The California Energy Commission adopted updated building standards for energy efficiency in residential and nonresidential construction. The new rules are designed to cut the state's peak energy use by more than 180 megawatts annually. According to the Energy Commission, this is enough electricity to power 180,000 average-sized California homes. Those energy savings are compounded each year, reaching over 500 megawatts after three years. Training sessions will be held on the new standard, which will go into effect in October 2005.

Under the standard, nonresidential buildings must install cool roofs, which can reduce a roof's temperature, thereby reducing air conditioning costs. Also, when new HVAC equipment is installed, ductwork must be inspected and sealed to correct large leaks in existing ducts. For more information on the standard, visit

- by J.J. Siegel

Publication date: 12/08/2003