The City of San Jose all electric ordinance is not that “all electric”.

Recently the City of San Jose announced their intent to steer the city’s energy use in all new buildings to rely solely on electricity starting with the 2019 Energy Code. This was an aggressive proposal for their local energy standards, but in order to enact such a change, the new laws must be approved by the California Energy Commission (CEC). After reviewing the City’s proposal, the reach code was revised for a compromise which meets the intent of the initial idea but is more technically and financially feasible for developers to comply with.

Key points from the revised laws include:

  1. An electrical outlet is required for future electric heat pump water heaters and future electric heat pump clothes dryers.
  2. Developers can install gas! What?! That’s right, if:
  3. Low-rise Res – compliance margin is over 10 on EDR, which means installing more solar photovoltaic arrays and/or more building energy efficiency measures.
  4. Mid-Rise Res, Non-Res – compliance margin over Table 140.1(a) based on TDV values, which means higher SEER, better windows, solar hot water preheat, etc. See below.
  5. A Certified Energy Analyst (CEA) shall perform the energy calculations for Title 24 Energy Modeling, which also ensures the minimum PV sizing is calculated appropriately. It’s advisable that you run your energy models as early as possible (namely the Schematic Design or Design Development phases).

The future is green for California: it’s only a matter of time before all-electric ordinances become a reality for cities across the state. Being prepared is the best way to stay ahead of the competition and avoid any nasty pitfalls in design and construction. For more information on how to stay ahead of the game, contact Moe Fakih at VCA Green below.

Moe Fakih, Principal

714-363-4700 x 501