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

Building Energy Saving Ordinance (BESO)

BESO to replace the Residential and Commercial Energy Conservation Ordinances (RECO/CECO) 

Current Status BESO was adopted into law on unanimous consent on March 10, 2015. Effective December 1, 2015, Berkeley's Energy Saving Ordinance will replace both the Residential and Commercial Energy Conservation Ordinances (RECO and CECO). BESO requires a building-specific energy assessment and action plan, as well as public reporting on energy and water efficiency.

What is BESO: BESO will require energy assessments at time of sale for medium, small, and single family buildings, as well phased-in by building size and year for all buildings, with the exception of homes (1 to 4 units). This energy and water efficiency information will provide Berkeley property owners and potential buyers with an efficiency road map tailored for their building and link them to valuable incentives and resources provided through utility rate-payer efficiency funds. The goal of BESO is to accelerate greenhouse gas emissions reductions to help us meet our Climate Action goals, save money on utility bills, and improve occupant health and comfort. See the BESO flyer for an overview.

BESO Energy Assessment Requirements: When buildings are sold or due based on phase in schedule (whichever comes first), they are required to:

  1. Demonstrate the building is a high performance building; OR
  2. Conduct an energy assessment and disclose report and score to potential buyers and City

 Energy Assessment & Reporting Schedule

  • Time of  Sale Requirements (excludes large buildings)  
    • October 9 to December 1, 2015  Buildings being sold may comply with either  RECO/CECO or BESO
    • December 1, 2015  Buildings being sold must comply with BESO
  •  Phase In Schedule for Commercial Multifamily and Mixed Use Buildings (excludes homes of 1-4 units)

Building Size (sq ft)

Due  Date

Reporting Cycle

Large buildings: 50,000 or more


Annual ENERGY STAR Performance Report and Energy Report every 5 years

Large buildings: 25,000- 49,999


Medium buildings:15,000-24,999


Energy Report every 8 years 

Medium buildings: 5,000-14,999


Small buildings: Less than 5,000 (excluding 1-4 unit homes)


Energy Report every 10 years

 For more information, please contact Billi Romain at

Transition from RECO/CECO to BESO: Berkeley's RECO and CECO laws require buildings that are transferred or remodeled to install water and energy saving measures 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. BESO will continue to ensure that property owners understand how to make Berkeley's buildings as energy and water efficient as possible. The transition from RECO/CECO to BESO will occur between October 9, 2015 and December 1, 2015. During this time, 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 through an online system.

Energy Audit Resources


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Office of Energy and Sustainable Development, 2120 Milvia St., Berkeley, CA 94704
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(510) 981-CITY/2489 or 311 from any landline in Berkeley
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