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

Sustainability News:

BESO- Updating RECO/CECO to Reach Berkeley's Greenhouse Gas Emission Goals

The Berkeley City Council will host a special Workshop on the proposed Building Energy Saving Ordinance (BESO) on Tuesday, November 18th at 6pm at City Council Chambers (2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way). The goal of the ordinance is to motivate property owners to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by making optimal use of efficiency technologies and incentives in all existing buildings. BESO would replace the current Residential and Commercial Energy Conservation Ordinances (RECO and CECO). 

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. 

The proposed draft ordinance will:

  • Remove existing requirements to install minimum RECO and CECO measures at time of sale or remodel.
  • Require all buildings to conduct and disclose an energy report on a regular basis with a phase-in schedule through 2025 for all buildings from largest to smallest.
  • Require medium and small buildings to comply at time of sale prior to their scheduled phase-in date.

The public is welcome to attend to hear the current proposal and provide comments.To stay updated about BESO and upcoming meetings, email:

 City Appoints Its First Chief Resilence Officer
CRO will lead Citywide resilience building efforts, helping Berkeley prepare for, withstand, and bounce back from chronic stresses and acute shocks as part of the 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation (100RC). For more information, see: CRO Press Release   

ME2 Evaluation Released  

Money for Energy Efficiency (ME2) Program was a limited-time-only program that provided cash incentives for energy efficiency upgrades in Berkeley homes and businesses. The ME2 program was funded by $1,013,500 in federal stimulus money awarded to Berkeley from the U.S. Department of Energy. The City of Berkeley offered financial incentives to owners of residential, commercial and industrial properties to conduct energy audits and make energy efficiency improvements. Learn about the success of the ME2 program, check out the ME2 Outcomes Evaluation Report

The Rockefeller Foundation Names Berkeley as an Inaugural City of the 100 Resilient Cities Network
Berkeley to be among the first group of cities selected to benefit from innovative resilience planning tools and resources

The Rockefeller Foundation announced that Berkeley was selected as an inaugural member of the 100 Resilient Cities Network. Berkeley was one of nearly 400 cities across six continents to apply for The Rockefeller Foundation's 100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge, and one of only 33 cities to be selected. 

The Rockefeller Foundation defines resilience as "the ability of a community to withstand shocks while still maintaining its essential functions and to recover quickly and effectively." Berkeley will be awarded at least two years of funding to cover the cost of a full-time staff person dedicated to coordinating the City's resilience efforts, including readiness for earthquakes and wildfires, and advancement of local strategies designed to prepare the community for the impacts of climate change, such as sea-level rise and extreme heat.

100 Resilient Cities enables cities around the world to develop and implement resilience plans, provides city leaders a forum to share and learn from others' experiences, and connects them with suppliers, thinkers, and stakeholders who can help them improve their city's resilience.

"We congratulate Berkeley on being named one of the 100 Resilient Cities," said Rockefeller Foundation President Judith Rodin. "Along with 32 other cities across six continents, Berkeley will be able to better prepare for, withstand, and bounce back more effectively in the face of shocks, stresses and other vulnerabilities. Berkeley is now part of a global network of urban areas focused on building resilience, to share best practices and lead by example for cities throughout the world."

“We are honored to be selected to participate in the 100 Resilient Cities Network, and proud of Berkeley’s proactive approach to building resilience in our community,” said Berkeley City Manager, Christine Daniel. “Participation in the 100 Resilient Cities Network will help the City to accelerate our efforts to make Berkeley better able to prepare for and bounce back from disasters. We are looking forward to contributing Berkeley’s best practices to the 100 Resilient Cities Network, and to learning resilience approaches from our fellow cities.”

For more information, see: 

Announcing the Home Energy Analyzer

Check out the new, free online tool, Home Energy Analyzer. It's available to all Alameda County residents with a PG&E Smart Meter. The Home Energy Analyzer uses advanced analytics to monitor your home's energy use. It then offers specific tips to help you save money on your energy bill and make your home more comfortable.

  • Visit
  • Enter your PG&E account information
  • Receive a customized report for your home with tips for saving energy and money

For more information and to find out about rebates for energy upgrades visit Bay Area Regional Energy Network / call (866) 878-6008 or attend an upcoming workshop. 

Be the Action in the Climate Action Plan: Join the Berkeley Climate Action Coalition

The Berkeley Climate Action Coalition works to accelerate implementation of the Berkeley Climate Action Plan. Your leadership and expertise can more fully turn this plan into action. 

Join the Coalition and a working group! The Coalition has six active working groups, each focused on carrying out at least one action from the Climate Action Plan within a year. The working groups are:

  • Land Use and Urban Gardening
  • Water
  • Community Choice Energy
  • Walking, Cycling and Public Transportation

 Get involved! Join one of the working groups of the Berkeley Climate Action Coalition

 Subscribe to this page for sustainability news and updates on energy efficiency rebates,  Berkeley's Climate Action Plan and other city sustainability programs and events. 

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