Office of Energy and Sustainable Development
Office of Energy and Sustainable Development

Residential Energy Conservation Ordinance (RECO)

The purpose of RECO is to increase the energy and water efficiency in Berkeley residences.  Compliance with RECO measures saves money, increases the comfort and reduces the amount of greenhouse emissions in every home.  This ordinance, adopted originally in 1987, and revised on January 1, 1992, contributes to the Berkeley Climate Action goal of reducing Berkeley's overall greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by the year 2050. 

When is RECO compliance required?  RECO applies to all homes, residential areas of mixed-use buildings, tenants-in-common, condominiums, multi-family properties, live-work spaces and boarding houses (including the common areas/common systems) and must be complied with upon the following triggers:

To find out if a residential property is in compliance with RECO, please email the Building and Safety Department via email at: reco@cityofberkeley.info.  The City maintains records for each residential property in Berkeley.

Please note that insulation installation (excluding blown-in wall) requires a Building Permit from the Building and Safety Division. For more information about insulation, see: Insulation.

RECO Forms Form A applies to all homeowners, whether selling, transferring or renovating.  Please look through other form details to see if Forms B-D or the Knob and Tube Wiring Forms apply to your home.

  • Form A Appendix -- RECO Auditor or City Inspector will fill out actual Form A upon completion of compliance with measures.
  • Form B  -- Buyer/Seller/Agent Notification: If a property has previously met RECO compliance (since January 1, 1992), and still has all RECO measure in place (door weatherstripping, low-flow toilets, etc.) then the Seller can use Form B at the point of sale or transfer as a warranty that the building is currently RECO compliant.
  • Form C  -- Transfer of RECO Responsibility to buyer (can only be done once):  If a property has not met RECO compliance, and the property has transferred title since January 1, 1992 (the date of the most recent RECO ordinance), then the Seller may choose to transfer RECO compliance to the Buyer.  The Buyer will accept responsibility by completing a Form C signed jointly by both Seller and Buyer, and filing the FORM C with the City of Berkeley.  NOTE:  The Buyer will have one year from the date of the close of escrow to bring the property into compliance and file the Form A.
  • Form D  -- Escrow account for RECO: This notice certifies that the Seller has complied with RECO by placing 0.75% of the FINAL sale price per structure (if the structure contains two or fewer units), or $0.50 per square foot (if the structure contains more than two units), plus the cost of the RECO inspection and the City of Berkeley filing fee held by the Title Company. 
  • Knob and Tube Wiring Safety Form  -- Required when attic insulation is to be installed, and there is Knob & Tube wiring present in the attic.

To schedule a RECO audit for your home sale, please call Community Energy Services Corporation (CESC) at 510-981-9819 or visit the CESC website. CESC is the only authorized RECO auditor for City of Berkeley properties.

Rebates:
Energy Upgrade California is rebate program that allows homeowners to make energy efficiency upgrades. Rebates range from $1,000 - $4,000 and many are compatible with RECO.  To find out more about other energy efficiency see: Energy Efficiency

Resources:

Commercial spaces also must comply with an energy conservation ordinance, see: CECO (Commercial Energy Conservation Ordinance).

RECO/CECO Update On September 10, 2013, City Council adopted a resolution directing staff to initiate a public process to update the City's existing Residential Energy Conservation Ordinance (RECO) and Commercial Energy Conservation Ordinance (CECO) laws. For more information, see: www.cityofberkeley.info/energyordinanceupdate/. To learn more about the RECO/CECO update, please email: greenbuilding@cityofberkeley.info  

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Questions or comments? Email: NDeSnoo@cityofberkeley.info Phone: (510) 981-7439
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