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City of Chico

City of Chico

The goal  of the City of Chico’s Residential Retrofit Program is to increase the energy efficiency of Chico’s older housing stock.  The Program requires property owners to upgrade certain energy and water conservation measures on residential property before being sold or transferred.

RECO Documents


The Building Official authorizes other persons to conduct energy conservation inspections based on specific qualifications, in order to certify compliance with the Program. City Code requires that all businesses engaging in transactions within Chico’s city limits have a current business license.
Apply to Become a Certified Energy Retrofit Inspector
The Certified Energy Retrofit Inspectors list will be updated quarterly. However, applications may be submitted at any time.


How to Comply

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Requirements for an Energy/Water Conservation Inspection:
  • The property is located within the City limits.
    City of Chico GIS Maps
  • The construction of the property was permitted prior to July 1, 1991.
  • The property has not been certified as compliant in over 10 years. (See Certificate of Compliance)
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Schedule an Inspection:
  NOTE: RECO inspection fees are not set or collected by the City.
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Complete the Work and Submit the Final Inspection to the City:
  • If the property is not in compliance, the owner may complete the work themselves or hire someone to do the work.
  • A final inspection by a certified inspector certifying the property is in compliance will need to be submitted to the City.
  • The City will review the final inspection and prepare a Certificate of Completion and provide it to the property owner(s). The certificate is valid for 10 years.
NOTE: If the property is not in compliance, the seller may transfer the responsibility to the buyer. See Transfer of Responsibility.

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Certificate of Compliance:

After receiving an inspection form, the City will review the form and determine whether the property is in compliance with RECO.  Once approved, a Certificate of Compliance will be issued to the property owner or the owner’s representative.  The RECO Certificate of Compliance is valid for 10 years.
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Please verify any exemptions with the Program Administrator.
  1. The construction of the property was permitted after July 1, 1991.
  2. Any property with a Certificate of Compliance on file within 10 years.
  3. Factory-built, manufactured or mobile homes.
  4. Sales or transfers pursuant to a court order.
  5. Transfers as a result of default to bank.
  6. Transfers from one co-owner to one or more co-owners.
  7. Transfers to a spouse or certain relatives.
  8. Transfers between spouses as a result of divorce.
  9. Short sales.

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Transfer of Responsibility:

The seller and buyer may mutually agree to transfer responsibility to the buyer, however, transfers are at the discretion of the Building Official. If a transfer agreement is approved, the buyer will have 180 days to complete the RECO measures and submit a final inspection for certification of compliance.
Please contact the Program Administrator if there are questions about the type of work that can be transferred.

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Cost Limitations:

Cost savings can be immediate when RECO measures are completed on a home. The RECO ordinance limits the maximum amount you may have to spend to comply with the program:
  1. Minimum R-30 ceiling insulation must be installed regardless of the cost.
  2. If the cost of the required insulation is under $800, additional measures are required until the $800 cost limitation is reached.
  3. If the cost of the required insulation is $800 or more, then no additional measures are required.
NOTE: For multi-family residences with two or more units, the cost limitation is $560 per unit.

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Adiminstrative Review/Appeal:

Any person aggrieved by a determination made or action taken by the Building Official may apply to the Community Development Director for administrative review of such determination or action. Applications for administrative review shall be made in writing and submitted to the Director within 15 calendar days from the determination or action.
Any person aggrieved by a decision of the Director’s determination may appeal the decision to the City Council. (See CMC 16.60.030, 16.60.040, 16.60.050.)

Order of Priority

Chico Municipal Code 16.60.100
Every home, condominium, or apartment building built prior to July 1, 1991 must have the following energy/water efficiency measures before being sold or transferred:
Attic Insulation
1 - Attic Space Insulation
All attic space with 30” or greater headroom must be insulated to a minimum thermal resistance rating of R-30.
Caulking a Window
2 - Major Cracks, Joints and Other Openings
All major cracks, joints, and other openings in the building exteriors must be caulked, weather stripped, or otherwise sealed to limit air infiltration.
Sink Faucet
3 - Sink and Lavatory Faucets
All sink and lavatory faucets must be fitted with low-flow faucets with a maximum flow rate of 2.75 gallons per minute or provided with an aerator.
Shower Fixture
4 - Shower Fixtures
All shower fixtures must be fitted with in-line shower restrictor or low flow shower heads with a maximum water flow rate of 3-gallons per minute. (See CMC 16.60.100 for exception.)
5 - Low-Flow Toilets
Unless determined unfeasible, all toilets must be low-flow toilets rated at 1.6 gallons per flush or less.
Programable Thermostat
6 - Programable Thermostats
Thermostats must be programmable, where feasible.
Insulated Water Pipes
7 - Exposed Cold and Hot Water Lines
All exposed cold water lines connected to and within 5-feet of existing water heaters, and all hot water lines from water heaters in unconditioned spaces are to be insulated at a minimum thermal resistance rating of R-3.
Insulated Water Heater
8 - Insulating Water Heaters
All domestic water heaters must be fitted with external insulation blankets with a minimum rating of R-6. (See CMC 16.60.100 for exception.)
9 - Ducts
All ducts in accessible areas shall be visually inspected to determine if they are intact and functioning properly.
Program Administrator:
Sommer Stephenson, 530-879-6820
Certificate of Compliance:
Building Official: