2.1       Overview

The local enforcement agency, typically associated with a city or county government, has primary responsibility for complying with and enforcing the California Energy Commission’s Building Energy Efficiency Standards (Energy Standards). Low-rise residential buildings must obtain a permit from the local enforcement agency before a new building is constructed, before an addition is constructed, 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 Energy 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 verifies that the plans and specifications for the building comply with all other applicable building codes and standards.

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, and so forth) match the energy components documented on the certificate of compliance (CF1R) during each respective phase of construction (that is, footing/foundation, rough frame, insulation, and so forth). After construction is complete, the local enforcement agency performs 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, which includes 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, then the enforcement agency may approve the building permit. The enforcement agency's final approval is also significant.

While the permit and the certificate of occupancy are significant, the compliance and enforcement processes are significantly more involved and require participation from other people and organizations including the architect or building designer, specialty engineers (mechanical, electrical, civil, and so forth), energy consultants, contractors, the owner, third party inspectors (Home Energy Rating System [HERS] Raters), and many others. This chapter describes the overall compliance and enforcement process, and 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

Registration of compliance 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, where applicable. Also, Reference Residential Appendix RA2 and Reference Joint Appendix JA7 provide detailed descriptions of document registration procedures and 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 2016 Energy Standards, HERS verification will be required, with some exceptions, for all newly constructed homes, so registration will be required for most of these building types.  When registration is required, persons responsible for completing and submitting compliance documents 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 HERS Provider data registry will retain the registered document, 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. These are used 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.