Fall 2015       |      Cindi Christenson, Registrar      |      Edmund G. Brown Jr., Governor


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New State Energy-Efficiency Standards Are Coming for Builders


Licensed contractors will have an important role in California's march toward increased energy efficiency standards. The California Energy Commission (CEC) in June approved the 2016 Building Energy Efficiency Standards that will require builders to use the most energy-efficient technologies and construction to cut energy use in homes and buildings.

The efficiency standards are scheduled to take effect in January 2017. 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. The rules will vary according to CEC climate zones.

The standards would bring the state closer to meeting the ambitious Zero Net Energy goal (ZNE) set by the Legislature in 2008 that called for all new homes to be ZNE-compliant by 2020 and commercial buildings by 2030.

The construction and design changes required to achieve these targets include:



According to CEC, 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.

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