Code Section Group

Public Resources Code - PRC

DIVISION 15. ENERGY CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT [25000 - 25990]

  ( Division 15 added by Stats. 1974, Ch. 276. )

CHAPTER 7. Research and Development [25600 - 25619]
  ( Chapter 7 added by Stats. 1974, Ch. 276. )

25600.
  

As used in this chapter:

(a) “Passive thermal system” means a system which utilizes the structural elements of a building and is not augmented by mechanical components to provide for collection, storage and distribution of solar energy or coolness.

(b) “Semipassive thermal system” means a system which utilizes the structural elements of a building and is augmented by mechanical components to provide for collection, storage, and distribution of solar energy or coolness.

(c) “Solar device” means the equipment associated with the collection, transfer, distribution, storage, and control of solar energy.

(d) “Solar system” means the integrated use of solar devices for the functions of collection, transfer, storage, and distribution of solar energy.

(e) “Standard” means a specification of design, performance, and procedure, or of the instrumentation, equipment, surrounding conditions, and skills required during the conduct of a procedure.

(Added by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1081.)

25601.
  

The commission shall develop and coordinate a program of research and development in energy supply, consumption, and conservation and the technology of siting facilities and shall give priority to those forms of research and development which are of particular importance to the state, including, but not limited to, all of the following:

(a) Methods of energy conservation specified in Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 25400).

(b) Increased energy use efficiencies of existing thermal electric and hydroelectric powerplants and increased energy efficiencies in designs of thermal electric and hydroelectric powerplants.

(c) Expansion and accelerated development of alternative sources of energy, including geothermal and solar resources, including, but not limited to, participation in large-scale demonstrations of alternative energy systems sited in California in cooperation with federal agencies, regional compacts, other state governments, and other participants. For purposes of this subdivision, “participation” shall be defined as any of the following: (1) direct interest in a project, (2) research and development to insure acceptable resolution of environment and other impacts of alternative energy systems, (3) research and development to improve siting and permitting methodology for alternative energy systems, (4) experiments utilizing the alternative energy systems, and (5) research and development of appropriate methods to insure the widespread utilization of economically useful alternative energy systems. Large-scale demonstrations of alternative energy systems are exemplified by the 100KWe to 100MWe range demonstrations of solar, wind, and geothermal systems contemplated by federal agencies, regional compacts, other state governments, and other participants.

(d) Improved methods of construction, design, and operation of facilities to protect against seismic hazards.

(e) Improved methods of energy-demand forecasting.

(f) To accomplish the purposes of subdivision (c), an amount not more than one-half of the total state funds appropriated for the solar energy research and development program as proposed in the budget prepared pursuant to Section 25604 shall be allocated for large-scale demonstration of alternative energy systems.

(Added by renumbering Section 25600 by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1081.)

25602.
  

The commission shall carry out technical assessment studies on all forms of energy and energy-related problems, in order to influence federal research and development priorities and to be informed on future energy options and their impacts, including, in addition to those problems specified in Section 25601, but not limited to, the following:

(a) Advanced nuclear powerplant concepts, fusion, and fuel cells.

(b) Total energy concepts.

(c) New technology related to coastal and offshore siting of facilities.

(d) Expanded use of wastewater as cooling water and other advances in powerplant cooling.

(e) Improved methods of power transmission to permit interstate and interregional transfer and exchange of bulk electric power.

(f) Measures to reduce wasteful and inefficient uses of energy.

(g) Shifts in transportation modes and changes in transportation technology in relation to implications for energy consumption.

(h) Methods of recycling, extraction, processing, fabricating, handling, or disposing of materials, especially materials which require large commitments of energy.

(i) Expanded recycling of materials and its effect on energy consumption.

(j) Implications of government subsidies and taxation and ratesetting policies.

(k) Utilization of waste heat.

(l) Use of hydrogen as an energy form.

(m) Use of agricultural products, municipal wastes, and organic refuse as an energy source.

Such assessments may also be conducted in order to determine which energy systems among competing technologies are most compatible with standards established pursuant to this division.

(Added by renumbering Section 25601 by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1081.)

25603.
  

For research purposes, the commission shall, in cooperation with other state agencies, participate in the design, construction, and operation of energy-conserving buildings using data developed pursuant to Section 25401, in order to demonstrate the economic and technical feasibility of such designs.

(Added by renumbering Section 25602 by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1081.)

25603.5.
  

(a) Pursuant to the duties of the commission described in subdivision (a) of Section 25401 and Section 25603, the commission shall conduct a statewide architectural design competition to select outstanding designs for new single-family and multifamily residential units which incorporate passive solar and other energy-conserving design features.

The purpose of the competition, to be known as the “State Solar Medallion Passive Design Competition”, is to demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of passive solar design for residential construction, to speed its commercialization, and to promote its use by developers in housing for moderate-income families in the state. The competition shall be carried out with the assistance and cooperation of the Office of the State Architect.

(b) The competition shall be conducted for each of the state’s six regional climate zones. Each climate zone shall have the following four categories of competition:

(1) Single-family dwellings. The construction costs of these dwellings shall not exceed thirty-five thousand dollars ($35,000) and the market price, inclusive of land, construction, permits, fees, overhead and profit shall not exceed fifty-five thousand dollars ($55,000); provided that, if the commission determines that, as of the date construction is completed, the cost of housing construction in this state has increased due to economic inflation since January 1, 1979, the commission may increase these sums by the amount of such inflation as indicated by the construction cost index.

(2) Single-family dwellings. The construction costs of these dwellings shall not exceed fifty-five thousand dollars ($55,000) and the market price, inclusive of land, construction, permits, fees, overhead and profit shall not exceed eighty-five thousand dollars ($85,000); provided that, if the commission determines that, as of the date construction is completed, the cost of housing construction in this state has increased due to economic inflation since January 1, 1979, the commission may increase these sums by the amount of such inflation as indicated by the construction cost index.

(3) Multifamily housing units with a market price or rental value comparable to paragraph (1) of this subdivision.

(4) Multifamily housing units with a market price or rental value comparable to paragraph (2) of this subdivision.

(c) In order to qualify for the competition, entrants shall be a team composed of at least one member from each of the following categories:

(1) A building designer or architect.

(2) A builder, developer, or contractor.

(d) With submission of designs to the competition, all entrants shall agree to comply with the following provisions, if awarded the Solar Medallion or the first place prize in any category:

(1) To build five models of the winning design for single-family home categories if the builder, developer, or contractor member of the winning team constructed more than 30 single-family detached units during the one-year period ending on the date of the award, or

(2) To build three models of the winning design for single-family home categories if the builder, developer, or contractor member of the winning team constructed 30 or fewer single-family detached units during the one-year period ending on the date of the award, or

(3) To build one model of the winning design for all multifamily categories.

(4) To commence construction within 18 months of the announcement of awards.

(5) To permit the commission to install monitoring equipment for measuring energy conservation performance of the structure on all models constructed in compliance with paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of this subdivision.

(6) To permit the commission to document, exhibit, and publicize the constructed designs.

All models of winning designs shall be built on the site or sites described in the submission or on an alternate site or sites with comparable features.

Cash awards to authors of the winning designs may be made prior to commencement of the agreed upon construction.

All winning designs in the competition shall become the property of the state and may be published and exhibited by the state after completion of competition.

(e) The judging panel for the competition shall consist of the following five jurors:

(1) One representative of the Office of the State Architect.

(2) One representative of the commission.

(3) One certificated architect.

(4) One representative of the state’s lending institutions.

(5) One developer, builder, or contractor.

The nonagency members shall be appointed by the State Architect.

In recognition of the wide variation in construction costs statewide, and in order to ensure fair and equitable competition in all areas of the state, a cost index shall be used to determine different construction cost and market price requirements for each category of competition in the major metropolitan areas of the state. The construction cost and market price figures specified in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subdivision (b) shall be used as the upper limit values on which the index shall be based. Construction cost and market price figures reflecting the diversity in costs in different areas of the state shall be determined in relation to upper limit values specified in this section.

The cost index shall be prepared by the Office of the State Architect and shall be published in the competition program.

The evaluation shall take place in two stages, with an initial technical review by the commission staff. The staff shall submit to the judging panel a rigorous technical assessment of the anticipated energy conservation performance of all submissions. Final selection shall be made by the judging panel.

Designs submitted to the competition shall be judged on the extent to which they satisfy the following criteria:

(1) Use of passive solar and other energy conserving design features.

(2) Amount of energy savings achieved by the design.

(3) Adaptability of the design to widespread use.

(f) The commission shall be responsible for developing rules and procedures for the conduct of the competition and for the judging, which rules shall ensure anonymity of designs submitted prior to final awarding of prizes, shall ensure impartiality of the judging panel, and shall ensure uniform treatment of competitors.

In administering the competition, the commission shall accomplish the following tasks:

(1) Preparation of a competition program, including climatological data for each of the six regional climate zones.

(2) Distribution of competition information and ongoing publicity.

(3) Development of rules and procedures for competitors and judges.

(4) Preparation of a summary document for the competition, including a portfolio of winning designs and followup publicity.

(5) Instrumentation of winning dwellings constructed in accordance with requirements of this section; instrumentation for measurement of energy conservation performance of the units and ongoing data collection shall be provided by the commission pursuant to Section 25607.

For purposes of administering the competition, the commission shall contract with the Office of the State Architect for materials and services that cannot be performed by its staff.

(g) Cash awards to authors of the winning designs shall be made on the following basis:

Using the criteria in subdivision (e) of this section, the judging panel shall select, as follows:

(1) The most outstanding design statewide selected from among the first place winners in either of two single-family categories in any of the six climate zones which shall receive the State Solar Medallion Award and five thousand dollars ($5,000) in addition to the cash award specified in paragraph (3) of this subdivision.

(2) The most outstanding design statewide selected from among the first place winners in either of the two multifamily categories in any of the six climate zones which shall receive the State Solar Medallion Award and five thousand dollars ($5,000) in addition to the cash award specified in paragraph (3) of this subdivision.

(3) The first place designs in each of the four competition categories within each of the six climate zones, which shall each receive a cash award of five thousand dollars ($5,000).

(4) The second place designs in each of the four competition categories within each of the six climate zones, which shall each receive a cash award of two thousand dollars ($2,000).

(Amended by Stats. 1980, Ch. 1013, Sec. 1.)

25605.
  

On or before November 1, 1978, the commission shall develop and adopt, in cooperation with affected industry and consumer representatives, and after one or more public hearings, regulations governing solar devices. The regulations shall be designed to encourage the development and use of solar energy and to provide maximum information to the public concerning solar devices. The regulations may include, but need not be limited to, any or all of the following:

(a) Standards for testing, inspection, certification, sizing, and installation of solar devices.

(b) Provisions for the enforcement of the standards. Such provisions may include any or all of the following:

(1) Procedures for the accreditation by the commission of laboratories to test and certify solar devices.

(2) Requirements for onsite inspection of solar devices, including specifying methods for inspection, to determine compliance or noncompliance with the standards.

(3) Requirements for submission to the commission of any data resulting from the testing and inspection of solar devices.

(4) Prohibitions on the sale of solar devices which do not meet minimum requirements for safety and durability as established by the commission.

(5) Dissemination of the results of the testing, inspection, and certification program to the public.

(c) In adopting the regulations, the commission shall give due consideration to their effect on the cost of purchasing, installing, operating and maintaining solar devices. The commission shall reassess the regulations as often as it deems necessary, based upon the value of the regulations in terms of benefits and disadvantages to the widespread adoption of solar energy systems and the need to encourage creativity and innovative adaptations of solar energy. The commission may amend or repeal these regulations based on such reassessment.

(d) Under no circumstances may the commission preclude any person from developing, installing, or operating a solar device on his or her own property.

(e) Any violation of any regulation adopted by the commission pursuant to this section may be enjoined in the same manner as is prescribed in Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 25900) of this division for enjoining a violation of this division.

(Added by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1081.)

25605.5.
  

Standards adopted by the commission pursuant to Section 25605, which are building standards as defined in Section 25488.5, shall be submitted to the State Building Standards Commission for approval pursuant to, and are governed by, the State Building Standards Law (Part 2.5 (commencing with Section 18901) of Division 13 of the Health and Safety Code). Building standards adopted by the commission and published in the State Building Standards Code shall comply with, and be enforced as provided in, Section 25605.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 1145, Sec. 21. Effective January 1, 1995.)

25608.
  

The commission shall confer with officials of federal agencies, including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, to coordinate the adoption of regulations pursuant to Sections 25603 and 25605.

(Amended by Stats. 1994, Ch. 1145, Sec. 24. Effective January 1, 1995.)

25609.
  

The commission may, in adopting regulations pursuant to this chapter, specify the date when the regulations shall take effect. The commission may specify different dates for different regulations.

(Added by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1081.)

25609.5.
  

The effective dates of building standards adopted by the commission pursuant to Section 25609 are subject to approval pursuant to the provisions of the State Building Standards Law, Part 2.5 (commencing with Section 18901) of Part 13 of the Health and Safety Code.

(Added by Stats. 1979, Ch. 1152.)

25610.
  

For purposes of carrying out the provisions of this chapter, the commission may contract with any person for materials and services that cannot be performed by its staff or other state agencies, and may apply for federal grants or any other funding.

(Added by renumbering Section 25604 by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1081.)

25616.
  

(a) It is the intent of the Legislature to encourage local agencies to expeditiously review permit applications to site energy projects, and to encourage energy project developers to consider all cost-effective and environmentally superior alternatives that achieve their project objectives.

(b) Subject to the availability of funds appropriated therefor, the commission shall provide technical assistance and grants-in-aid to assist local agencies to do either or both of the following:

(1) Site energy production or transmission projects which are not otherwise subject to the provisions of Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 25500).

(2) Integrate into their planning processes, and incorporate into their general plans, methods to achieve cost-effective energy efficiency.

(c) The commission shall provide assistance at the request of local agencies.

(d) As used in this section, an energy project is any project designed to produce, convert, or transmit energy as one of its primary functions.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 78, Sec. 8. (AB 2605) Effective January 1, 2017.)

25617.
  

(a) It is the intent of the Legislature to preserve diversity of energy resources, including diversity of resources used in electric generation facilities, industrial and commercial applications, and transportation.

(b) The commission shall, within the limits of available funds, provide technical assistance and support for the development of petroleum diesel fuels which are as clean or cleaner than alternative clean fuels and clean diesel engines. That technical assistance and support may include the creation of research, development, and demonstration programs.

(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 940, Sec. 4.)

25618.
  

(a) The commission shall facilitate development and commercialization of ultra low- and zero-emission electric vehicles and advanced battery technologies, as well as development of an infrastructure to support maintenance and fueling of those vehicles in California. Facilitating commercialization of ultra low- and zero-emission electric vehicles in California shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

(1) The commission may, in cooperation with county, regional, and city governments, the state’s public and private utilities, and the private business sector, develop plans for accelerating the introduction and use of ultra low- and zero-emission electric vehicles throughout California’s air quality nonattainment areas, and for accelerating the development and implementation of the necessary infrastructure to support the planned use of those vehicles in California. These plans shall be consistent with, but not limited to, the criteria for similar efforts contained in federal loan, grant, or matching fund projects.

(2) In coordination with other state agencies, the commission shall seek to maximize the state’s use of federal programs, loans, and matching funds available to states for ultra low- and zero-emission electric vehicle development and demonstration programs, and infrastructure development projects.

(b) Priority for implementing demonstration projects under this section shall be directed toward those areas of the state currently in a nonattainment status with federal and state air quality regulations.

(Added by Stats. 1991, Ch. 939, Sec. 3.)

25619.
  

(a) For purposes of this section, “qualified counties” means the Counties of Fresno, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, Madera, Merced, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, Stanislaus, and Tulare.

(b) The commission shall provide up to seven million dollars ($7,000,000) in grants to qualified counties for the development or revision of rules and policies, including, but not limited to, general plan elements, zoning ordinances, and a natural community conservation plan as a plan participant, that facilitate the development of eligible renewable energy resources, and their associated electric transmission facilities, and the processing of permits for eligible renewable energy resources. The commission may allocate not more than 1 percent of appropriated funds to provide training to county planning staff to facilitate the siting and permitting of eligible renewable energy resources. A general plan element or zoning ordinance that is adopted or revised pursuant to this section shall be completed within two years of receipt of the grant and shall be consistent with the conservation strategies of any natural community conservation plan if one has been approved, or is under development, pursuant to the Natural Community Conservation Planning Act (Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 2800) of Division 3 of the Fish and Game Code). For counties within the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan planning area, the commission may award a grant to a county only if the county meets one of the following conditions:

(1) The county is a “plan participant,” as defined by paragraph (1) of subdivision (j) of Section 2805 of the Fish and Game Code, in the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan.

(2) The county enters into a memorandum of understanding with the commission in which the county agrees to participate in the development of a natural community conservation plan for the purpose of ensuring that the natural community conservation plan can achieve the goals set forth in the planning agreement entered into pursuant to Section 2810 of the Fish and Game Code, that is dated May 2010, for the preparation of a natural community conservation plan, in a manner that is consistent with the applicable policies of the county.

(c) In its initial round of grant funding, the commission shall establish a preference for a grant to a qualified county in an amount that is adequate to develop a renewable energy element in its general plan that will facilitate the development and siting of eligible renewable energy resources that utilize multiple renewable energy technologies. The commission shall also establish a preference for a grant for those counties that have experience in geothermal energy development and have adopted a geothermal element, as defined in Section 25133, to its general plan.

(d) The commission shall only implement this section upon receiving a specific appropriation for the purposes of this section by the Legislature from the Renewable Resources Trust Fund or other funds from the Energy Resources Program Account.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 601, Sec. 1. (AB 1255) Effective September 27, 2012.)

PRCPublic Resources Code - PRC