2019 California Energy Code Changes

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In California, we’re living in an exciting time for renewable energy. Both the residential and commercial building sectors are embracing energy efficiency and shifting the market to one that reflects a renewable energy future. But with that shift comes a lot of changes – namely in California’s Energy Code. Starting January 1, 2020 the new code will put in place some significant changes to the building industry.


WHAT IS THE ENERGY CODE?

The Energy Efficiency Standards are designed to reduce energy consumption and enhance environmental quality for all Californians. The Standards ensure builders use energy efficient and energy conserving technologies while keeping in mind a cost-effective energy solutions. Nearly every type of newly constructed, retrofit altered building project must adhere to the California Energy Standards.  

HOW MUCH ENERGY WILL THE 2020 STANDARDS ACTUALLY SAVE?

Single family built with the 2019 standards will use about 7% less energy. Once rooftop solar generation is factored in, those newly constructed home will use approximately 53% less energy than a home built with the 2016 standards. These standards are expected to save 700,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases. 

 “The buildings that Californians buy and live in will operate very efficiently while generating their own clean energy. They will cost less to operate, have healthy indoor air and provide a platform for ‘smart’ technologies that will propel the state even further down the road to a low emissions future.”     – Commissioner Andrew McAllister 

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO IMPLEMENT THOSE CHANGES?

While the costs will vary per housing unit, the average increase is $9,500 during the construction phase. However, by implementing these standards, the home will actually save $19,000 in energy savings over 30 years. So, let’s break that down – on a 30-year mortgage, the implementation will add $40 monthly, but will actually save the homeowner $80 monthly in energy (heating, cooling and lighting). That means you are actually saving $40 monthly, while actually helping the environment. 

ABOUT THE CEC & HERS RATERS

The California Energy Commission (CEC) is responsible for adopting, implementing and updating those standards every 3 years. A HERS Rater is a third-party professional who ensures both the energy consultant and the contractor are adhering to those energy standards.  Some of these changes may appear confusing at first, but they’re all designed with energy savings in mind. If you still have questions about the 2019 Energy Code, our team at Cal Energy is happy to help. Contact us today!