Electrification Reach Code

The City is taking strides to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our buildings by way of electrification. Electrification is the process of converting fossil fuel operated equipment and appliances to electricity (i.e., vehicles, space heating, water heating).   The Healdsburg Electric Department provides low-carbon electricity to our customers that will continue to decline in carbon intensity to meet California’s mandate of carbon-free electricity by 2045. In order to avoid future greenhouse gas emissions, an electrification reach code can minimize GHG impacts in new construction. 

What is a Reach Code?

In California, Title 24 of the Code of Regulations sets the building code standards for all jurisdictions statewide. The Energy Code (Part 6 of Title 24) regulates building energy efficiency such as building insulation, heating and cooling systems, and lighting. The Green Building Standards Code (Part 11 of Title 24) regulates energy efficiency, water efficiency, conservation, material conservation, resource efficiency, and environmental quality. Local governments can adopt more stringent requirements through the development of reach codes. 

A reach code must be at least as stringent as the state-wide code and must meet the following requirements:

1. All reach codes must be re-approved with each Code update (every 3 years).

2. Electrification reach codes amending CALGreen Part 11 that do not require additional energy efficiency do not have to be proven to be cost effective.

3. Adopted ordinances must be filed with the California Building Standards Commission.

What Reach Code is being proposed starting 2023? 

Electric space and water heating: Requires electric heating appliances (i.e. heat-pump space, water, and pool heating) in new buildings. The policy allows natural gas for cooking and decorative fireplaces. 

Second Reading Staff Report and Ordinance (packet page 47-77)

At the September 6th Council meeting, the City Council adopted, for first reading only, the proposed revised reach code. The second reading is on September 19th.

What building types does the reach code apply to?

New Construction Residential Buildings

  • New construction single family residential
  • New construction of a detached accessory dwelling unit
  • Multi-family residential properties

New Construction Non-Residential Buildings

  • Commercial Buildings, including but not limited to:
    • Offices
    • Retail
    • Restaurants
    • Hotels
  • Industrial Buildings 

Major Renovations and Significant Remodels

  • Defined as removal of any structure’s exterior wall area and roof/ceiling area, exposes 75% or more of the entire building’s existing conditioned space

Resources

California Energy Codes & Standards Statewide Cost Effectiveness Studies

Appliances & Technology  

Mini Split Heat Pump

2019 Energy Reach Code

2019 Reach Code Requirements 

Electric space and water heating: Required electric heating appliances (i.e., heat pump water and space heating) in new buildings. The policy allowed gas for cooking, fireplaces and pool heaters. The ordinance expires with the 2019 California Building Standards Code (Title 24) on December 31, 2022.

Adopted Ordinance

CA Energy Commission Resolution approving Healdsburg’s 2019 Energy Reach Code

Additional Information

  • Reach Code Basics presentation - Felicia Smith, City of Healdsburg
  • Efficient Electric Technology presentation - Amy Rider, Archamy Consulting
  • Reach Code Cost Effectiveness presentation- Ted Tiffany, Guttman & Blaevoet

Questions

Please send any written questions or feedback to conservation@healdsburg.gov.