January 1, 2020 Title 24 Energy Code changes are coming!

On January 1, 2020, the California Energy Code (commonly known as Title 24 Energy) will be implemented, replacing the 2016 Energy Code. The new code will be known as the 2019 California Energy Code (Title 24, Part 6; Building Efficiency Standards). The Energy Commission is estimating that new single-family houses will use about 7% less energy when built under the 2019 Code vs. the 2016 Code. When factoring in solar photovoltaics, a single-family house built under the new Standards is estimated to use about 53% less energy than under the 2016 Standards.


Some key Residential new construction changes to the new 2019 Energy Code include:
• Solar electric photovoltaics will be required (unless the building qualifies for an exception). The Prescriptive PV system requirements for Climate Zone 2 (typical of Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino and Marin County non-coastal inland areas).
o kWPV required = (CFA x A)/1000 + (Number of Dwelling Units x B) *A and B are both fixed adjustment factors

 For example, a 2500 square foot single-family house would require 2.77 kW of solar PV:
kWPV = (2500 sqft x 0.621)/1000 + (1 dwelling unit x 1.22)
= 2.8 minimum kW required

• Wood framed walls with 2×6 framing require a minimum of R-20 insulation (or a maximum U-factor of 0.071).

• MERV-13 (or equivalent) filters are now required for heating/cooling and ventilation systems.

• Fan efficiency for gas fired forced air furnaces has been increased to 0.45 watts per CFM (up from 0.58 watts/CFM).

o QII (Quality Insulation Installation) is a PRESCRIPTIVE requirement for single-family buildings. This means that it is not a mandatory requirement, but your base house being modeled for energy compliance with the 2019 Code is compared to a house that has QII, which requires a third party HERS Rater verification of the entire thermal envelope – roof, walls and floors – throughout the construction of the residence. Here’s the link to the QII Certificate of Installation documentation that your HERS Rater will use for verification: