What is Title 24?
Many Californians have wondered "what is Title 24?" and "why do I need a Title 24 energy report for my project?" Throughout California the Title 24 energy standards address the energy efficiency of new (and altered) homes and commercial buildings. Because energy efficiency reduces energy costs, increases reliability and availability of electricity, improves building occupant comfort, and reduces impacts to the environment, standards are important and necessary for California’s energy future. In 1978 the California legislature enacted the Title 24 energy standards. The standards are contained within Title 24, part 6 of the California Code of Regulations.
Energy Savings and Title 24
The goal of the California Title 24 energy standards is the reduction of energy use. This is a benefit to all. Homeowners save money, Californians have a more secure and healthy economy, the environment is less negatively impacted, and our electrical system can operate in a more stable state. The 2008 Title 24 standards (for residential and nonresidential buildings) are expected to reduce the growth in electricity use by 561 gigawatt-hours per year (GWh/yr) and reduce the growth in gas use by 19 million therms per year (therms/yr). The savings attributable to new low-rise residences are 102.2 GWh/yr of electricity savings and 7.4 million therms. These savings are cumulative resulting in 6 times the annual saving over the 3 years to the next Title 24 standard cycle.
Electricity Reliability, Demand, and Title 24
Buildings are one of the major contributors to electricity demand. We learned during the 2000/2001 California energy crisis, and the east coast blackout in the summer of 2003, that our electric distribution network is fragile and system overloads caused by excessive demand from buildings can create unstable conditions. Furthermore, resulting blackouts can seriously disrupt business and cost the economy billions of dollars. Since the California electricity crisis, the Energy Commission has placed more and more emphasis on demand reductions. The 2008 Title 24 standards are expected to reduce electric demand by 131.8 MW each year and 36.6 MW are attributable to low-rise residential buildings. Like energy savings, demand savings accumulate each year. Changes to the Title 24 standards occur periodically to account for improvements in conservation technologies, changes in the cost of fuels and energy-conserving strategies, and improved capabilities in analyzing building energy performance. In addition, modifications are also made to further improve compliance and enforcement of the Title 24 standards.
(Excerpted from the CEC Title 24 Residential Compliance Manual)