Revised Effective Date for the 2013 California Building Energy Efficiency Standards

At its December 11, 2013 Business Meeting, the California Energy Commission revised the effective date for the 2013 Building Energy Efficiency Standards (Title 24, Part 1, Chapter 10 and Part 6, and affected provisions in Part 11 [Cal. Green Building Standards Code]) from January 1, 2014 to July 1, 2014.

The California Energy Commission’s 2013 Public Domain Compliance Software must be used to complete the performance compliance approach of the 2013 Building Energy Efficiency Standards. The public domain software for the 2013 Standards does not yet provide the full feature set needed for building and alteration projects seeking building permits in early 2014. Further, time is needed for the building industry and local building departments to learn and adapt to the new tools. Implementing the standards without software completed and sufficient adoption time would place property owners and the building industry in an untenable situation by significantly impeding their projects’ design and permitting processes.

The revised effective date of July 1, 2014 will provide the building industry with the full complement of tools to comply with the prescriptive and performance compliance options, and sufficient time for training on the use of those tools.

The public domain compliance software for residential buildings has been available since July 2013 and developers have been using the software to not only comply with, but exceed the new Standards. The California Energy Commission is working to refine this software. The public domain compliance software for nonresidential buildings was released in September 2013. The California Energy Commission adopted the 2013 Standards on May 31, 2012, and the California Building Standards Commission approved them on January 23, 2013.

This software represents new advances in building analytics and computer modeling. The Energy Commission is dedicated to ensuring this open-source compliance software works efficiently and effectively. This change also provides the industry more time to prepare for the new Standards. The Energy Commission will use the additional time to provide more information on the Standards and work with the California utilities, building industry and California building officials to provide training on the new Standards.