The Building Energy Efficiency Standards

The California Building Energy Efficiency Standards for Residential and Nonresidential Buildings have saved Californians billions in reduced electricity bills since 1977. These standards conserve electricity and natural gas and prevent the state from having to build more power plants. The Commission accounts for the savings by using forecasting models for residential and commercial energy consumption. The savings are calculated by determining the energy savings associated with a more efficient building standard or appliance. Savings accumulate over time as older equipment and appliances are replaced with newer, more efficient models and older buildings are retired and replaced with new construction. Savings are calculated by multiplying cumulative
savings in each year by the average residential or commercial electricity rates in that year.

The success of standards and other energy efficiency efforts is a significant factor in California’s per capita electricity use remaining flat over the last 40 years while the rest of the country’s use continues to rise.

Source:Source: CEC. Web. April 2018.

The standards are updated on an approximately three-year cycle.

The basic documents are:

  • Building Energy Efficiency Standards for Residential & Nonresidential Buildings (The Standards)
  • Reference Appendices (RA)
  • Residential Compliance Manual (RCM)
  • Nonresidential Compliance Manual (NRCM)
  • Residential Alternative Compliance Manual (ACM)
  • Nonresidential Alternative Compliance Manual (ACM)


 Links to the Standards & Forms for each code cycle:

©2024 CABEC (California Association of Building Energy Consultants), 501(c)(6), and CABEC Advantage, 501(c)(3)

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