The California Energy Commission (CEC) has adopted the 2022 Building Energy Efficiency Standards (Energy Code) for newly constructed and renovated buildings. If approved by the California Building Standards Commission in December, it will go into effect on January 1, 2023, providing a year to gear up for the changes.
As the state’s primary energy policy and planning agency, the CEC adopts standards every three years to cost-effectively increase the energy efficiency and lower the carbon footprint of buildings. Homes and businesses use nearly 70 percent of California’s electricity and are responsible for a quarter of the state’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The 2022 Energy Code 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 percent clean electricity grid.
- Strengthening ventilation standards to improve indoor air quality.
The impact of climate change is accelerating, bringing an even greater need for buildings that are comfortable, efficient and resilient. Each updated code guides the construction of buildings to better withstand extreme weather, lower energy costs, and reduce climate and air pollution.