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Energy Reach Code and ZNE

Code Update Effective May 1, 2017:  On October 25, 2016, Santa Monica City Council adopted the newly proposed Santa Monica Reach Code. The Santa Monica Municipal Code will be updated May 1, 2017 to include the following Energy Code Updates:

Chapter 8.36 Energy Code

8.36.020 Energy Efficiency - Low-rise residential.

All new low-rise residential buildings shall be designed to use fifteen percent (15%) less energy than the allowed energy budget established by the 2016 California Energy Code, and achieve an Energy Design Rating of Zero.

8.36.030 Energy Efficiency - High-rise residential, non-residential, hotels and motels.

All new high-rise residential buildings, non-residential buildings, hotels and motels shall be designed to use ten percent (10%) less energy than the allowed energy budget established by the 2016 California Energy Code. 
ZNE Multifamily


Energy Reach Code at a Glance

Building Type Solar Requirement   Energy Code Requirement
Single Family Home 1.5 watts/sq.ft. Zero Net Energy: 15% better than 2016 Energy Code + EDR: 0
Low-Rise Multi-Family 2 watts/sq.ft. Zero Net Energy: 15% better than 2016 Energy Code + EDR: 0
High-Rise Multi-Family 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. 

What is a Zero-Net Energy (ZNE) Building?

Various definitions of what constitutes a ZNE building currently exist. The City of Santa Monica will be implementing the definition used in Title 24, Part 6 (Energy Code) and Title 24, Part 11 (CALGreen). This states:

A ZNE Code Building is one where the value of the energy produced by on-site renewable energy resources is equal to the value of the energy consumed annually by the building measured using the California Energy Commission's Time Dependent Valuation (TDV) metric.

Under TDV, energy is valued on an hourly basis that better reflects the actual cost of energy to the customers, to the utility system and to society. TDV values are calculated separately for the three primarily fuels used in buildings - electricity, natural gas and propane. Electricity values change by hour for each hour of the year while natural gas and propane values change by month.  

ZNE Resources

2016 California Green Building Standards Code (CAL Green)

Appendix A4 - Residential Voluntary Measures

  • The State's code language for residential ZNE can be found under Appendix A4 of the 2016 CALGreen Code.

California Long Term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan

  • In 2008, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) established targets for residential ZNE by 2020 and commercial ZNE by 2030

California Energy Commission 2015 Integrated Energy Policy Report

  • The CEC Integrated Energy Policy Report is published every 3 years. The 2015 edition established ZNE code language to be included in the 2016 Energy Code.

California ZNE Homes - Energy Upgrade California

  • Tools and Resources to help practitioners design and build ZNE Homes.

CEC/CPUC New Residential Zero Net Energy Action Plan 2015-2020

  • Executive Summary of the CEC and CPUC Action Plan for Residential ZNE.

New Buildings Institute - Zero Net Energy

  • Industry leading non-profit, the New Buildings Institute, tools and resources to help practitioners design and build ZNE Buildings. 

Santa Monica Municipal Code - Green Building



Last updated: Thursday, 08/10/2017

ZNE Guidelines for New Construction

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ZNE Cost Effectiveness Study 

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Matrix 2.0 Alternative Water Guidelines 

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New roadmap for decentralized, alternate water supplies - indoor and outdoor non-potable water regulations streamlined for rainwater, graywater, stormwater, blackwater use.

Solution Finding for Net Zero Water 

Sustainability experts from across the nation convened to explore statutory, technological, and engineering barriers to the widespread implementation of water recycling and reuse systems in commercial and residential buildings.
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High Performance Buildings Study

Designing high performance green buildings literally build our sustainable city commitments into the fabric of the community.  
Check out this study analyzing the costs of a prototypical mixed-use project.

High Performance Building Study Cover
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City of Santa Monica © 2018

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