These revised energy efficiency standards for newly constructed buildings are a result of California’s evolving building energy standards, required to be revised every three years.

24 California Code of Regulations Part 6

Amended by 12-BSTD-01

Effective January 1,2014

New construction for residential buildings must include:

  • solar-ready roofs (angled and facing south);
  • efficient windows to allow increased sunlight and decreased heat;
  • insulated hot water pipes;
  • whole house fans to cool the house with evening air in lieu of air conditioning at night; and
  • air conditioner installation verification by an independent inspector.

Nonresidential building standards (excepting hospitals, nursing homes, correctional centers and prisons) have been revised to require:

  • high performance windows, sensors and controls;
  • efficient process equipment for supermarkets, computer data centers, commercial kitchens, laboratories and parking garages;
  • advanced lighting controls to adjust for daylight and occupancy;
  • solar ready roofs; and
  • cool roof technology.

The particular requirements vary by the state’s 16 climate zones, which can be found at

These revisions will increase the construction cost of a new home on average by $2,290 and return $6,200 over 30 years of energy savings.

Editor’s note – California is leading the way in energy efficiency efforts, its solar capacity alone making up half the nation’s solar capacity. To compete with new energy efficient homes, read up on how to install and market energy efficient improvements in your clients’ homes.

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