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Introduction to Energy Code Compliance:

The state of California has decided to take on the task of eliminating waste through progressive laws. Energy Code Compliance is legally required and ensured by various tests and reports. California’s goal is to reach zero net energy by 2050. Zero Net implies the ability to supply all their energy needs, with no waste. Steadily, the California energy commission is taking steps towards cleaner cars, cleaner energy, and so on.

At BarrierEnergy, we are focused on the building sector. Building codes regulate the energy efficiency of residential and commercial real estate. Our company performs compliance testing on new and altered construction, in order to ensure these codes are being followed. It’s important to regulate the materials builders use, as well as installation methods. The California Energy Commission is responsible for updating these building efficiency codes. Energy Code Compliance not only saves money and resources but also protects homeowners and communities.

Prescriptive Vs Performance Paths:

A wide array of building features are tested for compliance, by expert technicians. These building inspectors use the HERS (Home Energy Rating System) Index, which is a uniform system to rate the energy efficiency of buildings. They are known as HERS Raters. Energy Code Compliance requires thorough design planning and knowledge of current legislation. Owners and planners, however, have two options when it comes to this compliance system. There are two paths, if you may, called prescriptive and performances tracts.

At first look, the prescriptive path may seem like the more straightforward option. This option presents a list of requirements that must be met exactly, according to the CEC (California Energy Commission) Title 24 Codes. In this approach, technicians simply go down the list, verifying each aspect of the building. Contrarily, this path can prove to be more complicated because it offers little wiggle room. The design phase could be made more problematic by limitations on materials. This method can also make construction more costly in the long run. One main downside is that you cannot be rewarded for going above and beyond. It doesn’t matter if you buy the most efficient equipment, as long as you meet the minimum requirements. Let’s take a look at how the performance method differs.

The second option is the performance method. In this method, the efficiency of the building is considered as a whole, rather than having different features tested individually. Complex calculations must be made to find the most cost-effective, and efficient design plan. These complicated formulas can make the process more complicated but offer more flexibility. You can give and take efficiency from one system of the building to another, so long as you meet the mandatory efficiency score. A HERS Rater will be involved from the early designing phase, in this option, because they will be calculating these strategies. In the long run, you would be saving money and resources, although you are paying an expert for a longer portion of the construction process. 

Whichever path you choose, you will need the guidance and consultations of experts. Energy Codes are updated every three years and can prove difficult to keep up with. Contact BarrierEnergy for your HERS and compliance needs. Our HERS Rating team wants your project to run smoothly. We have over ten years of experience backing us. Learn more about the services we provide.

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