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Home > By DEPARTMENTS > Buildings, Real Estate and Facilities > Green Building Practices for Sustainable Facilities > Energy Efficiency and Conservation for Facilities Management

Guidelines for California Energy Saving Home Building

ENERGY STAR Qualified Homes built in California must be 15% more energy efficient

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ENERGY STAR Qualified Homes

All ENERGY STAR Qualified Homes built in California must be 15% more energy efficient than the California energy code under which they were permitted.

Technical Specs for Energy Star Qualified Homes

Homes built under 2001 T-24 code had until December 31, 2006 to complete construction.

All homes completed on or after January 1, 2007 must be 15% more energy efficient than the latest T-24 code (2005 T-24). Homes that were enrolled in a utility rebate program by December 31, 2005 had until January 1, 2007 to be qualified using the old ENERGY STAR guidelines. All homes enrolled in a program after January 1, 2006 must be qualified using the new guidelines and have a Thermal Bypass Checklist inspection. However, for the period January 1, 2007 to June 30, 2007, homes in this category will not be denied the ENERGY STAR label due to non-compliance with requirements of this additional inspection. As of July 1, 2007, these homes must pass the Thermal Bypass Inspection to earn the ENERGY STAR label.

The current ENERGY STAR Qualified Homes guidelines require that homes be 15% more energy efficient than the code under which they are permitted and be inspected by a CEC certified third party HERS rater. Sampling is allowed and shall follow the CEC HERS protocols.

Energy Star Qualified Homes Guidelines

The ENERGY STAR Qualified Homes guidelines requirements also include:

  • Verification of adherence to the EPA ENERGY STAR Thermal Bypass Checklist/CEC Quality Installation Insulation merged protocols.
  • All cooling equipment shall be sized according to the latest editions of the ACCA Manuals J and S, ASHRAE 2001 Handbook of Fundamentals, or the equivalent computation procedure.
    • Maximum oversizing of air conditioners is 15%.
    • Equipment oversizing calculations shall use 99.0% and 1.0% outdoor design temperatures as published in the ASHRAE Handbook of Fundamentals for most representative city. However, a prevailing outdoor design temperature used by the local HVAC industry that can be documented with available weather data is an acceptable alternative. The Indoor temperature shall be 75ºF for cooling and 70ºF for heating.
    • Infiltration rate shall be selected as tight.
    • Indoor and outdoor coils shall be matched in accordance with ARI standards.
  • Ductwork leakage must be less than 6 cfm to outdoors per 100 square feet of conditioned space, though duct leakage tests can be waived if ducts and equipment are located in conditioned space and the home’s envelope leakage is less than 0.25 CFM 50 per square foot of building envelope. (Meeting T-24 tight duct standard of 6% or less leakage of total air flow satisfies this requirement.)

Additional requirements bulleted above can be used to achieve the 15% performance margin. EPA also recommends, but does not require, that ductwork be located in conditioned space with a minimum of R-4 insulation to prevent condensation and moisture problems. Updated on February 28, 2007


California Building Performance Contractors Association

CBPCA trains and certifies contractors for a better approach to energy efficiency, safety, comfort, and value. California Building Performance Association is a non-profit organization supporting energy efficiency and the residential contracting industry. CBPCA manages utility-funded training and outreach programs throughout California. In Southern California, CBPCA trains and mentors prospective home performance contractors and performs public outreach in the Southern California Edison service territory. This program is funded through mid-2008. The aim of this program is to train and support 80 contracting firms in the practice of home performance contracting. California Building Performance Contractors Association

Utility Company Programs for Energy Star Ratings

Advanced Home Program by Southern California Gas Company

Performance Programs. Projects qualify when they exceed 2005 Title-24 compliance by 15%. California Energy Star® New Homes Program SoCal Gas Company

Advanced Home Program by San Diego Gas & Electric

The California ENERGY STAR® New Homes Program is a performance based program designed to encourage builders to construct single family and multi-family buildings that are energy efficient. San Diego Gas & Electric

SoCal Edison

California Energy Star New Homes Program Recognized as a National Leader in building conservation. SoCal Edison

PG&E ENERGY STAR® Qualified New Homes Program

PG&E works with builders to ensure that ENERGY STAR New Homes exceed California's rigorous energy efficiency PG&E

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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