For immediate release: July 1, 1997
Media Contact: Claudia Chandler -- 916 - 654-4989

Energy Commission Renovates,
Updates State's Building Standards

Californians have realized $10 billion in utility bill savings since 1977 as a result of the state's building energy standards. Yet new improvements in these standards promise even greater benefits for consumers.

The California Energy Commission has taken action to fine tune several key provisions of the state's building standards.

Residential builders, for example, will receive new energy credits for using good heating and cooling duct construction and encourage high performance windows. These credits, in turn, allow homebuilders to meet building codes more effectively, offering consumers a better product for their money.

The proposed standards also enhance code enforcement and assure energy savings by:

The Energy Commission also took action to improve the energy efficiency of nonresidential buildings by recognizing recent technologies in lighting. These innovations offer substantial energy savings over the life of a commercial or industrial building, thus boosting a business's bottom line.

The proposed standards were developed as a result of a cooperative process to achieve consensus. Participants included the state's building industry, environmentalists, building inspection officials, product manufacturers, energy consultants and Commission staff.

State Energy Commissioner Michal C. Moore said, "Today's Commission decision on the standards typifies how sound public policy results from a close, productive relationship between the public and private sectors. The cooperation that has evolved over the course of this process ensures that the standards will meet their original goals more effectively than ever before."

According to Robert E. Raymer, technical director and legislative advocate for the California Building Industry Association, "The state's building industry is strongly supportive of today's Commission action to improve the focus and the relevancy of the building standards. Working closely with stakeholders, the Commission has managed to clarify workable, reliable efficiency measures and eliminate those regulations that are no longer relevant or consistent with today's industry standards."

With adoption by the California Energy Commission the new standards will next be reviewed by the California Building Standards Commission in November 1997 and are slated to become effective January 1999.


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