Saturday, October 26, 2013

2013 Title 24 Energy Standards Impacts

Effective January 1, 2014

The California Energy Commission approved upgraded energy compliance requirements that will become effective January 1, 2014.  The new requirements are part of the energy Commission's Net Zero goal for 2020.  The new requirements will require homes to be 20-30% more efficient than the current regulations.  Projects submitted to building departments prior to January 1, 2014 will not be required to meet the new standards.

New 2013 Requirements

Mandatory Enforcement
  • All homes will be required to install sealed ductwork and hire an independent Home Energy Rater (HERS) to inspect the duct installation during construction and verify duct leakage does not exceed 6% on new homes and 15% on remodels and additions.
  • Install a dedicated electrical outlet for a future demand gas water heater and install a gas pipe sized to provide at least 200,000 BTU demand to the same location.  Installation of gas service is not required.
Upgraded Requirements
  • Wall insulation will increase to require installation of rigid insulation on exterior walls or complete additional upgrades in the house to avoid the change.
  • Window U-Values and Shading Coefficients will require installation of high efficiency windows.  Typical vinyl windows with dual pane Low-E glass will not meet this requirement.  Windows will require additional high performance coatings (ie. Milgard SuncoatMax) or special tinting. Credit for installing most industry standard Low-E windows will be eliminated.
  • Homes with significant cooling demands (ie. Central Valley and Inland Valleys) will be required to install a Commission approved whole house fan with automatic insulated shutters, or complete additional upgrades.
  • All hot water pipes 3/4" and larger will require insulation, not just the hot water line to the kitchen sink.
  • Lights in the garage, lanndry room and utility rooms must be high efficiency and installed with special "vacancy censors".
  • Lights recessed into the ceiling, no matter where they are located, will require gaskets and sealing.
  • Return grilles on air conditioning systems have new sizing requirements.  Anticipate grille size to increase by 50-100%.
  • Additions and alterations will require a special HERS inspection during design to determine existing conditions in order to take credit for any improvements to the house (ie. ceiling insulation, window upgrades, heating and air conditioning upgrades, etc.).
It is anticipated that the new requirements will add as much as $10,000 to $15,000 per project.

For more information go to