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Nonresidential Energy Conservation Ordinance

The City of Carlsbad’s Climate Action Plan seeks to improve the energy efficiency of nonresidential buildings and establish an ordinance to conserve the energy use in existing buildings. In pursuit of the goals established by the Climate Action Plan, the city has adopted a commercial energy conservation ordinance, which requires nonresidential buildings to meet specified cost-effective energy efficiency measures for new construction and during a major renovation.

Why did Carlsbad pass this ordinance?

Nonresidential properties account for about 32 percent of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions. In 2015, the city adopted its Climate Action Plan, which included a goal to reduce energy consumption by 40 percent in 30 percent of the citywide nonresidential square footage by 2035. This ordinance sets higher efficiency standards for new nonresidential buildings and requires existing nonresidential buildings pursuing major renovations to include energy efficiency upgrades. The measures included in this ordinance have been proven to be cost-effective and align with the requirements of Title 24, Part 6 and CALGreen Voluntary Tier 1.

Who is required to comply with this ordinance?

All new nonresidential projects and major renovations to nonresidential properties adding 1,000 square feet or with a permit valued at $200,000 or greater must comply with the energy conservation ordinance. The permit valuation is based on the dollar per square foot multiplier found on the city’s Building Valuation Multipliers.

What are the requirements of this ordinance?

The nonresidential energy conservation ordinance requires non-residential buildings to install cost-effective energy efficiency measures. All new construction and major renovations must meet the energy standards of CALGreen (Title 24, Part 11 of the California Building Code) Voluntary Tier 1.

When does this ordinance take effect?

The ordinance was adopted by the City Council on March 12, 2019 and was forwarded to the California Energy Commission for their review and approval. Review by the California Energy Commission is necessary to ensure that local energy-related ordinances meet or exceed statewide standards and are cost-effective. 

California Energy Commission approval is anticipated by June or July of 2019. Building permit applications made after the ordinance takes effect will need to meet the new requirements.

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