SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The California Energy Commission has approved new standards for energy efficiency in both residential and nonresidential construction, slated to take effect in October 2005.

The standards are designed to help reduce peak energy use. Some of the new requirements include:

  • The use of "cool roofs" - reflective, insulated roofs - on nonresidential buildings. A cool roof is said to have the capability to reduce rooftop temperature by up to 50 degrees, resulting in a 20 percent reduction in air conditioning costs.

  • The use of skylights in "big box" nonresidential buildings, along with controls to turn off lighting when natural light can be used.

  • Improvements to existing residential buildings include new replacement windows that have improved glazings. Also, whenever new HVAC equipment is installed, the standards require that ductwork be inspected and any leaks sealed.

  • The new standards are also designed to make portable classrooms more efficient and more comfortable.

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    Publication date: 11/17/2003