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

Building Energy Saving Ordinance (BESO)

BESO to replace RECO/CECO 
Effective December 1, 2015, Berkeley's Energy Saving Ordinance (Berkeley Municipal Code 19.81) will replace both the Residential and Commercial Energy Conservation Ordinances (RECO and CECO). With BESO, the RECO/CECO requirements of installing energy and water efficiency improvement measures, will no longer be required. The transition from RECO/CECO to BESO will occur between October 9, 2015 and December 1, 2015. For more information on the transition schedule, see: Transitioning from RECO/CECO to BESO.

  • As of October 9, 2015, RECO and CECO requirements will no longer be required at time of building renovation due to enhanced energy codes and CalGreen standards.
  • For buildings up for sale between October 9 to December 1, 2015, sellers may choose to either complete RECO/CECO measures or a BESO assessment.
  • As of December 1, 2015, all new sales transactions of medium and small buildings, including homes, must comply with BESO. Previous completion of requirements under RECO/CECO will not fulfill BESO requirements.

BESO Overview: BESO requires building owners and homeowners to complete comprehensive energy assessments to uncover energy saving opportunities. The assessments are conducted by registered energy assessors who provide tailored recommendations on how to save energy and link building owners to incentives for energy efficiency upgrade projects. 

BESO Requirements:

  • Energy efficiency assessment (high performance buildings are exempt from assessment requirements)
  • Public reporting of energy assessment and disclosure of energy information prior to sale 

Early Compliance BESO Home Energy Score Rebates
Starting September 2015, a limited rebate program provides up to $200 for BESO-compliant Home Energy Score Assessments. Check for BESO Home Energy Score Rebate eligibility, availability, and application.

How to Comply with BESO:

BESO Time of Sale   Required for all buildings except large buildings (25,000 square feet or more) 
BESO Phase-In Schedule Required for all buildings except homes (1-4 units) 

Interested in becoming a BESO Registered Energy Assessor? Check the BESO Energy Assessor webpage for qualifications and registration information.

BESO Governing Documents:

BESO Compliance Documents

Energy Efficiency Programs:

Links to BESO webpages:

For questions, email or call 510-981-7432.

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Office of Energy and Sustainable Development, 2120 Milvia St., Berkeley, CA 94704
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