The City of Santa Barbara, California, modified its energy efficiency standards to correspond with the first level of the Architecture 2030 Challenge and to reduce its fossil fuel usage in its buildings by 50% below the regional average. Also, the City has set a goal to reduce energy consumption to achieve “carbon neutrality” by 2030 in new buildings and retrofits.
In order to meet these goals, the City has set forth increased minimum energy efficiency standards for all new construction (residential and commercial) of any size, additions to existing buildings or structures where the addition is greater than 100 square feet of conditioned floor area, and the installation of new heaters or circulation pumps for swimming pools, spas and water features. This ordinance supplements the 2005 California Building Energy Efficiency Standards and amends parts of it by providing builders with greater flexibility in meeting the city’s energy efficiency standards. For instance, the ordinance allows builders who install on-site solar photovoltaic (PV) to apply those energy reductions as a “credit” towards complying with the city’s general energy efficiency compliance requirements. Another example of how Santa Barbara’s ordinance goes beyond California’s 2005 Building Energy Efficiency Standards is that it requires all applicants for residential building permits, including new buildings or improvements that are covered by this Chapter, to install appliances that are Energy Star rated.
The Building Official will not issue a building permit to applicants unless the energy compliance documentation submitted with the permit application complies with the requirements of this Chapter. Documentation includes building drawings, specifications, and standard 2005 California Building Energy Efficiency Title 24 report forms.