Since its creation in 1977, the California Energy Efficiency Program has proven to be a major driver in reducing California’s energy consumption and has saved consumers a combined cost of $90 billion dollars. To put this into perspective, the total energy savings have allowed for continued building growth in California without building forty-one (41) additional new power plants. Even more impressive, California’s per capita electrical use has continued to remain flat for over 40 years while the rest of the country has continued to rise in use. The California Energy Commission (CEC) is leading the way with continuous improvements of the Title 24 Part 6 Energy Code, providing ongoing updates to re-align standards with recent advancements in technology and energy saving strategies.
The new 2016 energy code went into effect in January 1, 2017 and is already being enforced. These standards are an aggressive 5% more efficient than the 2013 requirements as the CEC is reaching toward the ambitious goal of “net-zero” energy use for commercial buildings by the year 2030.
Some highlights of the 2016 Part 6 Mechanical and Lighting Non-Residential changes:
Door and Window Sensors: When doors and windows are left open (for whatever reason), this has a major effect on costly heating and cooling systems operation with less effect on the actual temperature inside the building. Newly required sensors shall adjust thermostat heating and cooling setpoints when doors and windows are left open for more than a few minutes, and turn climate control equipment off until the room is sealed back up (Section 140.4(n)).
Digital Controls and Monitoring: Achieving energy efficiency on a large scale requires building managers to have the proper tools to have control over their heating, cooling and ventilation systems. New digital control requirements give users a more precise level control by linking HVAC operation directly to building energy management systems. Additionally, complex control strategies such as start/stop optimization and demand control ventilation are now required for specific air handling equipment (Sections 120.2(j) and 120.2 (k)).
Elevators: There’s far more to elevator systems than cars and pulleys. The new code now requires elevator systems to be more efficient with high-performing lighting and exhaust fans that turn off when the elevator car is empty (Section 120.6(f)).
Escalators: Whether they’re in use or not, escalators run at the same speed and have high energy consumption. New regulations stipulate that escalators and moving walkways shall run at more efficient levels when unoccupied (Section 120.6(g)).
Outdoor Lighting: 2016’s Title 24 updates reduce the general power allowance for outdoor lighting on commercial properties, and in some cases require additional motion sensors. Builders can meet these demands by using more efficient lighting sources.
Building Commissioning: Commissioning is now required for all new buildings with nonresidential conditioned space, including nonresidential spaces in hotel/motel and high-rise residential buildings. Additionally, the Owner’s Project Requirements (OPR) document must now include building envelope performance expectations under the 2016 Energy Standards (Section 120.8).
Mechanical Acceptance Testing and Lighting Acceptance Testing: Both Mechanical and Lighting Acceptance testing requirements have become more stringent and are required to verify a multitude of installation and controls requirements.
Please feel free to contact us for more information regarding 2016 CA Title 24 Part 6 Commissioning and Mechanical/Lighting Acceptance testing requirements.