September 2019

Reach Code News Brief: September 2019

2019: Year of Reach Codes in California

An unprecedented number of local governments are seizing the opportunity to adopt reach codes this year.  As many as 60 cities and towns across the state are focusing on ordinances with the objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Some strategies include building efficiency, renewables, and electrification provisions, as well as provisions relating to electric vehicles. Active cities include San Mateo, San Jose, Berkeley, Santa Monica and numerous others. Have questions on how to access our support for the reach code adoption process? Email  us at

New this month!

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2019 Cost-Effectiveness Reports for Residential & Nonresidential New Construction Now Available

Newly drafted to align with the 2019 Title 24, Part 6 standards that will become effective January 1, 2020, these reports offer jurisdictions a wide range of documented, cost-effective combinations of measures that exceed the minimum state requirements, for local jurisdictions seeking to adopt local energy efficiency ordinances, or reach codes.

These reports offer this data for new single family and low-rise (one- to three-story) multifamily residential construction as well as nonresidential new construction. The nonresidential report examined medium office, medium retail, and small hotel buildings which represent a significant portion of commercial construction activity. The analyses include evaluation of both mixed fuel and all-electric buildings, documenting that advanced performance requirements can be met by either type of building design. In addition, the reports includes a comparison between a baseline mixed-fuel design and all-electric design for each occupancy type.

Compliance package options and cost-effectiveness analysis in all sixteen California climate zones (CZs) are presented.

Measures include energy efficiency, solar photovoltaics (PV), and battery storage. Local jurisdictions can download these reports, free of charge, from the localenergycodes website.

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New Water + Energy Resources: Cost Effectiveness Report + Model Ordinance

Water and energy are inextricably linked and mutually dependent, with each affecting the other’s availability. Water is needed for energy development and generation, and energy is required to supply, use, and treat drinking water and wastewater. This link, often referred to as the water-energy nexus, means that measures focusing on water savings also generate energy savings, beyond the direct savings on site. For instance, reducing the need for hot water also reduces the energy heating. Further energy savings also result from upstream and downstream activities such as water collection and treatment.

The Codes & Standards Reach Code Program recently published invaluable resources for jurisdictions engaged in water + energy reach code development. The Energy Plus Water Cost-effectiveness Report presents opportunities that local jurisdictions could consider adopting to achieve energy and water savings beyond what will be accomplished by enforcing requirements that apply statewide. The report provides numerous examples of measures that can be adopted to reduce hot and cold indoor water use as well as water used for residential and nonresidential landscape irrigation. In addition, the Program has developed  Model Ordinance language that local jurisdictions can incorporate into their code development processes. Both the report and materials have been updated for 2019 Title 24, Part 6 standards.

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Event Spotlight: 2019 SEEC Forum

Hosted by the Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative and the Local Government Commission, the 10th Annual Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum (SEEC Forum) attracted more than 100 attendees over two days in late June in Long Beach. With a focus on empowering local governments to implement impactful energy efficiency measures locally while helping meet the state’s ambitious climate and energy goals, the event featured more than 20 speakers over two days of programming.The Codes & Standards Reach Codes program participated in a panel on Thursday, June 27, 2019 that explored how reach codes could assist local jurisdictions in achieving their climate action goals. Panelists Gabe Taylor, California Energy Commission, Misti Bruceri, representing the Codes & Standards team, Amy Rider, BDC, Karen Kristiansson, BayREN, and moderator Christopher Kuch of Southern California Edison, conducted a lively discussion about reach codes, strategies for adopting a reach ordinance, and experiences and lessons learned from local governments that have adopted reach codes already.

The team participated in a follow-up webinar on September 16, 2019 and that presentation is available on the SEEC website.

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Other Reach Code News Briefs

  • SDGE - A Sempra Energy Utility
  • Southern California Edison - An EDISON INTERNATIONAL® Company
  • PG&E Corporation

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