Mandatory solar in new builds proposed in California

Mandatory solar in new builds proposed in California

The California Energy Commission (CEC) adopted the 2022 Building Energy Efficiency Standards (Energy Code) for newly constructed and renovated buildings that will produce benefits to support the state’s public health, climate and clean energy goals.


Commissioner J. Andrew McAllister, who is the lead commissioner on energy efficiency. “The 2022 Energy Code firmly pivots California’s buildings toward the clean, low-carbon technologies that are the bedrock on which our collective path forward will rest. This foundation will help the state meet its critical long-term climate and carbon neutrality goals.”


The 2022 update will be submitted to the California Building Standards Commission (CBSC), which is scheduled to consider it in December 2021. If approved by the CBSC, it would go into effect on January 1, 2023, giving builders, contractors and other interested parties a year to gear up for the changes.


The 2022 Energy Code focuses on four key areas in newly constructed homes and businesses:

Encouraging electric heat pump technology for space and water heating, which consumes less energy and produces fewer emissions than gas-powered units.


Establishing electric-ready requirements for single-family homes to position owners to use cleaner electric heating, cooking and electric vehicle (EV) charging options whenever they choose to adopt those technologies.

Expanding solar photovoltaic (PV) system and battery storage standards to make clean energy available onsite and complement the state’s progress toward a 100 percent clean electricity grid.


Strengthening ventilation standards to improve indoor air quality.


The types of buildings that are included in the proposal are, “hotels, offices, medical offices and clinics, retail and grocery stores, restaurants, schools, and civic spaces like theaters, auditoriums, and convention centers.”


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