Development Services

Energy Code Questions

Building energy efficiency standards are designed to ensure new and existing buildings achieve energy efficiency and preserve outdoor and indoor environmental quality. These measures (Title 24, Part 6) are listed in the California Code of Regulations. The 2013 Building Energy Efficiency Standards will go into effect on January 1, 2014, following approval of the California Building Standards Commission.

On average, these Standards add an additional $2,290 to the cost of constructing a new residential building, but will return $6,200 in energy savings over 30 years. In other words, when factored into a 30-year mortgage, the Standards will add approximately $11 per month for the average home, but will save $27 on monthly heating, cooling, and lighting bills.

The 2013 Building Energy Efficiency Standards will use 25% less energy for lighting, heating, cooling, ventilation, and water heating than the 2008 Standards. Additionally, the Standards will save 200 million gallons of water per year (equal to more than 6.5 million wash loads) and avoid 170,500 tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year.

All buildings except hospitals, nursing homes, correctional centers, jails, and prisons are covered.

Typically, the local city or county building department has the authority to verify compliance with applicable codes and standards, including building energy efficiency.

Measures that are cost effective in more extreme climates may not be cost effective in milder climates. Requiring measures by climate zone ensure that a building will have the most energy efficient features for that area.

There are two climate zones in Long Beach: Zone 6 (south of 405 FWY) and Zone 8 (north of 405 FWY).

The 2013 Building Energy Efficiency Standards require “solar ready roofs” to accom­modate future installations of solar photovoltaic panels. Solar ready requirements do not vary by climate zone.