On March 29th, the California Energy Commission (CEC) commenced the 2025 Building Energy Efficiency Standards update. This is a triennial rulemaking process to update the California Energy Code and changes would become effective January 1, 2026. Among numerous other provisions, proposed amendments to the 2025 Energy Code would update prescriptive heat pump requirements and their associated performance baselines for newly constructed single-family, multifamily, and certain nonresidential buildings. Additionally, the CEC is proposing to introduce prescriptive heat pump requirements for individual domestic water heating systems serving individual dwelling units in low rise multifamily buildings; would establish electric-ready requirements for multifamily domestic water heating systems; and would establish electric-ready requirements for commercial kitchens.  

The CEC estimates that these code changes will “increase the deployment and grid benefits of on-site renewable energy generation, increase flexibility of energy demand, reduce carbon emissions from new buildings (building decarbonization), reduce growth in energy demand, and ensure that California buildings are as energy efficient as possible while also being technically feasible and cost-effective.” The CEC has determined that there may be incremental costs to individual homeowners, but long-term savings may repay those costs.  

Public hearings will be held April 16, 17, and 18, 2024 with in-person and/or remote participation options; the agenda can be viewed here. Day 1 of the public hearings will largely cover field verification and diagnostic testing requirements, acceptance test technician requirements, and other general requirements of the Energy Code. Public hearing Day 2 will focus on nonresidential buildings and covered process requirements, while Day 3 will cover single-family and multifamily home requirements. Written comments will be accepted to the docket through May 13, 2024. For questions, please contact RCRC Policy Advocate Leigh Kammerich.