City of Piedmont Building Energy Savings Ordinance (BESO) Under Consideration


The City of Piedmont is considering adoption of a Building Energy Savings Ordinance (BESO) – or an ordinance that triggers the requirement of a residential energy assessment – as a customer-driven approach to achievement greenhouse gas reductions laid forth in its climate action plan. Piedmont’s consideration includes using the U.S. Department of Energy’s Home Energy Score as an approach for assessment, through which homes are scored on a 0-to-10 scale, with 10 representing most energy efficient.

The BESO model provides an alternative to traditional residential energy conservation ordinances (RECOs) that have historically used a mandatory approach of requiring specific upgrades at certain points in residential building ownership; instead of requiring a specific upgrade, this proposed BESO equips home owners with information on their home’s energy efficiency performance, with the goal of inspiring energy efficiency improvements of the owner’s choice.

While many BESO ordinances are set up to have the assessment triggered by home sale or a substantial renovation, Piedmont is considering making the trigger the home’s age.

For its review, the City has put together a useful summary of the impetus for considering adoption, the status of other cities’ BESOs and similar ordinances, the options for implementing a BESO, and the anticipated sustainability and financial impacts.

Interested in other work under (and towards) BESO ordinances in California local governments? Click here. To learn more specifically about the City of Berkeley’s new BESO, click here.

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