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Energy Code Overview

The City of Santa Monica historically implements energy requirements that exceed the efficiency standards for the State of California. When the City adopts Local Standards for energy, these are referred to as Reach Codes.  On April 26, 2016, Santa Monica City Council adopted local amendments to the California Energy Code, requiring solar photovoltaic installations on all new construction (Solar Reach Code), it went into effect on May 26, 2016 and expired on December 31, 2016.  

On October 25, 2016, Santa Monica City Council adopted the newly proposed Santa Monica Reach Code, which renews the Solar Reach Code and includes new energy efficiency requirements.  When cities adopt reach codes  they must submit an application to the California Energy Commission (CEC) demonstrating they have assessed the cost impact to their local development community. On March 8, 2017 the CEC approved Santa Monica’s Reach Code application. The Reach Code will now go into effect on May 1, 2017.  

ZNE Timeline

Santa Monica Reach Code at a Glance   

Building Type Solar Requirement   Energy Code Requirement
Low-Rise Residential (1-3 stories) Zero Net Energy: 15% better than 2016 Energy Code + EDR: 0
High-Rise Multi-Family (4+ stories) 2 watts/sq.ft. 10% better than 2016 Energy Code
Non-Res/Industrial/Institutional 2 watts/sq.ft. 10% better than 2016 Energy Code

*Solar Requirement has been in effect since May 2016.

**From January 1st, 2017 to March 28th, 2017, Santa Monica Reach Code will not be enforced. The 2016 California Energy Code will be the requirement.

***As of March 28th, 2017 the Santa Monica Reach Codes described above will apply.

****Compliance with the Single Family Home and Low-Rise Multi-Family Energy Code (SMMC Chapter 8.36 Energy Code) shall serve to satisfy the prescriptive solar photovoltaic requirements of Chapter 8.106.055.

For more information and resources on the Zero Net Energy and 10% Reach Codes, please click here.

For more information and resources on the Solar Requirements, please click here.


Last updated: Thursday, 03/08/2018

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Santa Monica Office of Sustainability and the Environment
1685 Main St., Santa Monica, CA 90401 · (310) 458-2213 · TTY (310) 917-6626