2.1 Overview

Primary responsibility for compliance and enforcement with the Building Energy Efficiency Standards (Energy Standards) rests with the local enforcement agency, typically associated with a city or county government. A building permit must be obtained from the local jurisdiction before the construction of:

      A new nonresidential or high-rise residential building.

      An outdoor lighting system.

      A sign.

      An addition.

      Significant alterations (including tenant improvements).

Before a permit is issued, the local jurisdiction examines the building plans and specifications for the proposed building to verify compliance with all applicable codes and standards. Verification of compliance with the Energy Standards is the responsibility of the enforcement agency's plans examiner. This verification is done by comparing the requirements specified on the certificate(s) of compliance with the building plans and specifications for the building.

Once the enforcement agency has determined that the proposed building (as represented in the building 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 building. This is the first significant milestone in the compliance and enforcement process. After building construction is complete, if the enforcement agency's final inspection determines that the building still conforms to the building plans and specifications and complies with all applicable codes and standards, they may approve the building and issue the certificate of occupancy. The enforcement agency's final approval is also a significant milestone.

While obtaining the building permit and certificate of occupancy is important, the compliance and enforcement process is significantly more involved and requires participation by other persons and organizations. This includes the architect or building designer, specialty engineers (mechanical, electrical, civil, and so forth), building developers, purchasing agent, general contractor, subcontractors/installers, energy consultant, plans examiners, inspectors, Realtors, the building owner, and third-party inspectors (HERS Raters). This chapter describes the overall compliance and enforcement process and identifies the responsibilities for each person or organization.

Where the building construction is under the jurisdiction of a state agency, no construction of any state building can begin until the Department of General Services (DGS), or the state agency that has jurisdiction over the property, determines that:

      The construction is designed to comply with the requirements of Title 24, Part 6 (Energy Standards).

      The documentation requirements of §10-103(a)1 have been met (certificate[s] of compliance).

      The building plans indicate the features and performance specifications needed to comply with the Energy Standards.

The responsible state agency must notify the Energy Commission’s Executive Director of its determination.

2.1.1          Manufacturer Certification for Equipment, Products, and Devices

Certain equipment, products, and devices must be certified to the Energy Commission by the manufacturer that it meets requirements under Title 24, Part 6, and associated appendices. The Energy Commission makes no claim that the listed equipment, products, or devices meet the indicated requirements or, if tested, will confirm the indicated results.

Inclusion on these lists only confirms only that a manufacturer certification has been submitted to and accepted by the Energy Commission. See the Energy Commission’s website for additional information about the required information for manufacturers to certify products and for lists of certified products:


In nonresidential buildings, the following are examples of products that must be certified by the manufacturer:

• Air economizers

• Airflow measurement apparatus - forced air systems

• Airflow measurement apparatus - ventilation systems

• Air-to-water heat pump systems

• Economizer fault detection and diagnostics

• Intermittent mechanical ventilation systems

• Low-leakage air-handling unit

• Occupant-controlled smart thermostats

• Demand-responsive control systems

2.1.2          Compliance Document Registration

Reference Joint Appendix JA7
Reference Nonresidential Appendix NA1

When a data registry service provider has been established, requirements for a documentation procedure called registration take effect. Registration documentation is required for the construction and alteration of nonresidential buildings. Registration requirements are described in this chapter and elsewhere in this manual. Also, Reference Joint Appendix JA7 provides detailed descriptions of document registration procedures and individual responsibilities for registration of certificate(s) of compliance, certificate(s) of installation, and certificate(s) of acceptance testing. More details regarding registration requirements are also found in Reference Nonresidential Appendix NA1.

When registration is required, parties responsible for completing and submitting compliance documents (certificate[s] of compliance, certificate[s] of installation, and certificate[s] of acceptance) must submit the compliance document(s) electronically to an approved nonresidential data registry for registration and retention. Registration of the nonresidential compliance documentation is in addition to registering a certificate of field verification and diagnostic testing with an approved HERS Provider data registry when HERS testing is required. (See Section 2.2.)

Compliance documents submitted to an approved nonresidential data registry shall be certified and signed by the applicable responsible person (§10-103). The nonresidential data registry shall 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 is retained by the nonresidential data registry, and copies are made available via secure internet website access to authorized registry users. These are used to make electronic or paper copies of the registered document(s) for submittal to the enforcement agency as required, including posting copies in the field for enforcement agency inspections, and providing copies to the building owner. (See Section 2.3.2.)

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

This chapter is organized as follows:

2.1      Overview

2.2      The Compliance and Enforcement Process

2.3      Final Inspection by the Enforcement Agency and Issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy

2.4      Compliance Documentation

2.5      Roles and Responsibilities