ADU Title 24
When families grow, added comfort and space become more of a necessity. A home addition can help a homeowner increase their current living space.
However, what if a homeowner requires an entirely separate living space on their property? The new space could be for in-laws, relatives, or even for generating rental income with a tenant. An ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit) is the ideal solution. An ADU is a secondary residential construction on a lot with an existing residence.
At SoCalTitle24.com, our team of consultants can help you navigate through the energy code and get your ADU into compliance.
With over 15 years of energy code experience, we offer fast turnaround times. Get your ADU Title 24 in as little as 3-5 days. Click below to learn more or call 909-308-5486 to speak to one of our energy consultants today.
We use the latest Title 24 software to make sure there are no hiccups in the process and your report will be registered (if needed).
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Our normal turnaround time is 3-5 business days. Rush service is available.
California Energy Code and ADUs
Since January 1, 2020, every new alteration, addition, and new construction to residential buildings in California is obliged to meet the latest 2019 Energy Code. ADUs are no exception.
ADUs oftentimes go by another name. You might have heard them being called a companion unit, casita, granny flat, or back house, to name a few. Nevertheless, they are all essentially the same thing.
The California Title 24 Building Energy Efficiency Standards were established to support sustainability. It guarantees that both alterations and additions to existing buildings, and all new buildings, follow energy efficiency guidelines including ADUs.
Are you considering a new investment for your home? Then ADUs might be the solution. They can be either be attached to your main house or completely detached altogether. Homeowners may also opt to convert an existing garage into an ADU as well.
Is an Energy Compliance Report always required? Are there any exceptions?
An energy compliance report is always required for a new ADU. Under the new 2019 cycle, all new ADUs will require a Kitchen Range Hood field test since they will include a kitchen or kitchenette. At a minimum, an ADU will need to have its Kitchen Range Hood and Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) tested by a third party Home Energy Rating System (HERS) technician.
If your ADU plans were submitted to the permit office before January 1, 2020, then your ADU will qualify to be under the 2016 Energy Code Cycle, thereby avoiding the new 2019 code standards.
The Effect on Your ADU Project
Do you plan to build an ADU on your property under the new code cycle? If that’s the case, you will need to be aware of the newest code changes. The biggest change to the code is the requirement of photovoltaic panels for all new constructions that are not an addition or alteration to an existing building. This means that all new constructions that are completely detached from the main residence are required to have solar panels.
Meeting Net-Zero Compliance for ADUs
The goal of having net-zero buildings is to lessen the overall consumption of carbon-based fossil fuels. This can be achieved by counterbalancing the total amount of energy a building is consuming with the total amount of energy a building is producing. One main way to do this is by adding renewable energy to a building such as solar panels. In other words, the overall amount of energy the building uses annually should be equal to at least the same quantity of renewable energy produced on the site.
The 2019 Energy Code cycle is not requiring a building to be true net-zero, but each subsequent code cycle going forward will become stricter as California pushes towards their goal of being truly net-zero by 2045. In addition to the solar requirement which your ADU may have, there are other credits that can be taken to bring your ADU into compliance. These include Heat Pump Water Heaters (HPWH) credit, Variable Capacity Heat Pumps (VCHP) credit, battery credit, and additional HERS field verifications. Please take note that every city may also have its own corresponding set of directives. For instance, Lancaster, Pasadena, and Santa Monica have standards beyond the state’s requirements.
Minimum Solar Requirement
Homeowners should also be aware that the minimum solar requirement for their building will probably not be as high as they might anticipate. In fact, when running a Title 24 energy compliance report, their ADU is being compared to a mixed-fuel home rather than an all-electric home. Any potentially gas-fired components of the ADU are excluded from the compliance calculation. In other words, the amount of solar that is required does not include things such as the water heater, furnace, and stove since they could potentially be gas-fired and not electric. Therefore, the minimum solar needed to meet code compliance can be less than what you may actually need for the ADU especially if you decide to make it all-electric.
When Should You Obtain an Energy Compliance Report?
Consider obtaining your CF1R (Certificate of Compliance) report after the design of the ADU is complete. This report will be needed when you submit your plans to the building department for a construction permit. Once you have the ADU designed exactly how you want it, you can contact SoCal Title 24 for the CF1R report. Our team of experts will analyze your drawings, input the building parameters of the ADU, and run the energy compliance calculations through California Energy Commission (CEC) certified compliance software. The results of the calculation will determine if your ADU is in compliance with current California energy code or if the building design needs to be adjusted. Once the ADU is in compliance, the report will need to be registered to an online database and signed by the designer or homeowner.
What’s the Next Thing to Do?
At this point, you now have a better comprehension of how the energy code affects your ADU. Navigating through the energy code can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be! At SoCal Title 24, we have been following the energy code cycle for the past 15 years. We understand what it takes to bring any residential building into compliance including Accessory Dwelling Units.
It is important that you consult a professional who understands the ins and outs of the new ADU laws in California, given the complexity of the new regulations.
We are dedicated to having a quick turnaround. Typically, we can finish up your report within 3-5 business days, but sometimes it can be as fast as next day depending on our schedule and work load.
Get in touch with us today by calling us at 909-308-5486. What are you waiting for? Feel free to contact us today to get a free consultation.