RECO: Renovation of Property

All homes or apartment buildings with a combined value of $50,000 or more in renovations must demonstrate compliance with RECO regulations by being inspected by and filing Form A- Certificate of RECO Compliance- with the City of Berkeley.  RECO compliance is the responsibility of the building permit applicant, which in most cases is the property owner.

Transitioning from RECO to BESO
Effective October 9th, 2015, Berkeley's Building Energy Saving Ordinance (BESO) will replace both the Residential & Commercial Energy Conservation Ordinances (RECO and CECO) and compliance forms and inspections will no longer be required at time of building renovation. Prior to that time, RECO and CECO requirements for measures on plans and inspections in the field remain in effect. For more information, see: www.cityofberkeley.info/BESO  


RECO Steps:


1. RECO Requirements: Specific details are on RECO Form A Appendix.  A general outline of required upgrades follows:


2. Rebates for RECO Measures: Check the following sites for more information on residential conservation services. 


3. RECO Forms: All RECO forms are located at: www.cityofberkeley.info/RECO  or at the Planning Department Frequently Requested Forms.

 To find out if a building is in compliance with RECO, contact the City’s Building and Safety Department via email at: reco@cityofberkeley.info The City maintains records for each residential property in Berkeley. If further assistance is required, call 510-981-7440 and listen for the RECO option. Please have the property address ready. 


4Knob and Tube Safety Information: Knob and Tube wiring is common in older homes. If your home has Knob and Tube wiring in the attic, you must:

  1.  Hire a licensed electrician to inspect the wiring prior to installing any attic insulation
  2. Certify that the wiring is safe to insulate around by filling out Knob and Tube Wiring Safety Inspection Report
  3.  Submit Knob and Tube Wiring Safety Inspection Report with your RECO Form A
  4. Review Safety Measures that follow:
    • Wiring that fails a safety inspection should never be insulated.  Doing so could cause a catastrophic fire, threatening the lives of those in the home.  Upgrade poor wiring, including junction boxes and splices that may overheat if surrounded with insulation.
    •  Never use foil-faced batts or metal supports if knob and tube wiring is present; to do so could cause arcing, short-circuiting, and/or fire.
    • Existing insulation that meets the current RECO code is exempt.  However, if additional insulation is needed to bring the current level of insulation into compliance, an inspection and written certification is required  

5. Getting RECO Work Completed  


6. Schedule an Inspection: To schedule an appointment with Berkeley's Building & Safety Office email reco@cityofberkeley.info or call 510-981-7440. City building inspectors will incorporate the RECO inspection into the comprehensive building code compliance inspection.

Inspection Costs: Mail or deliver all documents to City of Berkeley Permit Service Center, 2120 Milvia Street, Berkeley, CA  94704


7. RECO Spending Limits: For properties undergoing renovations of $50,000 or more, spending limit for RECO measures is 1% of renovation costs.

More information: See general RECO information at www.cityofberkeley.info/RECO

Back to the Office of Energy and Sustainable Development Homepage