Important Updates about California Building Codes and Title 24

California's Building Energy Efficiency Standards are updated approximately every three years. The new 2013 Standards went into effect July 1, 2014, and improve upon the 2008 Standards for new construction, additions, and alterations to residential and non-residential buildings.

The California Energy Commission advises the new 2013 Standards are designed to:

  • Ensure new and existing buildings achieve cost-effective energy efficiency
  • Preserve outdoor and indoor environmental quality
  • Make buildings more comfortable
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Lower energy costs

To learn more about these new residential and nonresidential building Standards:

Updates to program deadlines

  • Energy Efficiency Business Incentive projects with Title 24 impacted measures that do not require permits under the current code must have completed installation by June 30, 2014 in order to guarantee pre-July 1, 2014 incentive levels. Installation Reports for those projects are no longer accepted as of September 30, 2014.
  • Energy Efficiency Business Incentive projects with Title 24 impacted measures that were submitted by June 30, 2014 with a corresponding building permit will be held to pre-July 1, 2014 Energy Efficiency Business Incentive program rules and incentive rates.  Projects with permits that comply with 2008 Title 24 standards are no longer allowed to submit incentive applications as of September 30, 2014.
  • ​Energy Efficiency Business Rebate projects with Title 24 impacted measures must have had all equipment purchased and installed by June 30, 2014.  Rebate applications with Title 24 impacted measures were due by September 30, 2014.
  • Projects that do not meet the deadlines above will be subject to the new 2013 code and 2014 Energy Efficiency Business Incentive and Energy Efficiency Business Rebate program rules and incentive amounts.

Affected technologies

  • Rebates and Incentives will not be provided for measures that are required as part of a Title 24 code-triggering retrofit.  However, stand-alone measures that do not trigger code may be eligible for incentives.  For example, lighting occupancy sensors are not eligible for rebates as of July 1, 2014, but they may be eligible for incentives if they are installed as a “Retrofit Add-On” measure.

  • As of July 1, 2014, the definition of a "code triggering" lighting retrofit was expanded to include most projects where at least 10% of luminaries in a given space are altered (the previous threshold was 50%), or at least 40 luminaires are modified-in-place. As a result of this change, most customized lighting projects will trigger code as of July 1, 2014.
  • Lighting technology incentives and rebates will not be as heavily impacted as initial forecasts indicated.  However, lighting retrofits that trigger code will incur additional costs in order to comply with Title 24.  Therefore, we highly recommend expediting lighting projects to meet the deadlines listed above.
  • Baselines for water cooled chillers have increased as of July 1, 2014.