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Office of Energy & Sustainable Development (OESD)
Office of Energy & Sustainable Development (OESD)

Building Energy Saving Ordinance (BESO)

Energy use in our homes and commercial buildings is the second leading contributor of greenhouse gases in the City of Berkeley making up almost 40% of our overall greenhouse gas emissions, according to 2016 available data.

BESO requires building owners and homeowners to complete and publicly report comprehensive energy assessments to uncover energy saving opportunities. The assessments are conducted by registered energy assessors (for Commercial, Multifamily & Mixed Use or Houses [1-4 unit residential buildings]) who provide tailored recommendations on how to save energy and link building owners to incentive programs for energy efficiency upgrades (for residential see; for multifamily see Energy efficiency improvements are voluntary and encouraged. BESO is required prior to sale of a house or whole building under 25,000 square feet, and on a phased-in schedule for multifamily and commercial buildings.

BESO Requirements:

  1. Energy efficiency assessment
    • High performance buildings are exempt from the assessment requirements*
    • Assessments may be deferred to buyer for up to 12 months, at time of sale
  2. Public reporting of energy assessment and disclosure of energy information prior to sale   

  How to Comply with BESO: 

 BESO Time of Sale Icon BESO Large Building Requirements  BESO Assessor Icon


 Links to BESO Documents   

(Refer to BESO Large Building Requirements for buildings over 25,000 ft2) 

 BESO Checklist Small Icon BESO Application for Compliance  for under 25,000 ft2
 BESO Property Status Small Icon  BESO Property Status List  for under 25,000 ft2
BESO Assessor Small Icon  Registered Energy Assessor Lists:
       Commercial, Multifamily, & Mixed Use    
       Houses (1-4 unit residential buildings)  


To learn more about ways to save energy, lower utility bills, and improve the comfort of your home, please see our Energy Efficiency Incentive Programs page.  Participation in one of these verified programs may qualify you for a High Performance exemption.   

BESO Governing Documents:

BESO Evaluation Documents:

For questions, email or call 510-981-7465.


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Office of Energy & Sustainable Development (OESD), 1947 Center Street, 1st Floor, Berkeley, CA 94704
Questions or comments? Email: Phone: (510) 981-7465
(510) 981-CITY/2489 or 311 from any landline in Berkeley
TTY: (510) 981-6903