June 2020

Reach Code News Brief: June 2020

Reach Codes Approved in Two Jurisdictions in June

Reach Code Summary June 2020

The June business meeting of the California Energy Commission, on June 10, 2020, saw the approval of two new reach codes for the cities of Richmond and Hayward respectively.

This brings the total number of approved reach codes in 2020 to 25. The table (left) summarizes the types of code provisions approved by the Commission as well as a total of local ordinances approved over previous code cycles.

Visit our website for detailed information about adopted reach codes throughout the state (map view or the adopted ordinances list).


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SEEC Forum Panel RS

Reach Codes Team Presents at 2020 SEEC Forum

The panel began with Drozdowicz providing an overview of the CEC's role in reach code adoption and the elements of the reach code development and adoption process. Attendees then heard from two jurisdictions about their unique reach code development experiences.

In describing the Palo Alto experience, Ballash, Assistant Building Official for the City, noted the City's long history with reach code development and implementation, going back to its adoption of CALGreen in 2008 as a mandatory code. Currently, Palo Alto is implementing a new all-electric reach code for residential construction as well as planning to extend these electrification requirements to commercial and ADU construction later this year.

The Chula Vista experience, described by Conservation Specialist Cory Downs, is quite different.  This jurisdiction is developing a range of specific measures to drive energy efficiency in ways best suited to the needs of the community. Downs also discussed the role of City Council in probing the proposed ordinances to help determine the suitability for the local community.

Both Ballash and Downs emphasized the important role of stakeholder engagement throughout the process in helping identify the best fit between community needs and reach code development.

The session continued with a discussion of available, no-cost resources for jurisdictions at all stages of the process. Misti Bruceri, lead for the statewide reach code team, described a range of tools, from cost-effectiveness studies and model language to a robust new website (see middle column for story) and staff resources for consultation and engagement.

In concluding the session, Drozdowicz provided a snapshot of adopted codes and the range of provisions seen by the CEC in its review and approval, ranging from:

  • Green roofs
  • Solar thermal systems
  • Battery storage or prewire for battery storage
  • Low carbon concrete
  • LEED or Green Point Rated certified
  • Cool roofs
  • Retrofits on the horizon

The complete presentation is available here. The SEEC Forum continues through November with weekly sessions. More information is available here.

New Website Launch

Reach Codes Program Launches New Website

Months in development, the new statewide reach codes website launched recently with robust new capabilities and intuitive user pathways.

The website, designed for use by local jurisdictions working on reach code packages, offers five major pathways for reach codes:

  • Building efficiency and renewables
  • Electric ready
  • Energy plus Water
  • Information disclosure
  • Process loads

In each of these pathways, the user can sort and filter for different options and scenarios. For instance, a city staff person researching electric-ready provisions can immediately identify a range of provisions, the pros and cons related to that measure, specific resources related to the measure, and the cities or counties in California that have already adopted such a provision.

"We wanted to make the comprehensive resources the program offers as accessible to every user as possible," notes Misti Bruceri, technical lead for the program. "We know there is a wide range of interest and knowledge among jurisdictions, and the website is designed to make it as easy as possible to find the most relevant information as quickly as possible."

In addition to these robust resources, the website also houses the monthly News Brief and ongoing series of Frontrunners, that feature specific jurisdictions' achievements with reach code adoption.

Visit the new website here.

Montara Aerial Photo June 2020 News Brief

San Mateo County Develops Bold Reach Code Package as Part of Regional Leadership

San Mateo County represents the extraordinary diversity of the entire state; in fact, the county’s websitefeatures a tagline “All of California in One County." It has worked hard to nurture leadership and collaboration in building and energy efficiencystandards for the county’s stakeholders and those of the local jurisdictions it encompasses.

The County of San Mateo’s Office of Sustainability worked collaboratively with Peninsula Clean Energy, the County’s official electricity provider,to identify reach code options that would reduce the use of fossil fuels and that were supported by the community.

Numerous outreach events were conducted, including activities focused on public sector employees, charrettes with the developer and builder community, and focused outreach to stakeholders already active with new constructionprojects.

These activities enabled the county team to identify the key aspects of the provisions that would be most impactful in moving the County toward its Climate Action Plan goals. “Climate change is the greatestchallenge of our time and we must do everything possible to embrace carbon free options,” notedCounty Supervisor Dave Pine.

Ultimately, the County team structured its reach code package along three components:

  • Building electrification for all building types
  • Mandatory solar for nonresidential and high riseresidential
  • Electric vehicle readiness across all building types

The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors approved the reach code provisions on February 25, 2020,  and hopes to achieve final approval and implementation later in 2020. An important area of education for county stakeholders is the role of all-electric new construction and mandatory solar provisions for grid resiliency during potential public safety power shutoffs.

Read the complete Frontrunner here.

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Other Reach Code News Briefs

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