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California builders and stakeholders react to Title 24 delay

Although the deadline for changes to the 2013 Title 24 Building Energy Efficiency Standards has been delayed until July, owners of commercial real estate should make sure they will be compliant. One major change in the standards is a goal of an overall 25-percent increase in each building's energy efficiency. This change is the largest percentage increase ever required by the California Energy Commission.

The delay of the effective date reportedly resulted from difficulties in completing the software that will be used by commercial real estate owners to demonstrate compliance with the new standards. The California Energy Commission hopes that the delay will give users time for more training on the software. 

The CEC website will have a public version of the software available to users. However, the Commission will not have the resources to provide user support for the program, making advance training even more important to help users transition more easily.

Building departments have generally favored the delay. Their goal is to have staff prepared for the increased number of building permits they are likely to handle. The new standards are expected to result in more building permits for retrofitting existing features that are non-compliant. Some stakeholders, however, are not as pleased, fearing the delay could have a rolling effect on other energy initiatives with goals for 2020 and 2030.

As commercial real estate owners, developers and property managers prepare for these significant changes, a consultation with an attorney experienced in commercial real estate may help prevent potential pitfalls in compliance.

In addition, if someone involved in commercial real estate expects the new standards to affect his or her profitability in the commercial real estate market, an experienced attorney may be able to assist in finding solutions to mitigate potential losses.

Source: Indoor Comfort News, "Delays in Development of Title 24 Software the Cause of Postponement," Ted Rieger, February 2014

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