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2005 Update
Residential & Nonresidential
Energy Efficiency Building Standards

Following the adoption of the 1998 Energy Efficiency Building Standards, the California Energy Commission decided to initiate a comprehensive review of the Title 24, Section 6 standards and consider a variety of changes that would:

  • Make them more sensitive to the time dependence of energy use
  • Increase the quality of construction and reliability of energy savings
  • Address new opportunities to include emerging technologies and research conclusions from the Commission's Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) Program
  • Assess the economic implications of Standards provisions resulting from the restructuring of the electricity industry in California.

The Commission originally decided, because of the large scope of these changes, to skip the California Building Code update going into effect in 2002, and focus on more substantive changes to go into effect in 2005. This plan, hopwever, was interrupted by the passage of Assembly Bill 970 (Statutes of 2000) that required the Commission to adopt an emergency update of the Standards to respond to California's electricity crisis.

The AB 970 Standards were developed in a very focused effort aimed at reducing peak electricity consumption, and incorporating energy efficiency measures for which there already was substantial information, Standards specifications could be developed quickly, and industry incorporation on an emergency basis without disruption could be accomplished.

This expedited process did not allow time for addressing measures that would primarily impact heating and water heating energy savings, many of the issue areas that the Commission had anticipated for the 2005 Standards, or many constructive ideas for Standards changes, which stakeholders proposed in the AB 970 emergency proceeding. Upon adoption of the AB 970 Standards, the Commission directed continued work on these topics for the 2005 Standards.

The Commission views continued efforts on the 2005 Standards as being directly related to the AB 970 mandate to "...on the earliest feasible date ... adopt and implement updated and cost-effective standards ... to ensure the maximum feasible reductions in wasteful, uneconomic, inefficient, or unnecessary consumption of electricity."

The Commission has targeted July 1, 2003, for adoption of these updated Standards. They are planned to go into effect in conjunction with the California Building Code, expected to be effective in 2005. Between the 2003 adoption date and the 2005 effective date, the Commission anticipates that the California utilities can focus Public Goods Charge-funded New Construction programs on providing a transition process for early, voluntary compliance with the upgraded Standards.

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Page Updated: September 14, 2001