Background

To meet the goals of the City’s Climate Action Plan (CAP), the development of a comprehensive green building ordinance was initiated in 2019. Upon approval of an interim update to the City’s CAP, on November 18, 2020, adjustments were made to this effort to align with the revised, building-related CAP measures. These measures include:  

BE-1: Adopt a Residential Energy Efficiency Ordinance  

BE-2: Require Decarbonization of New Residential Buildings  

BE-3: Adopt Higher Energy Efficiency Standards for Commercial Building 

BE-4: Require Decarbonization of New Commercial Buildings  

RE-3: Require Commercial Buildings to install Solar Photovoltaic Systems  

On February 25, 2021 a public workshop was held to discuss the draft ordinance and reinitiate the draft development process. Information pertaining to this public workshop can be found below.  

Workshop AgendaPresentationVideo, and workshop materials: 

Overview of Ordinances 

Draft Ordinance 2021-TBD (formerly 2020-04) revised 2-24-21 

Nonresidential Energy Efficiency Fact Sheet 

Nonresidential PV Fact Sheet 

Residential Energy Efficiency Fact Sheet 

Subsequent to this workshop, a Stakeholder Committee was formed to further evaluate the proposed draft ordinance and provide input. Thirteen members of the public, from various interest areas, were selected to participate, including environmental advocates, green building specialists, developers, commercial property owners, local business owners, and residents.  The Stakeholder Committee met twice and provided input over a period of two months.  

A second public workshop was held on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 to review results of the Stakeholder Committee meetings and garner further input. A recording of the meeting is available here. A public comment period followed the second workshop, from May 11 to May 31, 2021. Information pertaining to this Public Workshop #2 can be found below.  

Workshop #2 Agenda, Presentation, Video, and workshop materials: 

Draft Ordinance 2021-TBD_revised 5-7-21

Residential Energy Efficiency Diagram_5-3-21

Non-Residential Solar PV Diagram_5-6-21

All Electric Buildings Diagram_5-3-21

Non-Residential Energy Efficiency Diagram_5-3-21

Prior to the CAP update, the City held a public comment period on the draft ordinance, from March 27 to April 17, 2020, and held a virtual public meeting, held on June 15, 2020. Former draft documents related to this meeting and comment period are linked below:  

Draft Ordinance 2020-04 

Energy Efficiency Fact Sheet 

Solar Photovoltaic Fact Sheet 

June 15 Meeting Presentation Slides 

June 15 Meeting Questions & Answers 

Solar Photovoltaic and Energy Efficiency Resources for Commercial Property Owners 

Final Draft Ordinance 2021-13

Based on public input, stakeholder engagement, and CAP goals, a final draft Green Building Ordinance was developed. The draft ordinance was presented to the Environmental Commission on Thursday, June 10, providing an opportunity for public discussion and commission consideration. The Environmental Commission unanimously recommended that the draft move forward to City Council for approval with minor revisions. A recording of the meeting is available here. The draft will be introduced to City Council at their meeting on August 11, 2021.

The draft ordinance and diagrams depicting the proposed compliance pathways may be viewed below. 

Draft Ordinance 2021-13

Residential Energy Efficiency Diagram

Non-Residential Solar PV Diagram

All Electric Buildings Diagram

Non-Residential Energy Efficiency Diagram

Per California state law, local building energy codes that go beyond state code must be cost effective. The following studies demonstrate the cost effectiveness of the requirements that are included in the draft ordinance:  

Non-Residential Solar PV & Energy Efficiency CES

Residential Energy Efficiency CES

New Residential All-Electric CES

New Non-Residential All-Electric CES

Adopted Green Building Ordinances

Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Systems on New Homes

In 2019, the City adopted Ordinance 2019-21 which incorporated new statewide residential solar requirements into our local building code. As of January 1, 2020, all new single-family and multi-family homes up to three stories in California are required to install a solar photovoltaic (PV) system large enough to meet the annual electricity usage of the building. The details regarding the residential solar requirement can be found in the state’s CALGreen code (California Building Standards Code, Title 24, Part 11) 

Residential and Commercial Electric Vehicle Charging Stations 

In November 2019, City Council considered and adopted Ordinance 2019-22 to increase electric vehicle (EV) adoption by residents. New single-family homes must install electrical equipment capable of handling an EV charger, making the home “EV Ready,” and new multi-family homes must install EV charging stations (EVCS) at 15% of the parking spaces in the complex. 

New commercial developments (including the commercial portion of mixed-use projects) and commercial building modifications, alterations, and additions that are 10,000 square feet or greater are required to install EV charging stations a 8% of their total number of parking spaces. For more information on these requirements check out this fact sheet