Updated building standards designed to get more energy savings from new and existing residential and nonresidential buildings took effect July 1 in California, the California Energy Commission (CEC) announced this week.
New standards call for:
- Insulated hot water pipes to save water and energy, and cut the time it takes to get hot water
- Improved window performance to reduce heat loss during winters and heat gain during summers
- Whole house fans when appropriate, to reduce the need for air conditioning
- Improved wall insulation to reduce heating and cooling loads in all climate zones
- Mandatory duct sealing in all climate zones
- Mandatory solar ready zone to facilitate future installation of solar systems
- Recognizing photovoltaic compliance credit for the first time in the building standards
- High performance windows that reduce heating and cooling loads in buildings year round
- Efficient process equipment in grocery stores, commercial kitchens, data centers, laboratories, and parking garages
- Advanced multi-level lighting controls and sensors to minimize the usage of electric lighting by taking advantage of available daylighting and demand response opportunities
- Occupant Controlled Smart Thermostats allow for setting and maintaining a desired temperature and voluntarily participation in a utility’s demand response programs
- Increased solar reflectance for low-sloped roof to reduce cooling load in summer time
- Increased cooling tower energy efficiency and water savings by requiring drift eliminators and other water saving measures
- The Energy Commission has developed public domain software to assist industry with compliance to the 2013 standards. The California Building Energy Code Compliance (CBECC) software is a free, open-source program that models residential and nonresidential buildings; the Energy Commission said there are three additional available vendor software programs to help designers, builders, contractors and others measure and evaluate results.