California has long been a leader in efforts to improve building energy efficiency, both at the time of construction and upon a major remodel or equipment replacement. Efforts have included advanced building codes and appliance standards, a wide variety of incentive programs, design and installation training, and public outreach. California’s per capita energy consumption is among the lowest in the country and has remained relatively constant since 1974, in sharp contrast to the rest of the country.
Achieving California’s energy and climate goals requires radical improvement in the energy performance of existing buildings. Regulatory solutions alone will not accomplish this; true success will require a wide array of participants to apply creative, systemic solutions. Any approach must first and foremost meet the needs of energy users and building owners. Contractors, architects, local building officials, equipment manufacturers and suppliers, financing entities, and many others will also play a vital role.