Building Energy Efficiency Standards

Posted On Wednesday, 23 September 2020 22:31

During the 2000/2001 California energy crisis, California learned that its electric distribution network is fragile and system overloads caused by excessive demand from buildings can create unstable conditions. This resulted in blackouts which can disrupt business and cost the economy billions of dollars; this is why, since the crisis, the Energy Commission has placed more emphasis on demand reduction.

Building Energy Efficiency Standards are always changing, which is a good thing as people's needs are ever-evolving, standards are improving, and expectations increased. Title 24 compliance mandates that, by 2030, all new nonresidential construction must meet zero net energy (ZNE) requirements, which means a building cannot emit more energy than it produces. Additionally, Title 24 compliance may be required in existing nonresidential buildings in the event of specific lighting alterations. Every three years, the California Energy Commission (CEC) updates Part 6 of Title 24 to continuously reduce energy consumption and stay on track with the state's ZNE goals. 

This is California's energy code which is designed to reduce wasteful and unnecessary energy consumption in newly constructed and existing buildings. The California Energy Commission updates the Building Energy Efficiency Standards (Title 24, Parts 6 and 11) every three years by working with stakeholders in a public and transparent process.

So, what do you need to complete the title 24 report? First of all, you will need the floor plans with North arrow, all exterior wall, window and door dimensions, as well as elevations/sections. If it's for an additional remodel projects, then you should include a demo or an as-built plan to include all the existing window sizes, including those which are being removed.

If you have hand-drawn drawings, then you can use these, but the easiest and fastest way to do your Title 24 report is to take a good quality photo of your floor plan with your smartphone or have the pages scanned at a FedEx/Kinko's or local blueprint shop.

It's important to note that Title 24 includes existing homes and not just new ones, so you might need to get yourself some new light fixtures, and while it might cost a little initially, in the long run, I'll be more energy efficient. Essentially, you will save money and save energy too. 

Energy efficiency will not only reduce costs for owners, but it increases reliability and availability of electricity for the whole state, it improves building occupant comfort and reduces environmental impact; basically, reducing energy use is a benefit to everyone. Building owners save money and residents a more secure and healthy economy; the environment is less negatively impacted; the electrical grid can operate in a more stable state.

Comfort is also an essential benefit of energy-efficient buildings. Energy-efficient buildings include high-performance windows to reduce solar gains and heat loss, and properly designed HVAC systems, which provide improved air circulation.

For building owners, energy efficiency helps create a more profitable operation which essentially means that the less California depends on depletable resources such as natural gas, coal, and oil, the stronger and more stable the economy will remain in the face of energy cost increases. It is expected that Title 24 Energy Standards will have a significant impact on reducing greenhouse gas and other air emissions.

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