What is Title 24?

Title 24 is the Energy Efficiency Standards for Residential and Non-Residential Buildings in California. Title 24 addresses the energy efficiency of construction projects in the state (including new construction, remodeling, addition and commercial buildings).

California Title 24 building code regulations were established in 1978 in response to a legislative mandate to reduce energy consumption and to improve state’s energy efficiency. The title was adapted to control and enhance energy consumption in the state as it relates to construction of buildings. According to the commission, every building must adhere to certain rules before construction. These standards are contained in part 6 of the the California Building Standard Code, which is California Title 24 (California Energy Code).

The Title24 standards are periodically reviewed and updated by the California Energy Commission to allow consideration and possible incorporation of new energy efficiency technologies and methods.

The Title 24 standards are very important to the commission and the homeowners as well as project owners as it determines how the energy resources should be used. Essentially,Title 24 is a building permit requirement in California. In California, Title 24 energy calculation and compliance report is required prior to obtaining building permits for construction projects.

To learn more about “California Title 24″, visit  http://www.dgs.ca.gov/dsa/Programs/progCodes/title24.aspx

Why California Needs Energy Efficiency Standards?

Energy efficiency reduces energy costs, increases reliability and availability of electricity, improves building occupant comfort, and reduces impacts to the environment making standards important and necessary for California’s energy future.

<<Updated July 2013>> 

Note: The following information was excerpted from the CEC 2013 Title 24 Residential Compliance Manual (http://www.energy.ca.gov/2013publications/CEC-400-2013-001/CEC-400-2013-001-CMF-REV.pdf)

Energy Savings

Reducing energy use 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 manner. The 2013 Standards (for both residential and nonresidential buildings) are expected to reduce the growth in electricity use by 464 gigawatt-hours per year (GWh/yr) and reduce the growth in natural gas use by 10.9 million therms per year (therms/yr). The savings attributable to new low-rise residences are 23.6 GWh/yr of electricity savings and 1.1 million therms of natural gas.These savings are first year annual savings based on the estimated housing starts and existing dwelling renovation levels. The cumulative 3-year savings are much higher than these numbers.

 Electricity Reliability and Demand

Buildings are one of the major contributors to electricity demand. We learned during the 2000/2001 California electricity crisis and the east coast blackout in the summer 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 2013 Standards are expected to reduce electric demand by 138.7 MW each year and 35 MW are attributable to low-rise residential buildings. Like energy savings, demand savings accumulate each year.


Comfort is an important benefit of energy efficient homes. Energy efficient houses are well insulated, less drafty, and use high performance windows and/or shading to reduce solar gains and heat loss. Poorly designed building envelopes result in houses that are less comfortable. Even with oversized heating and cooling systems, comfort cannot be achieved in older, poorly insulated and leaky homes.


For the homeowner, energy efficiency helps to ensure that a home is affordable both now and into the future. Banks and other financial institutions recognize the impact of energy efficiency through energy efficient mortgages – they look at the total cost of owning the home, including paying the utility bills. If the utility bills are lower, lenders can qualify borrowers for a larger loan. From a larger perspective, the less California depends on depletable resources such as natural gas, coal, and oil, the stronger and more stable the economy will remain in the face of energy cost increases. A cost-effective investment in energy efficiency helps everyone. In many ways, it is far more cost effective for the people of California to invest in saving energy than it is to invest in building new power plants.


In many parts of the world, energy use has led to oil spills, acid rain, smog, and other forms of environmental pollution that have ruined the natural beauty people seek to enjoy. California is not immune to these problems, but appliance standards, building standards, and utility programs that promote efficiency and conservation help to maintain environmental quality. Other benefits include reduced destruction of natural habitats, which helps protect animals, plants, and natural systems.

 Global Warming

Burning fossil fuels contributes greatly to global warming; carbon dioxide is being added to an atmosphere already containing 35 percent more than it did two centuries ago. Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases create an insulating layer around the earth that leads to global climate change. Energy Commission research shows that most of the sectors of the state economy face significant risk from climate change, including water resources (from reduced snow pack), agriculture, forests, and the natural habitats of a number of indigenous plants and animals.