May 3 2016

IMPORTANT SURVEY: Required Energy Saving Measures for Piedmont Residences

Deadline extended to May 18  for residents to complete survey – Piedmont Building Energy Savings Ordinance (BESO) online survey – 

Take the short Survey by clicking below: >

 Survey responses should be sent ASAP. The City states they are private. 

The City of Piedmont has been conducting an online survey of Piedmont homeowners. The survey is part of the effort stemming from the Piedmont Climate Action Plan.

“The survey asks for responses to various alternative energy upgrade mandates under consideration. The survey choices offered are potentially very costly upgrades that would be required on all Piedmont homes at some point.

“In this January’s report to the Mayor and Council, the City Administrator estimates between sales turnover and renovations of $50,000 or more, 1,180 homes would have to perform energy upgrades by 2020. Using an assumption of $50,000 of upgrades that is $93 mm. Upgrading Piedmont’s entire 3,800 homes would cost $195 mm, again using the cost per house assumption. 

 “The existence of the survey was not widely know based on my research. The costs appear to be material. My concern is that as many homeowners as possible learn of the issue and have a chance to submit their views via the survey.”                      Carter Dunlap, Piedmont Resident


“A BESO ordinance may take many different forms but generally consist of four things: 

a) A threshold designating when the regulations become applicable to the building 
b) An energy assessment to determine the current status of the building 
c) Disclosure of energy information to the homeowner and select outside parties 
d) Implementation of energy efficiency measures (voluntary or mandatory)”

Some issues have been raised in opposition to ordinance requirements: 

  • PG&E bills are already an indicator of energy usage and can be made available at the time of home sales.
  • PG&E has long provided energy saving information to residents on a no cost basis.
  • Consultant charges to residents would be significant.
  • To implement the energy saving ordinance would increase staffing costs.
  • The sale and remodeling of many residences would be impacted with significant additional costs.

The following City generated letter was sent to selected Piedmonters:

Dear Piedmonters,
The deadline to provide input on the proposed Building Energy Savings Ordinance (BESO) has been extended to 5 p.m., May 18, 2016 to allow for further feedback from interested community members. Please read below or visit to find out more about the proposed ordinance and the opportunities for public participation.

The City of Piedmont adopted its Climate Action Plan (CAP) in 2010, which referenced a requirement for a home energy upgrade at the point-of-sale or remodel as the single largest recommendation to meet the City’s greenhouse gas reduction target. During the CAP update presented to City Council on May 5, 2014, City staff was directed to return with an in-depth report on the possibility of implementing a Building Energy Savings Ordinance (BESO). Given this instruction, on January 4, 2016, an introduction to the concept of a BESO was presented to the City Council, which directed staff to continue the development of such an ordinance. As directed, City staff has collected local data, investigated regulations in other cities, and is now seeking public opinion on potential provisions of the ordinance in advance of public hearings on the matter. Staff has tentatively scheduled the Planning Commission’s consideration of the ordinance during its regularly scheduled meeting on June 13, 2016. The Commission will be asked to make a recommendation to the City Council, which is tentatively scheduled to consider the ordinance during its regular meeting on July 5, 2016.

A BESO involves a home energy assessment to identify cost-effective efficiency improvements at the time of sale or at a specific threshold. The resulting report assigns the house an energy efficiency score and the homeowner is provided a list of specific rebates for home upgrades that would improve energy efficiency.

The City is conducting an on-line survey in order to seek public opinion on the potential thresholds and regulations of a Building Energy Savings Ordinance and whether or not the community would support requiring basic energy efficiency improvements as a result of the assessment. If you are interested in learning more about a BESO and providing your thoughts, please complete the survey found at by 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 18, 2016. If you prefer to complete and submit a printed copy, please contact Assistant Planner Emily Alvarez at (510) 420-3094.

Emily Alvarez

Emily Alvarez, LEED AP BD+C
Assistant Planner | City of Piedmont
120 Vista Avenue | Piedmont, CA 94611
T: (510) 420-3094 | F: (320) 223-0537

Emphasis added.

Go to the survey >

Further background information is available in the City’s posting

Staff Report to City Council of January 4, 2016

Prior PCA article on the survey.

One Response to “IMPORTANT SURVEY: Required Energy Saving Measures for Piedmont Residences”

  1. Just one more way to exact money from property owners; especially seniors! Will the City get search warrants to inspect homes for compliance?????

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