2.1   Overview

The primary responsibility for compliance with and the enforcement of the Energy Commission’s Building Energy Efficiency Standards rests with the local enforcement agency, typically associated with a city or county government. Low-rise residential buildings must obtain a permit from the local enforcement agency before a new building may be constructed, before constructing an addition, and before alterations are made to existing buildings. Before a permit is issued, the local enforcement agency examines the plans and specifications for the proposed building to verify compliance with all applicable codes and standards. Verification of compliance with the Building Energy Efficiency Standards, which is done by comparing the requirements specified on the Certificate of Compliance (CF1R) with the plans and specifications for the building, is the enforcement agency's plan check responsibility. The enforcement agency's plans examiner must also verify that the plans and specifications for the building are in compliance with the building code,  plumbing code, electrical code,  mechanical code, and all other applicable codes and standards adopted by the local enforcement agency.

Once the enforcement agency has determined that the proposed building (as represented in the plans and specifications) complies with all applicable codes and standards, a building permit may be issued at the request of the builder or the owner of the proposed building. This is the first significant milestone in the compliance and enforcement process. Once construction starts, the enforcement process begins for the Inspector who will verify that the installed building components (HVAC equipment, fenestration, lighting, insulation, etc.) match the energy components modeled on the Certificate of Compliance (CF1R) during each respective phase of construction (i.e. footing/foundation, rough frame, insulation, etc.). After building construction is complete, the local enforcement agency completes the final inspection and issues the Certificate of Occupancy. If the enforcement agency's final inspection determines that the building conforms to the plans and specifications approved during plan check, that all applicable Certificates of Installation (CF2R) and Certificates of Verification (CF3R ) forms are registered and submitted for verification, and that it complies with all applicable codes and standards, the enforcement agency may approve the building. The enforcement agency's final approval is also a significant milestone.

While the permit and the Certificate of Occupancy are the most significant milestones, the compliance and enforcement process is significantly more involved and requires participation by a number of other persons and organizations including the architect or building designer, specialty engineers (mechanical, electrical, civil, etc.), energy consultants, contractors, the owner, third party inspectors (HERS raters), and many others. This chapter describes the overall compliance and enforcement process, and it identifies the responsibilities for each person or organization throughout the permit process.

2.1.1    Compliance Document Registration

Reference Residential
Appendix RA2;
Reference Joint
Appendix JA7

New requirements for a documentation procedure called registration were introduced beginning with the 2008 Building Energy Efficiency Standards. Registration documentation is required for the construction and alteration of residential buildings for which HERS verification is required for compliance. Registration requirements will be described in this chapter, and elsewhere in this 'manual, as applicable. Also, Reference Residential Appendix RA2 and Reference Joint Appendix JA7 provide detailed descriptions of document registration procedures and individual responsibilities for registration of Certificate(s) of Compliance (CF1R), Certificate(s) of Installation (CF2R), and Certificate(s) of Verification (CF3R).

Registration will be required for all low-rise residential buildings for which compliance requires HERS field verification.  For the 2013 Building Energy Efficiency Standards, mandatory HERS verification will be required, with some exceptions, for all newly constructed residential buildings, so registration will be required for majority of these building types.  When registration is required, persons responsible for completing and submitting compliance documents (Certificate of Compliance, Certificate of Installation, and Certificate of Verification) are required to submit the compliance form(s) electronically to an approved HERS provider data registry for registration and retention.

Compliance documents submitted to the registry shall be certified by the applicable responsible person (§10-103). The registry will assign a unique registration number to the document(s), provided the documents are completed correctly and a certification/signature is provided by the responsible person. The "registered" document will be retained by the HERS provider data registry, and copies of the unique registered document(s) will be made available via secure internet website access to authorized users of the HERS provider data registry for use in making electronic or paper copies of the registered document(s) for submittals to the enforcement agency as required, and for any other applicable purposes such as posting copies in the field for enforcement agency inspections and providing copies to the building owner (see Section 2.2.9).

Examples of authorized users of the HERS provider data registry may include energy consultants, builders, building owners, construction contractors and installers, HERS raters, enforcement agencies, the Energy Commission, and other parties to the compliance and enforcement process that the documents are designed to support. Authorized users of the registry will be granted read/write access rights to only the electronic data that pertains to their project(s).

NOTE: Documents submitted to public agencies for code compliance are considered public information.