Jun 10 2016

OPINION: Residential Energy Saving Requirements Should Be Tabled

The following letter was written to the Piedmont Planning Commission opposing a Building Energy Saving Ordinance (BESO). 

June 9, 2016

Piedmont Planning Commission
c/o Asst Planner Emily Alvarez

Re: June 13 Hearing on BESO 

Dear Planning Commission,

The June 13, 2015 Staff report summarizes at page three 72% of residents and 72% of Real Estate professionals are opposed to any form of BESO. Additionally the most onerous form of BESO, the “date-certain” requirement for all homes had a low 1 in 14 approval rating. Considering the overwhelmingly negative community response to BESO, this matter should be tabled.

PG&E provides a wealth of free information. Double paned windows, adequate insulation and other energy conservation issues are easily and readily understood and available; most of us know how to make our homes more energy efficient and have taken steps in that direction as family budget allows. A separate Energy Audit at owner expense is not needed. While the City of Berkeley BESO includes buildings by a certain date, the Berkeley BESO phase-in schedule applies to all “building(s) except houses 1-4 units.”


This is a regressive ordinance that would potentially place considerable increased costs on fixed income seniors in older homes. If required at time of sale, those seniors in older homes will now have a report on home energy efficiency used against the sales price. Another layer of government is not needed in an already complex landscape.


Rick Schiller, Piedmont Resident

Editors’ Note:  Opinions expressed are those of the author.

Leave a Comment