Media Release
Media Release
Press Contact: Billi Romain, (510) 981-7432

COMMUNITY TO WEIGH-IN ON ENERGY CONSERVATION ORDINANCES

Berkeley, California (Thursday, June 05, 2014) - The Energy Commission is hosting the last of three community workshops to get public input on proposals to update the existing Residential Energy Conservation Ordinance and Commercial Energy Conservation Ordinance (RECO/CECO) laws. Join the discussion and hear the proposals to modernize Berkeley's energy conservation ordinances for existing buildings by attending the public meeting on June 25, 2014 from 7-9pm at the North Berkeley Senior Center.

Buildings offer great opportunities to save energy. Current RECO/CECO policies require specific energy and water efficiency measures to be installed when any Berkeley building is sold or remodeled. However, because many homes, large commercial and multifamily buildings are not sold regularly, these buildings do not get updated. In addition, Berkeley has an aging housing and building stock that is drafty, uncomfortable and wastes energy. The Energy Commission is considering how to update the RECO/CECO requirements to include more existing buildings and employ leading-edge technology and information to assist people in understanding how their buildings and homes can maximize saving energy and money while improving comfort.

The Energy Commission's proposal is to eliminate the mandatory minimum energy conservation measures associated with RECO/CECO. Instead, building owners and homeowners would be required to benchmark their building's energy use against similar buildings and obtain a report to assess the energy and water performance of their building. Data from the assessment would be used to generate an individualized action plan on how to save energy and address specific occupant needs. The report would also include recommendations for efficiency measures with cost estimates and savings, available rebates and financing tools to create a compelling value proposition for implementing energy efficiency upgrades. Buildings that can demonstrate they have already implemented efficiency measures would be exempt.

Building energy use comprises approximately half of Berkeley's community-wide greenhouse gas emissions. The current RECO/CECO existing building conservation requirements have contributed to energy reductions in Berkeley's homes, businesses and institutions. However, in order for Berkeley to meet the City Council's mandated Climate Action Plan (CAP) goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 33% by 2020 below 2000 levels, Berkeley residents, businesses and elected officials must reduce energy use by an additional 20%.

By updating the RECO/CECO energy efficiency policies, Berkeley can make these ordinances more effective, valuable, and user-friendly. To learn more about the proposal, come to the next Energy Commission meeting on Wednesday June 25 from 7-9pm at the North Berkeley Senior Center and join the discussion. Check out the website: www.cityofberkeley.info/energyordinanceupdate

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