Background on the 2016 Building Energy Efficiency Standards

The Warren-Alquist Act, enacted in 1976, mandated that the Energy Commission develop and periodically update Building Energy Efficiency Standards for the state of California. These Standards address newly constructed buildings and additions and alterations to existing buildings. The Standards have, in combination with appliance efficiency standards and utility-sponsored incentive programs, strongly contributed to California's per capita electricity consumption levels remaining relatively flat since the mid-1970s. First adopted in 1977, the Standards have been periodically updated on an approximately three-year cycle. The Standards update is conducted in California with the following energy policy documents:The 2003 Energy Action Plan (EAP) established California's "loading order" policy for prioritizing energy resources to address the State's growing energy demands. Energy efficiency is the highest priority in the loading order, followed by demand response, and then electricity generation from renewable energy resources. The 2005 Energy Action Plan II and the 2008 Energy Action Plan Update further underscored the States commitment to the plan by adding more dimensions to these policy areas in the backdrop of Global warming.