Since 1978, all newly constructed homes, additions, and modifications to existing homes, as well as most commercial buildings in California, have been mandated to adhere to the minimum energy efficiency requirements outlined in Title 24, Part 6 of the California Code of Regulations. These Energy Efficiency Standards for Residential and Nonresidential Buildings were introduced to address legislative directives aimed at reducing energy consumption in California. These standards are regularly updated to consider and potentially incorporate emerging energy-efficient technologies and methods.
California's building efficiency standards, in conjunction with standards for energy-efficient appliances, have resulted in savings exceeding $56 billion in electricity and natural gas costs since 1978. It is estimated that these standards will further save an additional $23 billion by 2013.
Any new homes or renovated sections of homes requiring building permits will need to comply with the latest standards.
Enhanced energy-efficient lighting, which typically involves fluorescent lighting, will be obligatory, along with the inclusion of dimmers and occupancy sensors.
For specific areas like bathrooms, garages, laundry rooms, and exterior spaces such as front porches, lighting fixtures should be pre-wired for fluorescent lighting. In kitchens, at least half of the wattage should come from high-efficacy lighting, which currently predominantly means fluorescent lighting.
High-efficacy lighting is defined as follows:
- 15 watts or less: A minimum of 40 lumens/watt
- 15 to 40 watts: A minimum of 50 lumens/watt
- More than 40 watts: A minimum of 60 lumens/watt
There should be no sockets using medium-based incandescents in these lighting systems, unless they are manufactured with a hardwired, factory-installed HID ballast and meet the lumen/watt requirements for HID raised sockets.
By the code's definition, nearly all pin-based fluorescent systems qualify as compliant with residential lighting standards.
Whenever users have the choice to use an incandescent lamp in a fixture, that fixture is classified as "low efficacy." High-efficacy lighting systems must be controlled by a separate switch from incandescent or other low-efficacy lighting systems.
For more detailed information about California Energy Efficiency Standards, please visit the website of the California Energy Commission here.
Click here to view LED Lights Direct's selection of California Title 24 Compliant lighting fixtures.