February 2020

Reach Code News Brief: February 2020

100th Reach Code Approved; Nine more approved in February

Last month, reach code adoptions achieved an important milestone, with the California Energy Commission approving  the 100th local energy ordinance since 2000. In observing this milestone, Chairman Hochschild commented about the role of local jurisdictions and the Energy Commission, ". . . these decisions are made at the local level. Our authority . . . is highly prescribed. We're looking to see if it violates Title 24 in any way, and if you've considered costs, and if it meets those two tests we approve everything. But just generally we are heading, as a state per the Executive Order, towards carbon neutrality by 2045. And we need local partners to get there."

Nine more reach ordinance packages were approved by the Commission at the February 20 business meeting: Berkeley, Brisbane, Healdsburg, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Santa Rose and Windsor.

West Hollywood

“Sustainable Roofs”: West Hollywood’s Single-Measure Reach Code

West Hollywood, a small city of less than 40,000 residents surrounded by Los Angeles neighborhoods and the city of Beverly Hills, features a very dense, compact urban form with small lots, mixed land use, and a walkable street grid, uncommon in California. The city focused on rooftops as a key way to continue driving optimal building energy efficiency performance while encouraging energy efficiency and development of additional green space in its dense urban landscape.

In December 2019, the City adopted a  sustainable roof provision that provides three options for anynew construction or remodel of residential or nonresidential buildings of 10,000 ft2 or greater:

  • Photovoltaics (PV), sized to off set a minimum of 15% of the building’s total estimated electrical usage, OR
  • Solar thermal systems (i.e., solar hot water), with a minimum 0.50 solar fraction, OR
  • Vegetative/landscaped roof, covering a minimum 30% of the roof area not occupied by mechanical equipment or access stairways

“We have a very engaged stakeholder community,” notes Robyn Eason, Senior Sustainability Planner, who facilitated a series of working groups representing stakeholders from different city departments as well as local residents, architects, developers, and planners. “We also wanted to minimize the workflow involved with compliance, so we worked very hard to simplify the entire process.” The City staff re-imagined its green building website to include new program materials, procedures, forms and educational materials. They also modified existing CALGreen checklists to include local WeHo measures so there would only be a single checklist for all phases of review. Finally, they revised the inspection process to integrate all the new green building requirements and utilize anICC-certified CALGreen building inspector. Read the whole story here.


2020 California Irrigation Institute Annual Conference Highlights

Held in Sacramento on January 27-28, 2020, the annual conference is California’s longest running forum on irrigation and water. “If you want to connect with decision-makers in water industry and get updates on policy, technology, research, and implementation related to smart water use, this is the event to attend,” commented Kathryn Chandler, Executive Director of California Irrigation Institute.

This year’s event attracted 260 attendees representing water providers, local, state, and federal governments, academia, manufacturing companies, energy utilities, industry associations, consulting firms, farms, financial institutions, and media. Nearly 40 exhibitors also participated.

Attendees were able to select sessions from either of two tracks that focused on Agriculture and Urban water issues, as well as joint sessions and student Poster Sessions.

Keynote speaker Dr. Peter Williams, former CTO of IBM’s “Big Green Innovations” gave a compelling speech on the state of intelligent irrigation, both now and looking to the future.

The Statewide Codes & Standards Reach Codes and EnergyCodeAce subprograms participated in the conference as exhibitors, informing visitors of the programs’ services and learning more about local jurisdictions’ water policies.

The Reach Codes team, led by Ms. Stefaniya Becking of Energy Solutions, provided an overview of the program’s services to local jurisdictions, particularly in the area of Water+Energy resources to those attendees researching or developing water efficiency ordinances. “What a great event to connect with some of the local jurisdictions leading the way on water efficiency and conservation like the City of Santa Monica, City of Pasadena, and City of Davis,” commented Ms. Becking.

Numerous Water+Energy resources are available free of charge here.


Looking Forward to the 2022 Code: Opportunities for Stakeholder Participation

It's never too soon to be thinking about the next revision of California's Building Energy Efficiency Standards! Professionals engaged in local Reach Code development may already be working on provisions that are under consideration for inclusion in the 2022 statewide code cycle, and their expertise is valued by the Statewide Codes and Standards Enhancement (CASE) team. The team has selected measures for inclusion in Nonresidential, Multifamily, and Single Family CASE Reports (code change proposals) in the 2022 code cycle. These 2022 standards will continue to improve upon the 2019 standards for new construction of, and additions and alterations to, residential and nonresidential buildings.

Stakeholder engagement is vital and there are numerous ways to participate. Upcoming workshops are scheduled throughout the spring, including:

  • Lighting
  • Single-Family Whole Building
  • Nonresidential Envelope: High Performance Envelope
  • Nonresidential and Single-Family HVAC Part 1
  • Water Heating and Multi-Family All-Electric
  • Single-Family Grid Integration
  • Multi-Family HVAC and Envelope
  • Covered Processes: Refrigeration System Opportunities
  • Nonresidential HVAC and Envelope Part 2
  • Covered Process: Controlled Environment Horticulture

Interested participants can register for these workshops here. Stakeholders are also invited to contribute comments by email or submit comments to the Energy Commission here.

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Other Reach Code News Briefs

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  • Southern California Edison - An EDISON INTERNATIONAL® Company
  • PG&E Corporation

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