September 2023

Reach Code News Brief: September 2023

Experimenting with Induction Technology: Loaner Programs Simplify the Process

Portable induction cooktop with pan of vegetables

Numerous utilities, non-profit organizations, local jurisdictions, and CCAs offer induction cooktop loaner programs to provide residential and commercial customers the opportunity to experiment with this electric technology at no cost.

These programs can be vital to creating stakeholder consensus when developing reach code measures for electric-preferred new construction or existing buildings under the 2022 code cycle.

In addition to a portable cooktop, loaner programs often include induction-compatible cookware as well as educational materials that include recipes and information about the technology. Kits may also include magnets so users can test their existing cookware for compatibility. Often, the program also includes free shipping.

Utility and non-profit organization loaner programs include:

CCA programs include:

Some local library systems that have tool and equipment lending services, such as Sacramento's, may also offer induction cooktop loaner kits that can be checked out by library patrons. Libraries in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties have loaner programs available through 3C-REN.

Upcoming Events

October 3-4: California Energy Commission: EPIC Symposium

October 5: BayREN event: Inflation Reduction Act Lunch & Learn - Part 4

October 10-12: CABEC Annual Conference. Cambria

October 18: California Energy Commission Business Meeting

October 18: Central Coast Sustainability Summit. UC-Santa Barbara

October 20: 3C-REN webinar: The Electrification Path – A Case Study

October 24-26: VERGE, The Climate Tech Event. San Jose

October 27: San Diego Green Building Conference & Expo. San Diego

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Take Part in the Title 24, Part 6 and Compliance Manual Format Survey!

The Statewide IOU Codes and Standards Program is partnering with the California Energy Commission (CEC) to gather feedback on the structure and format of the Energy Code (Title 24, Part 6) and Single-Family and Nonresidential/Multifamily Compliance Manuals.

The CEC has heard from building industry professionals that formatting the Energy Code more like other building codes would help Energy Code users navigate Part 6 more easily. In addition, we are seeking input on the content and format of the Part 6 Compliance Manuals to increase usability.

Please take this short survey by October 1 to provide input based on your experience with the Energy Code and Compliance Manuals!

2022 Title 24 cover image

New This Month!

Amber Beck headshot

Q&A with Amber Beck: Introducing the New Building and Home Energy Resource Hub

Amber Beck is the project manager for building decarbonization engagement at the California Energy Commission (CEC). She has been with the CEC for nearly ten years serving in various roles. Beck graduated from UC Davis and has worked throughout her career to develop easy-to-understand, target messaging, for programs and organizations.

Q: Tell us a little about how the new Building and Home Energy Resource Hub came to be, Amber.

A: The impetus for this resource was Senate Bill 68 (SB 68), adopted in 2021, which directed the California Energy Commission to gather or develop and publish on its website, guidance and best practices to help building owners, the construction industry, and local governments overcome barriers to electrification of buildings and installation of electric vehicle charging equipment to help achieve the state’s target GHG emissions reduction goals from residential and commercial building stock.

Q: Is the Resource Hub live on the Commission website then?

A: Yes, after a 16-month process that included public requests for information as well as a stakeholder workshop, and extensive internal and external reviews, the Building and Home Energy Resource Hub went live on September 1, 2023. It’s organized specifically for the audiences identified in SB68, with each branch providing comprehensive lists of information, guidance, rebates, and loans for homeowners and renters, contractors, or local governments. We’ve tried to provide information from the most basic level up in “bite-sized” sections to be most accessible. For instance, in the Homeowner and Renter section, there are topics like “Where do I Start,” “What Hurdles will I Face in Electrifying my Home” and help finding a contractor.

Q: What are the next steps for this resource?

A: The intent is for this Resource Hub to be a living toolkit, with continuous and dedicated maintenance from the Commission. We welcome input from visitors, especially information that they don’t see on the Hub or topics they think are important to share with the larger community. We have a dedicated email account where comments can be shared. We also hope to expand to audiences beyond those identified in the authorizing legislation. For instance, we plan to add information for multifamily facility managers/building owners and operators.

Q: How are you getting the word out that this resource is now available?

A: Organizations like yours are very important in helping to spread the word. We’re also using social media channels, subscription lists, and organizations that work closely with homeowners and renters, contractors, and local governments.

Q: Are there specific resources available to local governments that may be exploring reach code development?

A: Yes! We’ve included a detailed list of resources that offer both model language and policies and technical assistance to local governments. There’s also information about financial incentives and funding programs specifically geared toward local governments. I’m also happy to talk with local jurisdictions about the Resource Hub and how it can help their policy development efforts.

Q: Is the Resource Hub available in languages other than English? Are there search capabilities?

A: Yes! Like the entire Commission website, it complies with accessibility requirements and can be translated into a wide range of languages from the top navigation bar on every page. That said, the Commission cannot be responsible for content on other websites, so if a resource link directs the visitor to another site, the accessibility of that specific content may be different.

It’s also searchable from the global search function of the entire Commission website as well as keyword searchable per page using the Control-F function.

Q: Any final thoughts you’d like to share with our readers, Amber?

A: We look forward to receiving input as more and more individuals have the opportunity to explore the Resource Hub. And we’re looking forward to expanding the scope of the Hub in the future to include more stakeholders. Don’t hesitate to share comments or additional resources via email!

official seal of City of Rolling Hills

ADvancing Regional Reach Code Collaboration: Los Angeles County & the City of Rolling Hills

At the beginning of 2023, the latest version of the state Building Energy Efficiency Standards (i.e., 2022 Title 24) went into effect and all jurisdictions statewide were required to adopt it. Communities could optionally amend it with local ordinances--reach codes--that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In November 2022, for instance, the County of Los Angeles adopted the 2022 Building Code and amended it with two reach codes:

  • A “cool roof” measure further reducing the heat entering the building through the roof
  • An electric vehicle charger provision requiring additional chargers

As in prior code cycles, multiple cities within the county such as Rolling Hills, Cudahy, El Monte, Malibu, and West Hollywood also chose to adopt the County’s amended building codes, including at least one of the County’s two reach codes. One reason for this regional alignment is that the County and many of the cities within the county jointly participate in the Los Angeles Basin Chapter of the International Code Council. It is a building code group, founded in 1957, that includes participation from the county and more than 80 cities. Furthermore, the County typically has more resources than many cities including Rolling Hills, and this gives the County a leadership role.

Rolling Hills is a small city of about 1,700 residents on the Palos Verdes Peninsula in LA County; its built environment consists mostly of single family buildings. In early 2023, shortly after the city adopted the County’s amended 2022 Building Codes, John Signo, Rolling Hills’ Director of Planning and Community Services, spoke with the Statewide Reach Codes Team. He explained that the city has only four filled full-time positions and three unfilled permanent positions.

Since the staff count is small, like dozens of other cities, Rolling Hills has contracts with the County of Los Angeles and private companies to provide all their Building & Safety services. For city attorney services, the city has a separate contract with a private legal firm. The city also works with the Rolling Hills Community Association which has an architectural committee and functions like a part of the city.

During the process of adopting the 2022 Building Code, Rolling Hills received the County's recommendation that they adopt the amended building code. The city included this recommendation in its staff report. When their legal counsel reviewed the code, they concurred with this recommendation and prepared the overall ordinance.

Subsequently, the city adopted the County’s amended building codes including both reach codes. Given that the County performs construction permit plan reviews for the City, it was a natural decision to align with the County's recommendation and code structure.

This kind of regional collaboration is a proven approach to accelerating the adoption of reach codes and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. It not only reduces the complexity of code compliance for the design and construction industry, but it can do the same behind the counter for building departments.

Given that the County is currently working on additional reach code development, it is very possible that cities like Rolling Hills within the County's jurisdictional lines may very well adopt these in the future.

Visit the statewide reach codes interactive map for current information on adopted reach codes.

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

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