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 Building Energy Saving Ordinance (BESO), 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. Instead, BESO requires that Berkeley building owners complete energy assessments and publicly report the building's energy efficiency information. 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.

  • October 9, 2015
    • RECO and CECO requirements are no longer required at time of building renovation
    • For buildings & houses up for sale between October 9 to December 1, 2015, sellers may choose to either complete RECO/CECO measures (RECO Form A, CECO Form 2OR complete a BESO Energy Assessment (BESO Compliance Form A)
    • Buildings with a previously filed deferral (RECO Form C or CECO Form 1, Part C) may choose to comply with either the BESO assessment or RECO/CECO measures
    • Deferrals for up to 12 months are only allowed with BESO Time of Sale Deferral Form C
    • RECO/CECO deferrals are no longer available
  • December 1, 2015
    • RECO/CECO repealed
    • BESO compliance is required prior to sale of Berkeley homes and buildings and on a phased-in schedule. 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 is required prior to sale of a house or whole building, except for large buildings over 25,000 square feet and on a phased-in schedule for all buildings, except houses. BESO is not required prior to the sale of a unit that is only a portion of a larger building (such as a non-detached condominium unit).

BESO Requirements:

  1. Energy efficiency assessment
    • High performance buildings are exempt from the assessment requirements
    • Energy efficiency improvements are voluntary and encouraged
    • 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   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) 

Early Compliance BESO Home Energy Score Rebates
Starting September 2015, a limited-time rebate program provides up to $200 for BESO-compliant Home Energy Score Assessments. The rebates are for early BESO compliance only and are based on the availability of funds. Check for BESO Home Energy Score Rebate eligibility, availability, and application.  

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 510-981-7465.

Back to the homepage of the Office of Energy and Sustainable Development

Home | Web Policy | Text-Only Site Map | Contact Us
Office of Energy and Sustainable Development, 2120 Milvia St., Berkeley, CA 94704
Questions or comments? Email: Phone: (510) 981-7439
(510) 981-CITY/2489 or 311 from any landline in Berkeley
TTY: (510) 981-6903