On May 10th I attended the 2019 California Energy Code Seminar hosted by Town of Truckee, Nevada, Sierra, and Placer Counties. The presenter, Scott Blunk did a great job deciphering this complicated maze of residential and non-residential energy code changes also known as Title 24. Scott is currently a Strategic Business Planner for energy efficiency and electrification at Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD). This is not easy material to cover and there were a lot of questions. Scott explained that the California Energy Commission (CEC) considers code changes to be a “stakeholder process” and that he would take questions and concerns from Truckee back to the CEC as an advisor.
According to the CEC, on average, the 2019 standards (effective date 1/1/2020) will increase the cost of constructing a new home by about $9,500 but will save $19,000 in energy and maintenance costs over 30 years. Based on a 30-year mortgage, the Energy Commission estimates that the standards will add about $40 per month for the average home, but save consumers $80 per month on heating, cooling and lighting bills.
I have sensed apprehension from our members about the effects of these changes on the building industry. With good reason: the cost to build here is already expensive and Tahoe has a unique building climate. For a building to have the most energy-efficient features, climate zones are assigned to different areas of California. It was surprising to see that Truckee is in “Climate 16” the largest climate zone in the state starting at the Oregon border and dropping down to San Bernadino County. In researching California Climate Zone 16, I noticed that Bishop was being used as the reference city. Bishop has an average annual snowfall of 6 inches.
Truckee Town Council member Anna Klovstad has asked CATT to join forces with the Town of Truckee on a continuing education series on a variety of topics connected to the 2020 code changes. Topics being considered include: lighting, building envelope, energy generation, certifications, HVAC/MEP, water, and design. Check out the flyer here. If you are interested in a specific topic, please contact me via email and we will work with the Town to get an instructor.
I hope to see some of you out at the CATT Spring Golf Event on June 12th!
My best, Kellie