June 2024: Building Performance Standards Issue

Reach Code News Brief: June 2024: Building Performance Standards Issue

What’s Next for Building Performance Standards? An Overview of the Upcoming BPS Strategy Report

California Building Energy Performance Strategy Report

As we explored in our December 2023 story, the state is actively working in this area, both with the foundational Building Energy Benchmarking Program, and now in the beginning stages of the Building Performance Standards Strategy Report, implementing the provisions of SB 48, passed last year.


The Building Energy Benchmarking Program, established in 2018, requires the owners of commercial buildings with more than 50,000 square feet of gross floor area and the owners of multifamily residential buildings with more than 50,000 square feet of gross floor area and 17 or more residential dwelling units to report energy usage and building characteristic information annually to the state. This building performance data is available for public review on the CEC’s Building Energy Use Disclosure and Public Benchmarking Program Dashboard. In addition, seven cities have local benchmarking programs that supersede the state requirements (Berkeley, Brisbane, Chula Vista, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose).

Already, some local jurisdictions are moving beyond benchmarking efforts to developing BPS policies. The city of Chula Vista adopted the first building performance standards in 2021. Seven other cities (Berkeley, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Monica, and West Hollywood) and one county (the County of Los Angeles) are working on building performance policies and have signed onto the National Building Performance Standards Coalition (BPS Coalition), a group of state and local governments that have committed to inclusively design and implement building performance policies and programs in their jurisdictions. In late 2022, the state joined as well.

SB 48 Implementation: The BPS Strategy Report

Passed last year, SB 48 requires the California Energy Commission (CEC), in consultation with the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), and the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), to “…develop a strategy for using benchmarking data to track and manage the energy usage and emissions of greenhouse gases of covered buildings in order to achieve the state’s goals, targets, and standards…”

The Commission is planning a comprehensive process including a series of public workshops and meetings to engage a range of stakeholders and provide opportunities for both interactive and written comments. It will produce at least one draft report and consider additional stakeholder input and feedback to generate a final version. The final report is required to be adopted by the Commission on or before July 1, 2026, and submitted to the Legislature on or before August 1, 2026, along with any additional recommendations.

As noted in our May issue, the first step in this process is the Commission’s Request for Information. The docket (24-BPS-01) is available for comment and review; the comment period at this stage closes June 26, 2024. While written comments submitted through the docket are preferred, they may also be submitted by email. There will be additional opportunities for both written comment and interactive collaboration during this proceeding. Interested parties who would like to follow or participate in this proceeding should subscribe to the “Building Performance Standards” subscription list found at the Commission’s subscriptions webpage. For general information, visit the Commission's webpage here.

The Statewide Reach Codes Program can assist local jurisdictions with policy development and technical questions related to reach code and building performance standards development. Contact info@localenergycodes.com for assistance.

Upcoming Events

July 1: IAPMO webinar: Right-Sizing Plumbing and the Water Demand Calculator

July 8: 3C-REN webinar: 2022 CALGreen Codes for Residential and Non-Residential

July 10: California Energy Commission Business Meeting

July 24:  BayREN webinar: The Buzz About ADUs

July 25: I-REN & Energy Code Ace Webinar: Controlled Environment Horticulture (CEH) – 2022 Energy Code

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New This Month!

California BPS Cohort

Exploring BPS Strategy: Introducing the California Benchmarking and BPS Cohort

A new project funded by the US Department of Energy and just getting underway in California, aims to facilitate collaboration among participants to make progress toward the development and implementation of successful and equitable BPS programs. The program provides funding support for eight regional cohorts located across the country.

To date, the California cohort includes participants from 17 jurisdictions with a total population of 4.5 million people. The first meeting, held in late May, provided an introduction to the program, an overview of what to expect, and solicited feedback from participants to ensure the cohort meets the needs of the jurisdictions. Monthly meetings will include the opportunity to collaborate on policy development best practices, explore long-term staffing and management models, learn from expert speakers, develop shared materials, collaborate with other cohorts, and more. The group will meet through June 2025, with the option to extend the program.

Offerings include:

  • Development of tailored community engagement plans
  • Guidance on creating covered buildings and contact information lists
  • Assistance navigating building stock analysis and target setting
  • Analysis of national policy landscape
  • Feedback on policy and program elements

Individuals or jurisdictions interested in participating in the cohort are welcome to contact Michael Goodrum or John Balfe for more information. The recording from the initial informational session is available here.

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This program is funded by California utility customers and administered by Pacific Gas and Electric Company, San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E®) and Southern California Edison Company under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission and in support of the California Energy Commission.

© 2024 Pacific Gas and Electric Company, San Diego Gas and Electric Company and Southern California Edison.

All rights reserved, except that this document may be used, copied, and distributed without modification.

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