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California to Adopt First Of Its Kind Building Energy Code

California to Adopt First Of Its Kind Building Energy Code
25 August 2021
 

The California Energy Commission is hoping to adopt updated building standards to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions from homes and businesses in the state.

According to Utility Dive, stakeholders say it is the country's first state-wide building code that strongly incentivises all-electric construction.

 

The 2022 Energy Code

 

Homes and businesses use nearly 70 per cent of California’s electricity and are responsible for a quarter of the state’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The 2022 Energy Code seeks to address this and focuses on four key areas in newly constructed homes and businesses:

 

  • Encouraging electric heat pump technology for space and water heating, which consumes less energy and produces fewer emissions than gas-powered units.
  • Establishing electric-ready requirements for single-family homes to position owners to use cleaner electric heating, cooking and electric vehicle (EV) charging options whenever they choose to adopt those technologies.
  • Expanding solar photovoltaic (PV) system and battery storage standards to make clean energy available onsite and complement the state’s progress toward a 100 per cent clean electricity grid.
  • Strengthening ventilation standards to improve indoor air quality.

 

Over the next 30 years, the 2022 Energy Code is estimated to provide $1.5 billion in consumer benefits and reduce 10 million metric tons of GHGs, equivalent to taking nearly 2.2 million cars off the road for a year. 

“Buildings profoundly influence our health, environment and economy. Into the future they will use less energy and emit less pollution while still being comfortable and healthy,” said Commissioner J. Andrew McAllister, who is the Lead Commissioner on energy efficiency. 

“The 2022 Energy Code firmly pivots California’s buildings toward the clean, low-carbon technologies that are the bedrock on which our collective path forward will rest. This foundation will help the state meet its critical long-term climate and carbon neutrality goals."

The 2022 update will be submitted to the California Building Standards Commission (CBSC), which is scheduled to consider it in December 2021. If approved by the CBSC, it would go into effect on January 1, 2023.

Picture: a photograph of some palm trees

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 25 August 2021

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