​California Developing New Rules for Building Decarbonization

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has issued a new Order Instituting Rulemaking to develop rules aimed at reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through building decarbonization. California has already initiated a number of green building programs. This new rulemaking will build on that effort by:

  • Implementing SB 1477. SB 1477 requires the CPUC to develop two pilot programs: a BUILD program to encourage new building technologies to expand decarbonization beyond Title 24 standards, and a TECH Initiative to encourage deployment of new low-emissions space and water heating technologies in new and existing buildings. These pilots will be designed for scaleability.
  • Developing pilot programs to address new construction in areas damaged by wildfires. The CPUC will consider developing pilot programs to help support permanent decarbonization investments when rebuilding homes destroyed or damaged by wildfires.
  • Coordinating with Title 24 building energy efficiency (EE) standards and Title 20 appliance efficiency standards. The CPUC will consider policies, procedures and rules that could encourage builders to choose Title 24 compliance pathways to maximize GHG reductions. These efforts will be coordinated with Title 20 appliance standards and energy efficiency proceedings.
  • Establishing a building decarbonization policy framework. The rulemaking will develop guiding principles for development of rules, policies and procedures to accelerate the reduction of GHG emissions from buildings, evaluate technical issues, consider consumer protection measures, and explore funding mechanisms.

Interested parties are invited to comment on the scope of the proceeding and respond to questions raised in the rulemaking order. Opening comments were filed March 11 and reply comments are due March 26.

Our attorneys are following CPUC and other agency proceedings addressing GHG emission reduction, Title 20 and Title 24 standards, energy efficiency, electric vehicle infrastructure and other green policy initiatives, including programs aimed at assisting homeowners affected by wildfires.

Authors: Lynn Haug, Jeff Harris, Chase Maxwell.