Support the Multifamily Energy Reporting and Tenant Notice (MERTN) Proposal!

Almost equivalent to the amount of emissions in transportation, are the 38% of emissions from building energy use here in Portland.  The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is taking testimony until Friday, June 14, 2024 on a proposal that BIPOC community members have worked on for the past several years as part of a larger Build Shift process.  We are trying to garner support for this first phase of the process which would accomplish two things: 

1) Multifamily Energy Reporting: Adds multifamily residential buildings to the list of buildings required to report energy use and carbon emissions to Portland (~1,600 buildings), and 

2) Tenant Notice (climate and health information): Starting January, 1st, 2026, property owners of attached rental housing (duplexes and larger) would be required to disclose the following climate and health information to prospective tenants at time of application for each unit:

  • Instructions on how to access potential annual and peak monthly energy costs from their utilities;
  • Resources to help low-income renters pay utility bills;
  • The health risks associated with using natural gas or electric stoves, and the benefits of ventilation; and
  • The presence and type of air-conditioning (central air-conditioner, window air-conditioner, portable heat pump, central heat pump, ductless heat pump, etc.) and passive cooling measures (tree shade, awnings, cool roofs, etc.).

The City has had pushback from multifamily housing owners and associations as well as NW Natural gas and utilities.  It is important for them to hear strong support from the broader and environmental community.  Please help us spread the word and provide written testimony through MapApp before this Friday.  Physicians for Social responsibility have helped to create this  testimony guide. 

In addition we feel that it is worth noting the timelines on these initial phases. We are asking the City to expedite the process.  The tenant group that was part of the process originally prioritized indoor air quality actions and emissions reductions policies by 2024 and maximum indoor air temperature actions by 2027, but the process has been slowed by pushbacks and every additional year building decarbonization is delayed will add to the climate crisis.  There is no real reason to delay tenant notifications for an additional year and a half on top of the delays that have already transpired and this data gathering stage should be expedited in order to accelerate the path to reducing building emissions. 

About Diana Meisenhelter

Diana Meisenhelter has been involved on the Action Team of XRPDX since January 2019.  She served on the Extinction Rebellion US National Restructure Working Group proposal for a year and a half.  Active in antiracist, social justice, labor, and environmental organizing since the early 1970s, Diana has over 50 years of experience in movements for justice.


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