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Title 24 Compliance

The 2019 California Energy Code

Building Energy Codes in California: What You Need to Know

These days, building a home or commercial space isn’t just about choosing materials, creating a layout and having a team to handle the construction project anymore.

With the growing issues in pollution and toxicity, the government has imposed new regulations that encourage homeowners and builders to build energy efficient homes that don’t only reduce the effects of global warming but also reduce energy costs significantly.

In California, the state updates its Building Energy Efficiency Standards (Title 24, Parts 6 and 11) every three years to ensure that regulations are in line with new technologies and improvements in construction.

If you’re building a home or commercial space in the state, Title 24 compliance is essential, which is why it’s very important to know the latest in Building Energy Codes.

The 2019 California Energy Code

Any Title 24 energy consultant should know a thing or two about the newest amendment in California’s energy code. Effective on January 1, 2020, this update focuses on non-residential lighting requirements, residential photovoltaic systems and thermal envelope standards.

According to projections, homes constructed under this new Energy Code will be 53% more energy efficient than those built following the 2016 Energy Code. This could lead to a projected savings of $80 per month on lighting, heating and cooling.

Commercial buildings are also expected to reduce electricity consumption by at least 30% due to lighting upgrades required by the code. Here are some of the most important points in this newest update:

  • New Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Standards

Kitchen range hood systems and HVAC systems will be tested for new HERS standards to improve their energy efficiency. Kitchen range hood systems, for instance, will need to operate more quietly while handing a bigger capacity. There is also a projected increase in the prices of home air filters, especially with the COVID-19 crisis.

  • Mandatory Photovoltaic Systems

With the 2019 update focusing on meeting the energy needs of a home, the state mandates all new ground up residential construction with 3 stories or less from the ground to incorporate a photovoltaic (PV) system.

Contractors will need to calculate the estimated electrical usage of a home to determine the size of its system. The only exemption to this rule will be for buildings that don’t have sufficient roof space or roofs that are permanently blocked from sunlight.

  • Increases in R-Value

The CEC has increased the prescriptive insulation R-values in walls and attics in significant climate zones in the effort to further reduce energy consumption in homes.

For instance, R-value for insulation below the roof deck in attics will now be R-19 in Climate Zones 4, 8-16 instead of R-13. R-value requirements for fill insulation in exterior walls will also increase to R-21 from R-19.

In the effort to build more energy efficient homes, California is making these changes to its Building Energy Code to not only prevent further devastation from climate change but also help homeowners cut down utility costs significantly.

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Title 24 Compliance

Why You Need A Title 24 Consultant?

When you are looking to build a new home, remodel, or even adding a new room to your home, you need to ensure that you have the right building permit in California. In case you are looking to build a commercial building, you also need a special permit – the Title 24 report. 

This is the type of report that can only be provided by a Title 24 consultant. 

Why Hire A Title 24 Consultant?

Ultimately, it is required by law that you need to have this report to enforce California’s Title 24 Building Energy Standards. 

So, no matter if you are looking for a permit for new buildings or additions, calculations need to be included to show that the structure you are proposing meets a minimum level of energy efficiency. 

Compliance Options

A Title 24 consultant needs to do the calculations to get the permit you want. The consultant can either do this by using the performance method where he relies on computer simulations or he can use the package method and fill out the required forms. 

Overall speaking, these packages include a wide range of requirements that when are incorporated into the building plans, result in compliance. 

As you can easily understand, the use of packages ends up increasing construction costs more than if the performance method was used instead. In addition, you should also keep in mind that the package method also sets specific minimum insulation levels and limits to the glass area. On the other hand, performance methods are more flexible. Lastly, the package method does not necessarily result in the most energy-efficient structure.

So, no matter if you are a contractor, engineer, or architect, you should consider hiring a Title 24 consultant since regulations can be complex. 

The Title 24 Consultant Job

When you are looking to hire a Title 24 consultant, you need to know all the tasks he needs to do. Summing up, he will need to:

  • Choose the compliance method that meets your goals. It doesn’t matter if you are looking for the most energy-efficient structure or the least cost construction. The main goal is to use a cost-effective compliance strategy that can save contractors a lot of money.
  • Use the method on a software that was previously approved and then provide an energy compliance package for building department approval.
  • Ensure the report is well done considering local jurisdiction.
  • Advise the client on a wide range of topics including the latest information on new types of glazing, insulation, and other components, new energy-saving equipment, devices, and appliances, and any upcoming changes in the Energy Standards. 

What To Look For On A Title 24 Consultant

When you are looking for a competent Title 24 consultant, you need to ensure that he offers professional services. Simply put, the person you pick for the job need to:

#1: Have Experience:

Whenever you can, an experienced Title 24 consultant will be a far better option than someone without any experience. After all, he will already know how the process works, how to fill the reports, and ensure it is approved.

#2: Have Certification:

You should only hire a Title 24 consultant that is certified. In case you don’t know, the California Association of Building Energy Consultants’ (CABEC’s) Certified Energy Analyst (CEA) certification requires passing an extremely comprehensive two-part exam, proof of a depth of experience, annual continuing education requirements, and adherence to a strict code of ethics.

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Title 24 Compliance

Looking for a Title 24 Consultant?

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