Before you can sell your home or building in Berkeley, California, you first need to work with a certified energy auditor to assess your building’s energy efficiency.
The Building Energy Saving Ordinance (BESO), effective Dec. 1, 2015, also requires energy assessments to occur periodically over time — even when buildings are not up for sale.
Like most commercial energy audits, a third-party contractor will come into your building and try to find ways to save energy and water usage. The auditor will show ways to save money and discuss any incentive programs that may exist to help pay for energy efficiency programs.
The law encourages owners to act on the recommendations, but it is not required. The law is in place simply to make sure that the assessments are conducted regularly and to raise more awareness about ways to improve energy efficiency.
When is an audit required?
Audits are required prior to any sale of a building or home (unless the building is greater than 25,000 square feet) — although this can be deferred for 12 months if the buyer agrees to take responsibility.
All other buildings (except for 1-4 unit houses) must eventually go through recurring energy assessments. The law rolls this requirement out over time.
Owners of buildings that are 50,000 sq. ft. or bigger must complete the energy assessment (along with an ENERGY STAR Performance Report) by October 1, 2016. The owner must file an ENERGY STAR Performance Report every year and get an assessment every 5 years.
Then, in 2017, the law will roll out to slightly smaller buildings (25,000 - 49,999 sq. ft) and so on — until all buildings (except for 1-4 unit houses) are covered.