On June 10, the California Energy Commission unanimously approved building energy efficiency standards that will reduce energy costs and increase comfort in new and upgraded homes and other buildings.
The standards, which take effect on Jan. 1, 2017, focus on three key areas: updating residential requirements to move closer to California's zero net energy goals, updating nonresidential and high-rise residential requirements, and improving the clarity and consistency of existing regulations.
The residential lighting measures include requirements for the use of high-efficacy lamps or luminaires in all indoor dwelling spaces. The installation of high quality lighting with controls is expected to nearly halve the energy required for lighting new homes, advancing California’s homes toward the state’s 2020 Zero Net Energy goals. The definition of high-efficacy was expanded to include additional technology types and lighting quality characteristics. These include requirements that LED lamps and luminaires provide a high color rendering capability, an R9 of at least 50, dimming to 10%, reduced flicker and other specifications. The full description of the requirements, as they were adopted, are available in section 150.0 of Title 24, Part 6 and in Joint Appendix 8 (JA8). California’s energy standards are regarded as a bellwether for broader change in other standards documents across the U.S. It is expected that the newly-approved measures will influence national and international design standards.