Berkeley Building Emissions Saving Ordinance

What is Berkeley Building Emissions Saving Ordinance?

The Berkeley Building Emissions Saving Ordinance (BESO) is a regulation aimed at improving energy efficiency in buildings throughout the city.

  • BESO’s core function: Requiring assessments and public reporting of energy efficiency information for Berkeley buildings.
  • Timeline: Adopted in 2015, with reporting deadlines phased in from 2018 to 2019.

What buildings are required per Berkeley Building Emissions Saving Ordinance?

  • Owners of all buildings over 15,000 square feet are required to benchmark their energy usage every year.
  • Owners of buildings above 25,000 square feet must do an energy assessment every 5 years.
  • Owners of buildings less than 25,000 square feet must do an energy assessment at the time of sale.

Your building may qualify for an exemption from reporting if:

  • If the Building Owner possesses a building with fewer than 3 non-residential active utility accounts or fewer than 5 residential utility accounts and attests to the Administrator that they have made sincere efforts to obtain tenant authorization for accessing the tenant utility data but have been unsuccessful. In order to demonstrate a sincere effort, the Building Owner must provide a copy of the ENERGY STAR© Tenant Authorization Notice signed by the tenant(s) indicating refusal to authorize disclosure of their energy use data. However, it’s important to note that state reporting requirements may still be applicable.

  • If the building occupant convinces the Administrator that such disclosure could potentially divulge proprietary information considered a trade secret. Nonetheless, it’s essential to recognize that state reporting requirements might still be enforced.

You can view the list of buildings required to submit benchmarking data here.

What is the penalty for non-compliance?

Failing to meet BESO requirements incurs a $100 fine. There’s also a daily penalty of up to $25 that accrues until compliance is achieved, with a maximum of $1,000 per violation.

What is the compliance process?

Building owners must report their energy usage data to Energy Star Portfolio Manager, a reporting tool that allows building owners to compare their building’s energy efficiency with similar buildings.

Operators of buildings scoring below the national average of 80 are obligated to conduct an energy audit every five years.

What is the deadline for Berkeley Building Emissions Saving Compliance?

Berkeley Building Emissions Savings Compliance (BESO) requires that building owners annually submit their energy usage data using the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool by July 1st.

What utilities are required for benchmarking reporting?

  • Water
  • Electricity
  • Natural Gas
  • District Energy
  • Any other purchased fuel

What is the purpose for Berkeley Building Emissions Saving Ordinance?

The Berkeley Building Emissions Saving Ordinance (BESO) has a two-fold purpose:

  1. Increase Transparency Around Building Energy Use: By requiring assessments and public reporting of energy efficiency information, BESO aims to make building energy use more transparent. This benefits both buyers and sellers:

    • Buyers: Can make informed decisions about the potential energy costs associated with a property.
    • Sellers: Can highlight the energy efficiency of their building as a selling point.
  2. Motivate Energy Efficiency Improvements: BESO doesn’t mandate specific upgrades, but the assessments it requires identify areas for improvement. This can motivate building owners to invest in energy-efficient upgrades and electrification for several reasons:

    • Cost Savings: By reducing energy consumption, building owners can save money on their energy bills.
    • Sustainability: Lower energy use translates to a smaller environmental footprint and contributes to a more sustainable city.
    • Compliance: Regular benchmarking helps owners track progress and ensures they meet BESO requirements.

Overall, BESO aims to create a more informed marketplace for buildings in Berkeley while encouraging energy efficiency improvements that benefit both building owners and the environment.

Interested in benchmarking help?

    If you are interested to learn more how Energy Fave can help with Energy benchmarking for your building or if you have more questions about the whole reporting process, feel free to email us: