Background on the 2013 Building Energy Efficiency Standards

The Warren-Alquist Act, enacted in 1976, mandated that the Energy Commission create and periodically update Building Energy Efficiency Standards for the state of California. These Standards address newly constructed buildings and additions and alterations to existing buildings. The Standards have, in combination with appliance efficiency standards and utility-sponsored incentive programs, strongly contributed to California's per capita electricity consumption levels remaining relatively flat since the mid-1970s. First adopted in 1977, the Standards have been periodically updated approximately on a three-year cycle. The most recent update, the 2008 Building Energy Efficiency Standards, went into effect on January 1, 2010.

The Energy Commission is now beginning the proceeding to update the 2008 Standards. The upgraded Standards are planned to go into effect in conjunction with the triennial upgrade of the other parts of the California Building Standards Code, and be published as the 2013 California Energy Code. The updated Standards will improve upon the 2008 Standards and will implement the following state energy policy directives:

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