December 2022

Reach Code News Brief: December 2022

Annual Roundup: Unprecedented Reach Code Adoptions Statewide in 2022

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Last month, we focused on local jurisdictions that adopted their first reach codes during 2022. This month, we are conducting our annual roundup of all reach code adoptions during 2022.

Thirty-three communities took action to develop and adopt reach codes. As reported last month, 14 of these were jurisdictions adopting for the first time ever. The remainder were either renewing existing ordinances to remain effective under the new Building Energy Code that becomes effective on January 1, 2023, or were extending their reach code program with additional measures.

A substantial majority of jurisdictions adopted all-electric ordinances, with 20 communities enacting this type of reach code.

Reach code activities occurred in all geographic areas of the state and across all sizes of local jurisdictions, from towns with populations less than 10,000 residents to major metropolitan communities like the City of Los Angeles. Two counties, Ventura and Marin Counties, also enacted reach codes.

The Statewide Reach Codes Program maintains an interactive map of adopted reach codes on its website as well  a searchable, downloadable list. Each resource has links to the respective ordinances and staff reports, and both are updated regularly.

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Q&A with Garrett Wong: How Regional Collaboration Can Enhance Reach Code Efforts

Garrett Wong is the Climate Program Manager for the County of Santa Barbara, and the Collaborative Manager for the Santa Barbara County Regional Climate Collaborative. Garrett leads the County’s policies and programs under the One Climate Initiative and collaborates with local and regional organizations to advance inclusive climate action and adaptation. Prior to the County, Garrett led climate and energy policies, programs and projects for the City of Santa Monica. Garrett is also a Board member of the Local Government Sustainable Energy Coalition, which provides regulatory representation and capacity for communities and local governments.

Q: Tell us a little about the regional efforts you are spearheading, Garrett.

A: Three jurisdictions in particular are actively involved in this collaborative effort: County of Santa Barbara, the City of Goleta led by staff member Dana Murray, Sustainability Manager, and the City of Carpinteria, led by Erin Maker, Environmental Manager. Each of our jurisdictions were independently exploring what an electrification reach code might look like and what the different technical assistance resources might be available to assist. It occurred to me, having worked with reach codes before coming to the County, that a county-wide collaboration could offer significant benefits to each of our jurisdictions.

Q: What sort of benefits?

A: By collaborating very closely, each of our jurisdictions can leverage the time investment of the entire team, reducing the individual investment required by each community. In short, by spreading the workload across staff from each of our jurisdictions, we can reduce the individual workloads for each of our teams.

Some examples include our community outreach efforts. The regional team formed an advisory committee which includes stakeholders who may work across the entire region, such as developers, residents, business owners, architects, and environmental advocates. This group has already held a couple of meetings. We’ve also begun conducting regional public workshops, such as the ones conducted in mid-October. For these, the team scheduled different time slots, mid-day and evening, to accommodate a range of stakeholder schedules.

Q: How does this work ‘behind the scenes’ Garrett?

A: We’re creating a sort of ‘roadmap’ for collaboration so each jurisdiction remains in sync with each other across the county. For instance, we’ve established a regular meeting schedule with milestone goals. Each staff lead met early on with its elected officials for policy direction and in each case, the direction was for a similar reach code pathway. While there may be some individual differences—the County for example, includes more agricultural entities than either of the cities—each jurisdiction envisions a health and safety measure. This makes our close collaboration even stronger, as we can jointly create a model language template that can then be modified for local circumstances.

Q: Are there benefits to other regions or jurisdictions who are not involved in this collaboration?

A: We believe so. Firstly, across the County this collaboration can serve as a model and resources for smaller communities who may not be ready to proceed at this time but may be interested in the future. Secondly, across other regions, we believe we’re creating a process and template that other regions could adopt. In either case, the work our team is doing can help streamline the process not just for our own communities but these other communities as well.

Q: Is there a resource other local leaders can access if they’re interested in finding out more?

A: Certainly. Staff can email me at

Cover of Nonresidential New Construction Cost-effectiveness Study

Just Published: 2022 Cost-effectiveness Study on Nonresidential New Construction

The statewide reach codes team has published the 2022 Nonresidential New Construction Cost-effectiveness Study together with its accompanying Workbook.

The  report documents a variety of above-code electrification, energy efficiency, load flexibility, and solar photovoltaic (PV) packages, which include:

  • Mixed Fuel Code Minimum: Mixed-fuel prescriptive building per 2022 Title 24 requirements.
  • Mixed Fuel + Efficiency Measures: Mixed-fuel prescriptive building per 2022 Title 24 requirements, including additional efficiency measures.
  • All-electric Code Minimum Efficiency: All-electric building to minimum Title 24 prescriptive standards and federal minimum efficiency standards. This package has the same PV size as mixed-fuel prescriptive baseline.
  • All-electric Energy Efficiency: All-electric building with added energy efficiency measures related to HVAC, SHW, lighting or envelope.
  • All-electric Energy Efficiency + Load Flexibility: All-electric building with added energy efficiency and load flexibility measures.
  • All-electric Energy Efficiency + Solar PV: All-electric building with added energy efficiency and additional Solar PV. The added PV size is larger than prescriptive 2022 Title 24 code requirements and accounts for roof space availability.

The analysis utilized four nonresidential building prototypes:

Medium Office

All-electric space heating is predominantly achieved through electric resistance due to modeling limitations, which limits operational benefits. Efficiency measures yield some On-Bill cost-effective all-electric packages in milder climate zones. Adding load flexibility measures increases the cost-effectiveness to most climates.

Standalone Retail

All-electric packages are cost-effective in all climate zones with added efficiency measures over all-electric baseline. Proposed mixed-fuel packages are cost-effective too with added efficiency measures in most climate zones primarily driven by cost-equivalency in the all-electric package compared to a mixed-fuel package.

Quick-Service Restaurant

All-electric package with and without cooking electrification is cost-effective in City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) and Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) territories only, On-Bill. All-electric HVAC and SHW package with added efficiency measures is On-Bill cost-effective in CZs 1, 3-5 and 12. Adding efficiency and solar PV is On-Bill cost-effective in CZs 1-5, 11-13, and 16.

Small Hotel

The all-electric hotel has tremendous cost savings compared to a mixed-fuel package, primarily due to the avoidance of gas infrastructure to each guest room. All-electric packages achieve TDV cost-effectiveness in all CZs except 16. On-Bill cost-effectiveness is limited to CZs 2-5, 12 and 15 with single zone ducted heat pumps, but nearly all CZs with a packaged terminal heat pump.

The full report is available at for no cost.

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