The 2013 Updated Energy Code Brings Greater Energy Efficiency Requirements
A recap of changes for the new 2013 Energy Code is here. This article shows Mandatory Energy Code Requirements and then the "Package A Prescriptive" Requirements for Climate Zones 11 & 12. Climate Zones 11 & 12 cover the Sacramento, Stockton, Placerville, Granite Bay, Folsom, Rocklin, Roseville, Auburn, Grass Valley, and Marysville areas.
If you need an understanding of the term "Prescriptive Package" there is an older article at this website entitled, "Know the Prescriptive Package Energy Home Design".
The California Energy Commission is under a law to create Zero Net Energy homes by the year 2020. So this year's code is 25-30% stricter. Though some of these changes may not seem like a large step forward there are many other changes underneath that will make energy compliance more costly to achieve.
As always, I am here for questions and comments. If I do not know the answer we will learn together.
Elizabeth (Beth) Smithwick
Certified Energy Analyst
The most up to date standards, 2013 BUILDING ENERGY EFFICIENCY STANDARDS (Title 24, Part 6, and Associated Administrative Regulations in Part 1), are now available online in PDF format [1.6 MB].
New Mandatory Measures
ROOF: Wood Framed Ceilings and Rafter: Minimum R-30 (U-factor 0.031)
Wood Framed: 2x4: minimum R-13 (U-factor = 0.102 maximum)
Wood Framed: 2x6: minimum R-19 (U-factor = 0.074 maximum)
RAISED FLOORS: Wood Framed: Minimum R-19 (U-factor 0.037)
HVAC & Whole House Ventilation
- Outdoor condensing unit must be located at least 5' from the outlet of any dryer vent.
- Ducted systems exceeding 10 ft must be designed with MERV 6 air filtration system that is accessible and labeled.
- Ducted cooling systems to meet HERS Testing of airflow and fan watt draw requirements.
- Zonally controlled systems to meet HERS Testing of airflow and fan watt draw requirements.
- Continuous operation of central forced air system not allowed as Indoor Air Quality approach.
- Whole building Indoor Air Quality airflow performance to be HERS tested and verified.
- Ducting: Minimum R-6.0 and HERS Duct Testing is required.
- Air filtration devises are required for mechanical system that supply air through 10 SF or more of duct work.
- Hole for static pressure prove (HSPP), or permanently installed static pressure probe (PSSP) in supply plenum shall be HERS tested and verified.
- Return ducts sized per Table 150.0-C and 150.0-D OR HERS tested and verified for 350 CFM/ton and 0.58 watts per CFM.
Gas/Propane water heaters must have:
- 120V outlet within 3 feet
- Category III, IV or B vent to outside
- Condensate drain without pump
- Gas sized for 200,000 BTUH or more
Pipe Insulation must be installed as follows:
- First 5 feet hot and cold
- All piping ¾" or larger
- Hot water recirculation piping
- Between storage/tanks
- Below grade
- All piping to kitchen faucets
No Change: 50% high efficacy/50% low efficacy.
Changed: Recessed light fixtures installed in uninsulated areas to meet mandatory requirements, not just in insulated ceilings.
No Change: Vacancy sensor require for low efficacy fixtures.
Changed: One fixture MUST be high efficacy (no control requirements).
Garages, laundry and utility rooms & closets over 70 SF
Changed: High efficacy light fixture and vacancy sensor required.
No Change: Vacancy sensor or dimmer control of low efficacy fixtures.
No Change: Manual switch, motion sensor and photo-control for low efficacy fixtures.
For Single Family Subdivisions (10 or more homes):
- Allow a 250 S.F. minimum area for future solar installation
- Do one of the following:
- Install a PV System = 1000 watts or more
- Install a solar hot water system with 0.5 solar fraction
- 50% potential solar zone provided
- May provide only 150 S.F. of area for future solar installation if meets one of the many exception listed such as:
- 3-story, but less than 2,000 S.F.
- Climate Zone 8-14 in fire area, and have a whole house fan installed
- Demand response thermostats installed
- No solar zone is required if (all three apply):
- Demand response thermostats installed
- High efficacy lights at kitchen, bathrooms (with vacancy sensor), utility rooms, garages and outside (with occupancy and photo sensor)
- Every room has a switched receptacle
Climate Zones 11 & 12Prescriptive Package A
|Minimum Assembly Description|
(aged solar reflectance/thermal emittance)
|Minimum 0.20 SR & minimum 0.75 TE|
|ABOVE GRADE WALLS|
|2x4 Framing1,2||0.065||R-15+4 or R-13+5|
|Mass Wall Interior3||0.070||R-13|
|Mass Wall Exterior3||0.125||R-8.0|
|BELOW GRADE WALLS:|
|Below Grade Interior3||0.070||R-13|
|Below Grade Exterior3||0.20||R-5.0|
|U-factor4||0.32||Dual Pane, Non-Metal, may need spectrally selective glass|
|Solar Heat Gain Coefficient5||0.25|
|West Facing Glass||5% Maximum|
|HVAC SYSTEM: Heating:|
|If Gas||78% AUE|
|If Heat Pump <65,000 Btu/hr
(Electric Resistance Heat is not Allowed)
|HVAC SYSTEM: Cooling:|
|Central/Electric (All Types) <65,000 Btu/hr||13 SEER|
|Refrigerant Charge Verification||Required|
|Central Fan Integrated Ventilation System Fan Efficacy||Required|
|Whole House Fan7||Required|
|HERS duct testing||Required|
|System shall meet Section 150.1(c)8||See below**|
1The U-factors/R-values shown for ceiling, wall and raised floor insulation are for wood-frame construction with insulation between the framing members. For alternative construction assemblies, see Section 150.1 (c)1A, B and C.
2U-factors can be met by cavity insulation alone or with continuous insulation alone, or with both cavity and continuous insulation that results in a U-factor equal to or less than the U-factor shown. R-15+4 means R-15 cavity insulation plus R-4 continuous insulation. Any combination of cavity insulation and/or continuous insulation that results in a U-factor equal to or less than 0.065 is allowed, such as R-13+5.
3Mass wall has a thermal heat capacity greater than or equal to 7.0 Btuh/h-ft2. Below grade "interior" denotes insulation installed on the inside surface of the wall. Below grade "exterior" denotes insulation installed on the outside surface of the wall.
4The installed fenestration products shall meet the requirements of Section 150.1 (c)3.
5The installed fenestration products shall meet the requirements of Section 150.1 (c)4.
6HSPF means "heating seasonal performance factor".
7Only those whole house fans that are listed in the Appliance Efficiency Directory may be installed. Compliance requires installation of one or more WHFs whose total airflow CFM is capable of meeting or exceeding a minimum 2cfm/square foot of conditioned floor are per Section 150.1(C)12.
Domestic Water-heating Systems.
Water-heating systems shall meet the requirements of either A, B, or C, or D.
For systems serving individual dwelling units, a single gas or propane storage type water heater with an input of 75,000 Btu per hour or less, and that meets the tank insulation requirements of Section 150.0(j) and the requirements of Sections 110.1 and 110.3 shall be installed. For recirculation distribution systems, only Demand Recirculation Systems with manual control pumps shall be used.
For systems serving individual dwelling units, a single gas or propane instantaneous water heater with an input of 200,000 Btu per hour or less and no storage tank, and that meets the requirements of Sections 110.1 and 110.3 shall be installed. For recirculation distribution systems, only Demand Recirculation Systems with manual control pumps shall be used.
For systems serving multiple dwelling units, a central water-heating system that includes the following components shall be installed:
Gas or propane water heaters, boilers or other water heating equipment that meet the minimum efficiency requirements of Sections 110.1 and 110.3; and
A water heating recirculation loop that meets the requirements of Section 110.3(c)2 and Section 110.3(c)5 and is equipped with an automatic control system that controls the recirculation pump operation based on measurement of hot water demand and hot water return temperature and has two recirculation loops each serving half of the building; and
EXCEPTION to Section 150.1(fc)8Cii: Buildings with eight or fewer dwelling units are exempt from the requirement for two recirculation loops.
A solar water-heating system meeting the installation criteria specified in Reference Residential Appendix RA4 and with a minimum solar savings fraction of 0.20 in climate zones 1 through 9 or a minimum solar savings fraction of 0.35 in climate zones 10 through 16. The solar savings fraction shall be determined using a calculation method approved by the Commission.
For systems serving individual dwelling units, an electric-resistance storage or instantaneous water heater may be installed as the main water heating source only if natural gas is unavailable, the water heater is located within the building envelope, and a solar water-heating system meeting the installation criteria specified in the Reference Residential Appendix RA4 and with a minimum solar savings fraction of 0.50 is installed. The solar savings fraction shall be determined using a calculation method approved by the Commission. Recirculation pumps shall not be used.
As always, I am available to discuss the process of meeting the California Energy Code for any building project. Contact me …