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City Hits State Energy Commission Milestone for Local Energy Efficiency Standards that Exceed Statewide Requirements

Post Date:January 14, 2020 11:26 AM

Green building - energy efficiencyThe City of West Hollywood has been approved by the California Energy Commission (CEC) for local energy ordinances that exceed statewide requirements of the 2019 Building Energy Efficiency Standards. The City was one of six jurisdictions recognized for ordinances that focus on building decarbonization — the strategic lowering of climate-changing emissions from buildings.

The City of West Hollywood’s Sustainable Roof Measures ordinance was added to the City’s Green Building Program effective January 1, 2020. New buildings and major modifications over 10,000 square feet are required to include either solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, or a vegetative roof, and certain large-scale buildings must install at least one of three high-achieving green building measures. 

The City of West Hollywood joins the cities of Menlo Park, San Jose, San Mateo, Santa Monica, and the County of Marin in being recognized by the CEC. Since 1978, California has repeatedly updated statewide minimum building energy efficiency standards as required by state law. After each update, many local jurisdictions have taken advantage of unique authority that allows for the adoption of standards exceeding the state minimum. Historically, such local ordinances have served as a bellwether for statewide standards, providing a place to test market readiness, drive innovation, and bring down the cost of efficient building technologies. 

Adoption of local standards has gained momentum over time. The introduction of CalGREEN — the state’s standards for green buildings — sparked the adoption and approval of two dozen local ordinances between 2010 and 2011. However, this new wave of local standards with a focus on decarbonization is unprecedented in the state’s history, highlighting the ability and willingness of Californians to innovate and tackle global problems at a local level. 

The 2019 standards took effect January 1, 2020. Statewide standards focus on four key areas: smart residential photovoltaic systems, updated and cost-effective insulation standards, residential and nonresidential ventilation requirements to ensure healthy indoor air quality, and nonresidential lighting updates to take advantage of the rapid improvement in LED lighting technology.

In 2015, California lawmakers set an ambitious goal to achieve a statewide cumulative doubling of energy efficiency savings and demand reductions in electricity and natural gas end uses by January 1, 2030. The action plan findings show that improved financing options and availability, increased program participation, improved code compliance, and increased equipment turnover is necessary for California to meet its energy efficiency goals. 

The California Energy Commission is leading the state to a 100 percent clean energy future. It has seven core responsibilities: developing renewable energy, transforming transportation, increasing energy efficiency, investing in energy innovation, advancing state energy policy, certifying thermal power plants, and preparing for energy emergencies.

For additional information about the City of West Hollywood’s Green Building Program, please visit www.weho.org/city-government/city-departments/planning-and-development-services/building-and-safety/green-building-program.

For more information, please contact Robyn Eason, the City of West Hollywood’s Senior Sustainability Planner, at (323) 848-6558 or reason@weho.org. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496. For up-to-date news and events, follow the City of West Hollywood on social media @WeHoCity and sign up for news updates at www.weho.org/email.
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