Boston, MA, and Denver, CO.

In Boston, the Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance (BERDO) mandates a rigorous compliance standard, in which buildings exceeding 20,000 square feet must annually report emissions by May 15. Non-compliance incurs fines ranging from $300 per day for larger buildings to $150 per day for mid-sized structures. Notably, BERDO offers building owners multiple compliance pathways, including emissions reductions, renewable energy generation, energy purchases and alternative compliance payments.

Meanwhile, in Denver, the Energize Denver Ordinance focuses on benchmarking energy usage for large buildings, where owners of properties exceeding 25,000 square feet must report energy data by June 1, annually, with a failure to comply resulting in a $2,000 penalty. Compliance pathways for Energize Denver that building owners can take include electrification feasibility reports, renewable energy credits, on-site solar generation, energy audits, and building retrofits. 

The landscape further unfolds in Colorado, which may be applicable to your Denver asset, with Regulation 28, a state-level regulation. This regulation stipulates annual benchmarking reporting deadlines (June 1) and energy performance targets for public, commercial, and multifamily properties exceeding 50,000 square feet. Penalties for non-compliance begin in 2024, with fines escalating up to $2,000 for initial violations and $5,000 per month for subsequent infractions. Starting in 2026, buildings must meet energy performance targets to align with Colorado's ambitious goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2030.

These are simply the high-level overviews of just three programs, but it’s already clear that each has its own detailed exemptions, compliance methods, benchmarks, reporting program and penalty structure. The disparities among these regulations, sometimes overlapping and other times distinct, highlight the complexity building owners encounter in meeting compliance standards, whether at the state or local level. While each program aims to advance climate action, the differences in requirements, deadlines, and penalties underscore the importance of a strategic approach to ensure compliance and navigate towards a penalty-free path forward. 

REP as Your Compliance Prep

The stated purpose of REP is to make decarbonization accessible and actionable for all. For companies just starting to assess their compliance exposure, it's a critical first step that transforms traditional methods of managing compliance, such as spreadsheets and sifting through and reconciling extensive regulatory documentation. 

With only a file upload, REP revolutionizes the compliance process by conducting checks for all relevant BPS at both state and local levels alongside detailed emission and energy profiles for all assets within a building owners portfolio in a simple, user-friendly interface. This holistic perspective empowers owners to proactively adjust their approach, mitigate potential fees and navigate regulatory landscapes effectively. 

Today, businesses can conquer their compliance readiness, and put themselves on a path toward a decarbonized future.

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