CBS Newsletter
Winter 1993
pg. 15

Energy Currents: Retrofit Legislation at the Urban Level

In March, the city of Berkeley, California, passed new legislation that should serve as a model for local policies intended to keep energy dollars within the community while protecting the environment. The Commercial Energy Conservation Ordinance (CECO) is based on a similar ordinance that has been law since 1989 in San Francisco, Berkeley's neighbor across the Bay. San Francisco is currently the only other city in the world to have this type of legislation. As part of the Berkeley Municipal Code, CECO requires commercial buildings to undergo energy conservation retrofits when they are sold or substantially renovated. CECO was designed with the participation of LBL's Kristin Heinemeier, who also works with the Berkeley Energy Office.

CECO requires only very basic measures designed to bring the most inefficient buildings up to an acceptable standard of energy efficiency, not to raise them to the state of the art. These required measures include duct and pipe insulation, installation of time clocks and other basic controls , cleaning and tuning of HVAC equipment, repair of leaks, and reduction of lighting loads. The ordinance includes a cost ceiling-1% of the building's sale price or 5% of the cost of the renovation-that limits the required expenditure to a reasonable level.

CECO goes into effect on Earth Day (April 22) 1994, and its success will be reviewed after two years.

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Elaine Eisenstadt
City of Berkeley Energy Office
(510) 486-6309


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