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Title 24 Predicted to Cut Residential Energy Use by 25 Percent

California’s 2013 Building Energy Efficiency Standards, commonly known as Title 24, took effect July 1.

The new comprehensive regulations update residential and commercial building codes for everything from lighting to heating and cooling, as well as ventilation, water heating and reuse.

Title 24 is anticipated to make a large impact on energy consumption in California, and the standards are predicted to have impacts across the U.S.

The new standards prescribed in Title 24 will lead to a 25 percent reduction in energy consumption for residential buildings and 30 percent less energy consumption by nonresidential buildings, compared to the 2008 energy standards.

California’s 2013 Building Energy Efficiency Standards, or Title 24, took effect July 1, and are expected to decrease residential energy consumption by 25 percent. Could these effects cause the standards to spread across the U.S.?

Some of the new standards for residential buildings include insulating water pipes, increasing wall insulation, improving window placement and performance, using whole house fans when appropriate, as well as mandating duct sealing in all climate zones, EDC magazine reported.

The regulations also push for solar-ready buildings by mandating solar-ready zones for future installations.

Nonresidential facilities are required to have high performance and energy-efficient appliances, lighting controls, smart thermostats and more.

Goal of New Building Standards

The purpose behind the new standards is to make sure California builders are blending architectural ingenuity and sustainable construction practices, according to EDC magazine.

The best time to optimize a facility’s energy performance is during the building process, according to California’s Energy Commissioner Andrew McAllister. By implementing set standards, the state hopes to reach its long-term energy-saving goals.

Net Zero Buildings

The new net zero standard has received attention across the United States. The mandate requires all residential buildings to have a net zero energy consumption by 2020 and all commercial buildings must have a zero net energy (ZNE) by 2030.

Energy and Cost Savings

Some engineers and contractors may argue the requirements add to construction costs, but the benefits and savings provided by the regulations outweigh an initial higher building price.

According to EDC magazine, Title 24 may add up to about $2,000 in building costs. However, the estimate energy savings to homeowners alone is $6,000 during the course of 30 years.


Meeting these standards presents a new challenge for architects, engineers and contractors.

To meet the new energy-efficient demands, professionals can use California Building Energy Code Compliance software provided by the state. The open-source program helps engineers preplan their residential or commercial building under the new regulations to ensure the final structure is 100 percent compliant.