2019 Energy Reach Code

In December 2019, Palo Alto City Council approved a building reach code ordinance that mandates building electrification and energy efficiency for all new construction projects. The 2019 Energy Reach Code has the following requirements for new construction projects:

Low-Rise Residential (including Multi-Family Building with 3-stories or less): All-Electric Design with electric appliances and no gas appliances. The building is to comply with Title 24 California Energy Code with no additional efficiencies, with the exception of accessory dwelling units (ADU's)

Non-Residential: 2 pathways for compliance: 1) All-Electric Design with all-electric appliances and no gas appliances allowed, and the building is to meet Title 24 California Energy Code with no additional efficiencies; or 2) a new construction project is a mixed-fuel building with gas and electric appliances that complies with Title 24 California Energy Code with increased efficiencies of, a) 12% above state baseline efficiencies for office/retail buildings, or b) 5% above state baseline efficiencies for all other non-residential buildings, or c) 0% above state baseline efficiencies for manufacturing/industrial buildings. (Section 16.17.080). 

This ordinance will apply to new construction projects submitting for building permits on or after April 1, 2020. 

Additions and alterations projects are not subjected to the City's Energy Reach Code requirements. 

What are reach codes?  

Reach codes are building codes adopted by cities and counties that meet or exceed California's Building Standards (or Title 24).

Palo Alto has a history of leadership in the area of sustainability and energy efficiency. Since 2008, Palo Alto has adopted a local green building and energy reach code requirements that are more aggressive than the State's requirements in order to meet the City's sustainability goals.