News Analysis

California to Require Net-Zero-Energy Buildings

The goals set in California were inspired by the 2030 Challenge goals, in which the nonprofit organization Architecture 2030 calls for no fossil fuel use for buildings by 2030. But California's goals are focused on net-zero-energy performance instead of fossil fuel use. CEC based its definition of net-zero-energy performance, and many of its recommendations, on a report by the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC), which states that a goal of “no net purchases from the electricity or gas grid” may be met with energy-efficient design and “onsite clean distributed generation.” Neither agency explains how net-zero-energy performance would be calculated in a building needing to offset natural gas usage with renewable energy. This offset could be calculated in several ways (see

EBN

Published February 3, 2008