What’s New in the 2019 California Energy Code?
The 2019 California Energy Code changes go into effect on January 1, 2020. The changes are significant and will increase the cost of new home construction, more importantly, they will dramatically reduce energy consumption.
Recently the California Energy Commission published a Fact Sheet on the changes. Here is a summary of the the 2019 California Energy Code Changes.
How much energy will the 2019 standards save?
Single-family homes will use about 7 percent less energy due to energy efficiency measures when compared to those built under the 2016 standards. The new requirements for roof top solar electricity generation is factored in, homes will use about 53 percent less energy than those under the 2016 standards. In addition, this will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 700,000 metric tons over three years. This is equivalent to taking 115,000 fossil fuel cars off the road.
Nonresidential buildings will use about 30 percent less energy as a result of the required lighting upgrades.
How much will the 2019 California Energy Code changes add to the cost of a new home?
On average, the 2019 California Energy Code changes will increase the cost of constructing a new home by about $9,500. However, this will save $19,000 in energy and maintenance costs over 30 years. Based on a 30-year mortgage, the Energy Commission estimates that the standards will add about $40 per month for the average home. In addition, this will save
consumers about $80 per month on heating, cooling and lighting bills.
What is new to the 2019 standards?
The standards require solar photo-voltaic systems for all new homes. As a result, this will require a solar panel system integrated with your PGE service.
For the first time, the standards establish requirements for newly constructed healthcare facilities.
On the residential side, the standards encourage demand responsive technologies including battery storage and heat pump water heaters. They will also improve the building’s thermal envelope through high performance attics, walls and windows.
In nonresidential buildings, the standards update indoor and outdoor lighting, making maximum use of LED technology. As a result, building cooling will be reduced due to the lower wattage lamps
For residential and nonresidential buildings, the standards require the use of highly efficient air filters. These filters will help trap hazardous particulates from both outdoor air and kitchen ventilation systems.
You can view the California Energy Commission’s Fact Sheet on the 2019 changes here.
For more information on the California Energy Code see the officical website here.
Gary Welch has over 35 years experience in the field of energy analysis and sustainable building design. He is the CEO of CalGreen Energy Services. Gary is an ICC Certified CalGreen Special Inspector and an AABC certified Commissioning Authority (CxA).