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

Sustainability News:

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 (updated 3/11/14)   

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 (updated 12/3/13)

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: www.rockpa.org 


 RECO/CECO Update (updated 11/12/13)

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.

Improving RECO and CECO In addition to increased energy savings, desired outcomes of the new updated RECO/CECO include:  

  • User-friendly compliance and compliance tracking  
  • Consistency with Title 24 California Energy Code  
  • Measurable outcomes and evaluation of energy and water savings from RECO/CECO  
  • Tools to ensure transparent disclosure of building energy information  
  • Minimized compliance costs by matching requirements with rebates  

RECO/CECO Update Outreach Process The public process will engage energy experts, key stakeholders and the Berkeley community in how best to update these ordinances. The Berkeley Energy Commission will hold public workshops to enable members of the public to provide input on the ordinance update. For more information, see: www.cityofberkeley.info/energyordinanceupdate/  To sign up to be notified for upcoming meetings, please email: greenbuilding@cityofberkeley.info  


Announcing the Home Energy Analyzer (updated 10/3/13)

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 www.HomeEnergyAnalyzer.org
  • 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:

Oakland - Temescal 
Date: Tuesday, October 22nd
Time: 6:30 - 8 pm
Location: Temescal Library, 5205 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland
RSVP at https://energyworkshopoakland.eventbrite.com/     


Electric Vehicle Incentives (updated 9/9/13)

If you are thinking about buying or leasing an electric vehicle or electric vehicle charging equipment for your home or business, then take advantage of cost-saving, limited-time-only federal and state tax incentives before they expire. To make the switch to going electric as easy as possible, the City of Berkeley offers low-cost, streamlined permitting for installing electric vehicle charging stations.For more information, see: http://www.CityofBerkeley.info/EVresidentialcharging/  

Check out these Federal and State Tax Incentives & Laws, including: 


All Charged-Up in Berkeley: New Electrical Vehicle Charging Station in the Center Street Garage (updated 7/1/13)

Join a Climate Action Working Group  (updated 11/13/2012)

The City of Berkeley is supporting plug-in electrical vehicles by adding a new charging station in the Center Street Parking Garage. The charging station, located on the 1st floor of the garage, can be used by electric vehicle (EV) drivers to extend their driving range while they work, dine, shop, or visit entertainment in Downtown Berkeley. A second EV charging station, available on the 4th floor, has also been improved to allow access for all users, including those with disabilities.  

Electric vehicle charging in the Center Street Garage, located at 2025 Center Street between Milvia and Shattuck, is free. Standard garage parking fees apply. EV drivers can charge their vehicles for up to four hours during daytime hours.  

The EV charging stations in the Center Street Garage are part of the City of Berkeley’s commitment to promoting electric vehicle infrastructure and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In Berkeley, vehicles account for over half of our community’s greenhouse gas emissions. Driving an electric car rather than a conventional car in the Bay Area can reduce the associated greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 70% and helps Berkeley reach its Climate Action Plan goals. In addition to the Center Street Garage charging stations, the City of Berkeley is encouraging the adoption of EVs by streamlining the permitting process for home charging systems, creating a pilot program to encourage existing businesses to add charging stations to their parking lots, and assessing the electrical capacity at a variety of municipal locations to pursue new public charging stations as funding allows. 


CaliforniaFIRST: Low-Cost, Long-Term Financing for Clean Energy Projects in Commercial Buildings (updated 2/21/2013)

The CaliforniaFIRST Program is a solar and clean energy financing program. CaliforniaFIRST allows property owners to finance the installation of energy and water improvements on commercial, industrial or multi-family (over 5 units) buildings and pay the amount back as a line item on their property tax bill. CaliforniaFIRST uses an innovative framework called Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) to connect property owners to low-cost
capital.

Property owners often enjoy the following program benefits:

  • Lower interest rate
  • Longer payback period (up to 20 years)
  • Property qualified financing; not credit-based
  • Repayment obligation stays with property if property is sold or transferred
  • Flexible and negotiated financing transaction

CaliforniaFIRST program staff is available to answer additional questions via email info@CaliforniaFIRST.org or phone at (510) 692-9995. For more information, see:  https://californiafirst.org


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
  • Multifamily Building Energy, Water Use and Waste
  • Community Engagement
  • 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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Office of Energy and Sustainable Development, 2120 Milvia St., Berkeley, CA 94704
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