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What Is Title 24

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Title 24 – California Energy Code

The Energy Efficiency Standards for Residential and Nonresidential Buildings

The California Title 24 Building Energy Efficiency Standards are designed to ensure new and existing buildings achieve energy efficiency and preserve outdoor and indoor environmental quality. These measures (Title 24, Part 6) are listed in the California Code of Regulations. The California Energy Commission is responsible for adopting, implementing and updating building energy efficiency.

Why Energy Efficiency Standards Are Important
Energy Efficiency Standards make buildings more comfortable, lower energy costs by increasing the reliability and availability of electricity, and reduce the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions to the environment. Standards ensure that builders use the most energy efficient technologies and construction.

How much energy will the 2016 standards save?
Reducing energy use is a benefit to all. Homeowners save money, Californians have a more secure and healthy economy, the environment is less negatively impacted, and our electrical system can operate in a more stable manner. Single family homes built to the 2016 standards will use about 28 percent less energy for lighting, heating, cooling, ventilation, and water heating than those built to the 2013 standards. In 30 years, California will have saved enough energy to power 2.2 million homes, reducing the need to build 12 additional power plants.

Do the 2016 residential standards get us to zero net energy?
In 2008 California set bold energy-use reduction goals, targeting zero net energy (ZNE) use in all new (residential and nonresidential buildings) expecting to reduce the growth in electricity use by 561 gigawatt-hours per year (GWh/yr) and reduce the growth in gas use by 19.0 million therms per year (therms/yr). Zero net energy means new buildings must use a combination of improved efficiency and distributed renewable energy generation to meet 100 percent of their annual energy need. The 2016 standards will not get us to ZNE. However, they do get us very close to our goal and make important steps toward changing residential building practices in California.

Economic Benefit
For the homeowner, energy efficiency helps to ensure that a home is affordable both now and into the future. On average, the 2016 Building Energy Efficiency Standards will increase the cost of constructing a new home by about $2,700, but will save $7,400 in energy and maintenance costs over 30 years. In other words, when factored into a 30-year mortgage with a 5 percent interest rate, the standards will add about $11 per month for the average home, but will save consumers roughly $31 on monthly heating, cooling, and lighting bills.
From a larger perspective, the less California depends on depletable resources such as natural gas, coal, and oil, the stronger and more stable the economy will remain in the face of energy cost increases. In many ways, it is far more cost effective for the people of California to invest in saving energy than it is to invest in building new power plants.

Global Warming And The Environment
Scientists recommend that actions be taken to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. While adding scrubbers to power plants and catalytic converters to cars reduce other emissions, they do not limit the carbon dioxide we emit into the atmosphere. Using energy efficiently is a far-reaching strategy that can make an important contribution to the reduction of greenhouse gases.
May 9, 2018 – Moving to cut energy use in new homes by more than 50 percent, the California Energy Commission adopted building standards that require solar photovoltaic systems starting in 2020. The building energy efficiency standards, which are the first in the nation to require solar, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an amount equivalent to taking 115,000 fossil fuel cars off the road.
The cost-effective 2019 Building Energy Efficiency Standards, which take effect on Jan. 1, 2020, focus on four key areas:

  1. smart residential photovoltaic systems
  2. updated thermal envelope standards (preventing heat transfer from the interior to exterior and vice versa)
  3. residential and nonresidential ventilation requirements
  4. and nonresidential lighting requirements

Under the new standards, nonresidential buildings will use about 30 percent less energy due mainly to lighting upgrades. For residential homeowners, based on a 30-year mortgage, the Energy Commission estimates that the standards will add about $40 to an average monthly payment, but save consumers $80 on monthly heating, cooling and lighting bills.

“Under these new standards, buildings will perform better than ever, at the same time they contribute to a reliable grid. The buildings that Californians buy and live in will operate very efficiently while generating their own clean energy. They will cost less to operate, have healthy indoor air and provide a platform for ‘smart’ technologies that will propel the state even further down the road to a low emissions future.”
Energy Commissioner Andrew McAllister

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