California reach codes for improved building energy efficiency

Description: Marin County requires increased building energy efficiency for all new single- and two-family homes and new multifamily low- and high-rise residential buildings. The ordinance identifies options including increased energy efficiency compared to California’s 2016 Title 24 Building Energy Efficiency Standards, or combinations including solar photovoltaics (PV) with increased efficiency, all electric construction, electric vehicle (EV) ready or capable (pre-wiring), increased Energy Design Rating (EDR) compared to Title 24, part 6 requirements, or Passive House Institute US Standards. Mixed fuel single- and two-family homes must employ onsite electricity production to offset annual electrical load.

In January 2020, the California Energy Commission approved a new building code in Davis, CA that encourages the construction of all-electric homes and discourages the use of natural gas to fuel residential appliances and heating systems. This comes after numerous California cities have approved similar initiatives, including Berkeley’s 2019 ordinance banning methane gas infrastructure in new buildings (see California Reach Code Methane Gas Prohibition Ordinance in this toolbox). By the end of 2020 the three largest Bay Area cities of San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose had also passed building electrification ordinances.

Goal: California Reach Codes for improved building efficiency: Install solar PV, pre-wire for electric vehicles, install all-electric appliances, use low carbon concrete, or comply with Passive House Institute U.S. Standards

Measurement: Percentage decrease in building energy use compared to California Title 24 standards

Time to Implement:

Links:

Green Building Requirements Fact Sheet Standards for Compliance – The County of Marin
https://www.marincounty.org/-/media/files/departments/cd/planning/sustainability/green-building/gbo-standards-fact-sheets/2016_standards_for_compliance_countyofmarin.pdf?la=en

City of Davis, CA 2019 Ordinance
http://documents.cityofdavis.org/Media/Default/Documents/PDF/CityCouncil/CouncilMeetings/Agendas/20191008/05D-Second-Reading-Residential-Energy-Efficiency-Reach-Code-Ordinance.pdf

Berkeley Natural Gas Prohibition & Reach Code for Electrification
https://berkeley.municipal.codes/BMC/12.80

Additional Information:

Green Building Requirements – Community Development Agency – County of Marin
https://www.marincounty.org/depts/cd/divisions/sustainability/green-building-requirements

All Electric Homes in Davis, CA
https://www.cooldavis.org/2020/02/28/all-electric-homes-in-davis-the-carrot-vs-the-stick/

Bold Moves on Building Electrification in the San Francisco Bay Area
https://www.spur.org/news/2020-12-09/bold-moves-building-electrification-san-francisco-bay-area

California’s Cities Lead the Way to a Gas-Free Future
https://www.sierraclub.org/articles/2021/07/californias-cities-lead-way-gas-free-future

For other local building code amendments, also see:

California local building code amendments (2019 code)
https://localenergycodes.com/

Contact Info:

Alice Zanmiller
Planner, Marin County
(415) 473-2797

Sectors(s) Buildings
Region(s)
State(s)
Location(s) , , , , ,
Status
Date First Adopted 2016
Last Updated October 27, 2021
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