California has one of the most austere energy efficiency standards in America famously known as the Title 24. Title 24 is a set of building codes that help to manage California’s annual household energy consumption. Here is how Title 24 is used to help you cut down on energy costs.
You present your building plans for a new home or for renovations to a consultant who looks at your house’s energy needs and compares them to those of a standard model. The assessment is based on a number of Title 24 calculations and there are various approaches that a consultant can take based on section 140 of the code.
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In this approach, your consultant will calculate your energy cost following the requirements of section 141 of Title 24. That way, you will be able to ensure that your building won’t use more energy than is necessary. Traditional methods of calculating energy based their assessment on a flat figure. The problem with a flat figure is that each kilowatt saved is given the same value throughout the day. However, Title 24 uses time-based calculations, which consider life cycle values as they change with time of day, and climatic zones. As a result, using an hourly factor results in energy savings in your home.
The other approach is known as the prescriptive approach because it uses all the guidance provided in section 142 to 146 of Title 24. In addition, you can also find prescriptive steps under section 146. Furthermore, important aspects such as lighting are provided under section 147 while signage comes in section 148.
With these new sections, your consultant will be able to provide you with calculations on permitted indoor energy density using any of the three approaches provided below.
Complete building method
This approach is best suited for permits or projects that involve an entire building with either mixed or single type occupancy. One figure dominates the whole building. However, this method can’t be used with motels and hotels. Retail buildings can use this calculation approach, although under special circumstances only.
Area category approach
In this calculation method, the energy value in use is an aggregate of all allowed energy values in a building. For that reason, each area in the building is assigned a special value to help in energy calculations.
The tailored approach
According to this approach, energy needs are calculated based on an assigned primary function. In this method, energy calculation is done on room basis. However, this method can cover a maximum of 30 percent of a building that is using the area approach. No trade-offs are allowed in this case. Nevertheless, if the building is a museum or a retail sales structure, this approach applies to the whole building. For that reason, the code does not provide any exemptions for spaces that are still unconditioned. For exemptions and restrictions, consult Title 24 in its entirety.
While Title 24 helps you to manage your home’s energy needs, there are various ways to arrive at figures on current or projected energy consumption. If you prefer to do calculations on your own, consult Title 24 and find a method that works for you. However, it is often easier to let a professional do it for you.