Green Building Ordinance 2021-13

Green Building Ordinance 2021-13 was adopted by City Council on October 27, 2021. The ordinance was considered by City Council during three other public meetings on August 11, September 22, and October 10, 2021. The final ordinance can be found here.

The following fact sheets and diagrams summarize the new requirements:

Residential Energy Efficiency Fact Sheet

Non-Residential Energy Efficiency Fact Sheet

Non-Residential Solar PV Fact Sheet

All Electric New Buildings Fact Sheet

All Electric New Buildings - Exception 3 Fact Sheet

Any discretionary or non-discretionary project that has submitted a building permit application to the City after the effective date of the ordinance will be subject to the new provisions.

The effective date is August 2, 2022.

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 ordinance:

Non-Residential Solar PV & Energy Efficiency CES

Residential Energy Efficiency CES

New Residential All-Electric CES

New Non-Residential All-Electric CES


To meet the goals of the City’s Climate Action Plan (CAP), the development of a comprehensive green building ordinance was initiated in 2019. The green building ordinance includes requirements that align with the following CAP measures:

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 Buildings

BE-4: Require Decarbonization of New Commercial Buildings

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

Public Workshops and Stakeholder Committee

An initial public workshop was held on June 15, 2020. Documents pertaining to this meeting are linked here: Presentation, Meeting Questions & Answers, Draft Ordinance, Draft Energy Efficiency Fact Sheet, Draft Solar PV Fact Sheet, Resources for Commercial Property Owners.

Another public workshop was held on February 25, 2021 to reinitiate the draft development process after some revisions were made to the City's CAP. Information pertaining to this public workshop includes: Agenda, Presentation, Video, and workshop materials: Overview of Ordinances, Draft Ordinance, Draft Nonresidential Energy Efficiency Fact Sheet, Nonresidential PV Fact Sheet, Residential Energy Efficiency Fact Sheet.

Subsequent to the February 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 final public workshop was held on May 11, 2021 to review results of the Stakeholder Committee meetings and gather further input. Information pertaining to this public workshop includes: Agenda, Presentation, Video, and workshop materials: Draft Ordinance, 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.

A public comment period followed the final workshop from May 11 to May 31, 2021.

Based on public input, stakeholder engagement, and CAP goals, the draft Green Building Ordinance 2021-13 was presented to the Environmental Commission on June 10, 2021, 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.

Previously 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 at 8% of their total number of parking spaces. For more information on these requirements, check out this fact sheet.