Today's Law As Amended


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AB-1918 Energy: design and construction standards.(2013-2014)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.
 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) California’s building energy efficiency standards are recognized as leading the nation in energy savings. They are an important component of the state’s programs to manage its energy consumption, conserve natural resources, and improve the quality of life for all its citizens.
(b) Heating and cooling buildings is one of the largest electricity end uses in the state and is also the single largest contributor to peak electricity demand, comprising up to 30 percent of total demand in the hot summer months.
(c) In the 2008 Strategic Plan to Reduce the Energy Impact of Air Conditioners, the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission identified that a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system (HVAC) can increase energy use by 20 or 30 percent if it is poorly installed regardless of its efficiency rating.
(d) Permits are required for the replacement of heating and cooling equipment and a code official must verify installation in compliance with the building energy efficiency standards. The effectiveness of the building energy efficiency standards is dependent upon the conscientious efforts of licensed contractors, local building officials, property owners, builders, and others in California to follow these permitting requirements to build buildings and install components and equipment in compliance with the standards which deliver cost-effective energy savings to consumers.
(e) Local governments issue required permits for heating and cooling equipment and are in an unique role to help address low energy code compliance. As the agencies responsible for enforcement, local governments are in a distinct position to understand and identify some of the critical factors limiting full compliance with the building energy efficiency standards. By continuing to strategically identify and target these factors, energy efficiency programs can capitalize on this local government role to further support increased compliance and capture cost-effective energy savings to consumers.
(f) In an effort to increase permitted activity, some local jurisdictions have adopted practices that make it easier to obtain permits or have implemented pilot programs to educate and train local building staff. It is in California’s best interest to facilitate the adoption of demonstrated best practices for local building departments across the state to undertake to maximize compliance with building codes.

SEC. 2.

 Section 25402.12 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:

25402.12.
 The commission, in consultation with the Contractors’ State License Board, local building officials, and other stakeholders, shall identify and implement methods to simplify processes and procedures related to compliance with standards established pursuant to subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 25402.

SEC. 3.

 Section 381.3 is added to the Public Utilities Code, to read:

381.3.
 (a) By January 1, 2016, the commission, in an existing proceeding, shall authorize a program to improve compliance with the State Building Standards Code requirements, and any applicable local ordinances, for heating and air conditioning equipment through existing energy efficiency programs administered by electrical corporations and gas corporations, or administered by third parties on behalf of electrical corporations and gas corporations. The program design may include, but is not limited to, both of the following:
(1) Assisting local governments employing innovative approaches to reduce barriers to, and increase compliance with, the permitting process for heating and cooling equipment. Program elements may include:
(A) Public outreach campaigns.
(B) Computer-based permitting tools.
(C) Improvements to streamline the permitting process.
(D) Measures to address the market constraints resulting in low permit compliance.
(E) Establishing programs, such as partnerships with local governments, to specifically target improving compliance for installation of heating and air conditioning equipment.
(F) Other measures to achieve greater compliance with State Building Standards Code requirements, and any applicable local ordinances, for heating and air conditioning equipment. Measures may include performance protocols necessary to verify performance compliance of central heating and cooling equipment.
(2) Technical or financial support, including those methods identified by local governments to assist local governments with ensuring compliance with State Building Standards Code requirements, and any applicable local ordinances, for heating and air conditioning equipment.
(b) The commission shall evaluate the program’s design and quantify increased permit compliance and energy savings as a result of permit compliance.
SEC. 4.
 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.