CCEC Forum Session Focuses on Accelerating and Demystifying the Reach Codes Process
A statewide panel of reach code professionals joined on Thursday, September 22, 2022 for a lively discussion of reach code issues at the 13th Annual California Climate and Energy Collaborative (CCEC) Forum.
Moderator Misti Bruceri led a highly interactive conversation that ranged from statewide to local perspectives, looking at the reach code development and adoption process with an eye toward sharing insights that would enable attendees to accelerate their own processes.
Statewide perspectives were provided by Danuta Drozdowicz, Energy Specialist with the Efficiency Division of the California Energy Commission, who is responsible for coordinating approval process of local reach code measures by the Commission, and Lawrence Garber, Program Associate with the Building Decarbonization Coalition, who shared valuable insights from the annual survey conducted statewide for jurisdictions implementing reach codes.
Local perspectives came from three professionals with jurisdictions across the state, each of whom spoke to a specific stage in the process. Cora Panturad, Sustainable Infrastructure Analyst with the County of Monterey, shared her team’s experience with the beginning stages of the process, focusing on outreach and identifying and developing reach code language. Crystal Najera, Sustainability Manager for the City of Encinitas, shared insights about her community’s experience with the development and adoption of its reach code. Demian Hardman-Saldana, Senior Planner, Sustainability & Energy for Contra Costa County, spoke about implementation aspects of adopted reach codes. The free-flowing conversation included insights from attendees as well as numerous questions.
Some of the panel's tips and takeaways included:
In the early stages of development and adoption, have as detailed an understanding of the thinking of City Council or Board of Supervisors as possible. This will help local staff be prepared for guiding the process through development and adoption
In the mid stages, know where the resources exist to help the local team streamline the process--whether it be a regional REN, the statewide team, other regional jurisdictions, or Commission staff
It's critical to begin well in advance of the effective date of the ordinance and work closely with the other local departments needed for successful implementation, such as the planning and building inspection departments
Utilize the Commission staff to identify as early as possible whether Commission approval will be needed. Drozdowicz welcomes jurisdictions reaching out to provide draft ordinances to make an early determination that Commission approval is not needed as well as furnishing a letter regarding this to local counsel.
The session materials will remain available on the Whova platform for Forum attendees.
The statewide reach codes program also staffed a table at the Forum to chat with attendees and provide an overview of available resources.