2016 Residential Title 24 Energy Code Updates

(Following is a partial list of the most significant 2016 changes to the California Title 24 Residential Energy Standards.)


The most significant changes in the 2016 Building Energy Efficiency Standards affecting residential buildings include the new requirements for high-performance insulation within walls and attics. Other changes include:


Mandatory Measures:

  • Insulation in roof/ceiling construction must be at least R-22 (maximum U-factor of 0.043) (§150.0(a)1).
  • New duct total leakage reduced to 5 percent or less (§150.0(m)11B1).
  • All installed air-conditioner and heat pump systems shall be equipped with liquid line filter driers as specified by manufacturer’s instructions (§150.0(h)3B).
  • Storage hot water heaters no longer need to be externally wrapped (§150.0(j)1).
  • All luminaires must be “high-efficacy” (§150.0(k)1A).
  • Isolation valves must be installed on instantaneous water heaters that have a minimum input of 6.8 kBTU/hr (§110.3(c)7).


Prescriptive Compliance:


  • Increased flexibility for envelope compliance (§150.1(c)).
  • Increased roof assembly requirements to include insulation installed either above or below roof deck (§150.1(c)1A).
  • Requirements for water-heating systems in single-family and multifamily buildings have been updated and more options have been added (§150.1(c)8).
  • High-performance attics and ducts in conditioned spaces have been added as an option for a space-conditioning distribution system (§150.1(c)9).
  • If a whole house fan (WHF) is required, it must comply with a total air flow of at least 1.5 CFM/ft2 and have 1 square foot of attic vent free area for each 750 CFM (§150.1(c)12).


Performance Compliance:


All compliance software programs that are approved by the Energy Commission must use a single interpretation of the performance compliance rules that the Energy Commission has integrated into the public domain software. More information is available in the 2016 Residential ACM Approval Manual and the 2016 Residential ACM Reference Manual.


Additions and Alterations:


  • Changes to the prescriptive requirements for the building envelope (specifically wall insulation) for additions (§150.2(a)1).
  • With alterations, the prescriptive requirements for mechanical cooling, water heating, and lighting have been revised (§150.2(b)).
  • More detailed information on additions and alterations in Chapter 9 of the 2016 Residential Compliance Manual.


(Excerpted from the CEC Title 24 website)