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

Residential and Commercial Energy Conservation Ordinance Update

The Berkeley Energy Commission and staff of the Office of Energy and Sustainable Development have developed a draft ordinance to replace RECO and CECO with an updated Building Energy Saving Ordinance (BESO)

Current Status Staff is currently re-drafting the ordinance language for BESO to reflect changes to single-family building requirements. Based on feedback from the community, Council elected to revise the original proposal for residential properties of 4 units or less. See the supplemental report that was considered at the Tuesday, January 27 City Council meeting.

City Council hosted a worksession on BESO on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at 6pm in Council Chambers, see Worksession Presentation. The first reading of the original proposed ordinance was on November 18th, see City Council BESO Report 11/18/14

The Role of RECO and CECO Berkeley's current RECO and CECO laws require buildings that are transferred or remodeled to install water and energy saving measures in order to reduce the electricity and natural gas usage and curb greenhouse gas emissions. RECO and CECO, enacted in 1987 and 1994 respectively, have played an important role in improving the energy efficiency of the existing building stock and saving the community money on utility bills while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

With nearly half of all greenhouse gas emissions in Berkeley coming from buildings, it is critical that we continue to advance innovative and smart energy efficiency strategies for our homes and businesses. 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. 

Outreach The public process engaged energy experts, key stakeholders and the Berkeley community on how best to update these ordinances. City staff have met with stakeholders and the Berkeley Energy Commission hosted a series of workshops to inform residents and businesses and solicit feedback as the draft ordinance was developed. 

Workshops The Berkeley Energy Commission Workshops held three community workshops on following dates:

  • March 26, 2014 at 7pm at N. Berkeley Senior Center- Workshop #1 Ordinance objectives and approach
  • April 23, 2014 at 7pm at S. Berkeley Senior Center- Workshop #2 Policy options
  • June 25, 2014 at 7pm at N. Berkeley Senior Center- Workshop #3 Proposed draft ordinance & implementation plan

Stakeholder Meetings City staff have met with groups and individuals to answer questions and get input, including, but not limited to: Berkeley Association of Realtors, Berkeley Chamber of Commerce, Berkeley Climate Action Coalition, Berkeley Property Owners Association, and Business District Associations. The draft ordinance has also been presented to the Housing Advisory Commission, Community Environmental Advisory Commission (CEAC), Energy Commission, and Rent Board Safe and Sustainable Housing Committee for comments. 

For more information, please contact

Energy Audit Resources

  • Home Energy Audits (for single-family homes and small buildings with 1-4 residential units) for information on energy efficiency improvements and home energy audits, see Energy Efficiency Upgrades.
  • Building Energy Benchmarking with ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager (for commercial buildings and multifamily  buildings with 5 or more residential units), see PG&E's Energy Performance Benchmarking.
  • Rebates and Programs for completing energy audits and energy efficiency improvements, see Energy Efficiency Resources.


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