What to Know About the Changes to the 2019 Energy Code

In California, we’re living in an exciting time for renewable energy. Both the public and private sectors are starting to really embrace the industry and shift the market over to one that reflects where the future is headed.

But with the shift comes a lot of changes—namely in California’s Energy Code. Next year, the code will undergo some significant changes to adapt to legislation passed in the interval. As a potential residential or commercial client interested in renewables, they’re seriously worth taking note of.

New residential must have solar

Solar Panels Installed in CalforniaThis is something we’ve covered on our blog before—starting January 1, 2020, any new residential construction with less than three stories is mandated to have solar photovoltaic cells built. The square footage of the planned building and its number of bedrooms will determine the size of the solar system; for guidance, check out the California Energy Commission’s regulations on the topic. There, you’ll also find the exemptions to the new law, namely buildings that have limited roof space.

Non-residential has new rules

For any planned construction that is either commercial, or multi-family and above four stories, there are a few new items to keep in mind. There are updated rules on interior windows and doors leading to unconditioned space, and Demand Controlled Ventilation (DCV). The requirement for domestic solar hot water production is also being removed, but largely because property developers are encouraged to add the systems anyway.

New tests required

Another condition in the updated code will see required HERS (or Home Energy Rating System) tests for several items. They include: kitchen exhaust hoods, blower doors, insulation, and HVAC systems. Let us know if you need help—HERS rating is one of our many specialties.

Some of these changes may appear confusing at first, but they’re all designed with energy savings in mind. If you still have questions about the 2019 Energy Code, our team at Rick’s Energy Solutions is happy to help. Give us a call at 707-578-5380 today!