All New California Commercial Buildings To Have Zero Net Energy Balance
There is an old saying that as California goes, so goes the nation. When it comes to energy efficiency in commercial buildings, California is once again leading the way.
The California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) released its Zero Net Energy (ZNE) Action Plan for Buildings on September 1, 2010. The ZNE Action Plan requires all new commercial buildings to have a ZNE balance by 2030. California has more ZNE buildings than any other state.
California’s five billion square feet of commercial building space accounts for 38 percent of its power use, and over 25 percent of its natural gas consumption. The ZNE Action Plan, part of the Big Bold Energy Efficiency Strategies (BBEES), will save an estimated 2,056 megawatts (MW), and avoid the need for four new 500 MW power plants.
The PUC released the California Long‐Term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan in September 2008. The plan is a statewide roadmap to conserve energy and natural gas. The BBEES is part of the plan.
CPUC Commissioner Dian M, Grueneich says that the ZNE Action Plan will succeed “by tapping into the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit that made California the largest builder of zero net energy structures in the nation.”