An Update from the CALBO Energy Commission Advisory Committee


The California Energy Commission has adopted the 2019 Building Energy Efficiency Standards. The 2019 Energy Code goes into effect January 1, 2020. Homes built under this Code will use about 53 percent less energy than those under the 2016 Code. Nonresidential buildings are estimated to use about 30 percent less. Although the Energy Code has been adopted the Energy Commission Advisory Committee has been, and will continue to be, very busy.  

During the last few terms the committee has made a conscious effort to be involved and to be available for collaboration with the Energy Commission staff. These efforts have paid off; CEC staff communicates with CALBO on a regular basis and continually reaches out to get CALBO’s position on issues that arise.

Committee Goals

The Energy Commission Advisory Committee has updated the committee goals to reflect direction from the CALBO Board and also to identify and document the direction of the committee for the next term.  The committee’s goals are listed below.

  • Collaborate with CEC staff and other organizations involved to reformat the Energy Code to be consistent with the other parts of Title 24.
  • Continue to collaborate with CEC staff to reinstate the index in the Energy Code.
  • Assist the CBSC Code Advisory Committee for Plumbing, Electrical, Mechanical, and Energy codes in the code development process, as needed.
  • Write two articles on the committee progress for the CALBO News.
  • Develop a handout explaining the residential PV requirements that have been approved for inclusion in the 2019 Standards.

Committee Activities

The committee has been very busy meeting with CEC staff, attending workshops and making presentations on behalf of CALBO members.  

At the forefront of the committee’s efforts is SB1414. This legislation requires the Energy Commission to formalize a plan to address the lack of compliance associated with HVAC change-outs and specifically permit avoidance by January 1, 2019.  Studies funded by the CEC indicate that only 8% to 10% of the HVAC systems replaced are done with permit. There have been a number of strategies suggested during the three workshops held during June, July and August.  The committee has submitted a letter to the docket to provide CALBO’s position on the proposed strategies. 

Some of the suggested strategies can have far reaching consequences. The two main possibilities that the CEC seems to be focusing on are serial number tracking and a statewide online permitting process.  There have also been some other suggestions such as: Building Departments hiring HERS raters, simplification of energy code compliance, training and certification requirements for technicians, additional funding for enforcement agencies and public service announcements. The committee will continue to be involved in the development of the SB1414 plan.

The committee has collaborated with CEC staff and other stakeholders in 2 teleconference meetings, 8 in-person meetings and made 2 formal presentations over the last three months on the following topics:

  • The role of Building Departments in HERS verification and testing
  • Development of an index for the 2019 Standards
  • Streamlining CEC forms
  • Development of guidelines for Energy Storage Systems
  • Improving compliance of HVAC change-outs (SB1414)
  • Energy compliance software
  • Re-formatting the 2022 Standards

Thanks to Tom Trimberger and Gene Ashdown for representing local building officials while attending the workshops for “Improving the Compliance of HVAC and Heat Pump Systems” and thanks to the committee members who have been attending the monthly committee conference calls and providing valuable feedback and information in support of the committee’s efforts.  

If you have any questions regarding the information provided above, please contact the CALBO Energy Commission Advisory Committee.