California's Advanced Homes Program

September/October 2010
A version of this article appears in the September/October 2010 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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September 01, 2010
California is slowly moving toward net zero energy construction, defined as building structures that produce as much energy on-site as they consume. The Long Term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) states that starting in 2020, all new homes must be net zero energy. In addition, Assembly Bill 212, still going through the legislative process as of this writing, requires the California Energy Commission (CEC) to implement codes and standards to achieve this goal. Steve Mann is a HERS rater, GreenPoint rater, LEED AP homes, Certified Energy Analyst, serial remodeler, and longtime software engineer. (April Wise Photos) Although 2020 may sound like it’s many years in the future, it’s not that far away, and the CPUC and CEC realize that. Fortunately, they revise the state’s building energy code, commonly called Title 24, every three years. In addition, they work with the investor-owned utilities (IOUs), which provide most of the state’s power, to create incentive (rebate) programs that help promote the state’s long-term goals. Coincidentally, the IOUs revise their incentive programs every three years as well. The latest Title 24 revision went into effect in January 2010. It is approximately 15% more stringent ...

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