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Title 24 Ensures Building Efficiency

As property owners and managers, it can get overwhelming when trying to understand all the different building codes. Title 24 is a part of the California Code of Regulations that specifically ensures building efficiency.

These standards are updated every three years, so it is imperative to stay on top of the changes and avoid penalties. 

title 24

What are the standards?

The California Energy Commission created the Building Energy Efficiency Standards, also known as Title 24, in 1978.

These standards are designed to reduce wasteful consumption of energy and to enhance outdoor and indoor environmental quality.

As applied mostly to new developments, Title 24 has lasting impacts on buildings by:

  • making buildings more comfortable,
  • lowering energy costs,
  • and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Click here to watch BOMA/GLA's introduction to Title 24.


A new home built with the 2019 standards will cost $9,500 more to produce than according to previous standards.

However, Title 24 has saved Californians billions of dollars in reduced electricity bills. Specifically, the 2019 standards will save homeowners $19,000 in energy and maintenance costs over the 30-year lifespan of their home.

Updates to the Standards

The California Energy Commission updates the standards every 3 years. This involves ways to incorporate new energy efficient technologies and construction methods.

The 2019 Building Energy Efficiency Standards took effect on January 1, 2020 for new buildings seeking permits either on or after that date. The new energy code is about 53% more energy efficient than 2016.

New requirements for rooftop solar electricity reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 700,000 metric tons over 3 years, equivalent to taking 115,000 cars off the road.

Specific Non-residential Changes

The efficiency improves by 30% under the new Title 24 because of indoor and outdoor lighting requirements that maximize LED technology.

The new standards reduce the number of non-residential forms from 47 to 10:

  • electric power distribution,
  • outdoor lighting,
  • indoor lighting,
  • sign lighting,
  • solar ready,
  • commissioning,
  • solar envelope,
  • covered processes,
  • mechanical,
  • and water heating.

Requirements have also been established for newly constructed healthcare facilities. The standards enable the use of highly efficient air filters to trap hazardous particulates.

Local city and county enforcement agencies can verify compliance with Title 24 as well as all applicable building codes. For more information regarding building codes, click here for BOMA/GLA's resource page.

California’s Energy Goals

In 2008, California set a goal to be zero net energy (ZNE) in new residential developments by 2020 and in new commercial developments by 2030.

All new developments should use energy efficiency and distributed renewable energy generation to meet energy needs. However, the 2019 standards do not meet this goal.

The grid is cleaner than was expected, but rooftop solar customer compensation for over-generation is very limited.

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