The Impact of California Regulations on the U.S.

October 7, 2014

Michael Hodgson, founder of ConSol, said California’s energy policy is driving the market to time-of-use energy pricing, incentivizing ways to reduce peak load, and detailing how the policy impacts energy choices in buildings.

Hodgson made his comments during his presentation, “California Regulatory Proceedings Impacting the Nation,” at a general session at the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) 2014 Fall Conference.

The California Energy Commission has a number of proposals for the 2016 Energy Code, bearing in mind the eventual goal of getting the state of California to Zero Energy by 2020. These include using high-performance attics and walls, LED lighting, and 0.82 Energy Factor water heaters.

Hodgson pointed out that Time-Dependent Value energy is more expensive at different times of day, such as between 5 and 7 p.m. in the summer after residents get home and turn on air conditioning in the West and Southern zones.

The trend toward larger homes on smaller lots is resulting in HVAC units being placed within the attic space, noted Hodgson. This is problematic, since the typical attic in that early evening timeframe reaches 140 degrees. High-performance attics feature above or below roof-deck insulation and vented attic design to combat extreme temperatures. High-performance walls, which may prompt changes to window installation instructions or frame design to accommodate the necessary one-inch stucco and two-inch exterior foam sheathing, have also been proposed.

He added that performance-based codes are also critical. Builders choose what the market demands, i.e., owner choices, and what is practical and deemed cost-effective by the builders to install.

“There is still time to participate [in rule-making proceedings],” emphasized Hodgson. He stressed that this is an important time to get involved.

The California code often influences national code, Hodgson said. Codes in California are moving to reflect utility actual costs and will allow trades between envelope and equipment energy efficiency features – and eventually renewables.

“Renewables will get us to Zero Energy by 2020,” Hodgson concluded.

Hodgson has more than three decades’ worth of experience in making new and existing buildings more energy efficient. He founded ConSol in 1983 and has positioned it as the building owners’ energy advocate at the local, state and national levels. More recently he took part in the creation of the Green Builder Guidelines.

For more information, contact Bruce Croak, Graham Architectural Products technical marketing manager, 717-849-8100.

This article originally appeared on the American Architectural Manufacturers Association website.