Reach Codes

Reach Codes


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Southern California Edison is committed to carbon neutrality by 2045. As outlined in our decarbonization roadmap Pathway 2045, building codes and standards play a key role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs).

Local governments are key partners in reducing emissions, leading the way by recognizing climate change impacts and passing new building code ordinances, such as reach codes.

The information below is provided for local government leaders interested in developing reach codes and related electrification policies.

What is a Reach Code?

A reach code is a local building energy code that goes beyond or “reaches” past the state minimum requirements for energy use or GHG emissions in building design and construction, usually to address issues such as GHG emissions targets, energy efficiency, air quality, and public health and safety concerns (inside and outside of buildings). Reach codes are not limited to the buildings sector—they may also involve transportation technologies such as an electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in residential and commercial buildings.

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Incentives now make these electric heat pump water heaters cost-competitive with natural gas models.

Benefits of Reach Codes

Reach codes provide an impressive array of environmental, economic, and health benefits:

  • Lower GHG Emissions and Climate Impact
  • Progress toward Climate Action Plan Goals
  • Improved Public Health
  • Cleaner Air
  • Better Preparation for Local Businesses and Citizens to Meet New State Standards
  • More Affordable Buildings
  • Safer and More Comfortable Buildings
  • Increased Resiliency
  • Lower Utility Bills
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Templates to Help Cities Design Reach Codes – and Staff Reports

For municipal staff members to use in framing reach codes: https://localenergycodes.com/.

Below are Reach Code ordinances and staff reports from jurisdictions that recently passed reach codes in the region. More reach codes have been passed in Northern California, but activity is picking up in Southern California. 

 

Statewide Lists of Recent Reach Codes

These groups track recently passed reach codes in California and provide useful information to other jurisdictions that are researching their reach code options. 

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Reach Code Myths versus Facts

The topic of reach codes can be complex when you consider all the possible measures and outcomes – and the sometimes-conflicting information promoted by proponents and opponents. Here are some common myths and the corresponding facts that dispel them.

There are numerous resources available to local governments interested in pursuing reach codes.

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All-electric, energy-efficient induction stoves are faster, safer, and healthier to use because they eliminate harmful emissions and open flames while keeping kitchens cool. 

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https://localenergycodes.com/content/reach-codes-newcomers-webinar-series-session-1

This reach code development timeline can help shape expectations about the reach code process.

Source: Statewide Reach Codes Program, Reach Codes Newcomers Webinar #1

Estimated Costs Associated with a Reach Code

Southern California Edison provides direct technical assistance to local governments during the reach code process to help defray labor and other typical costs. The following table assembled with local governments which successfully passed a reach code ordinance shows some of the typical costs associated with pursuing a reach code.

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A heat pump efficiently heats AND cools a home all in one.

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Past Events & More Resources

The shortlist below of past reach code events for local jurisdictions includes links to the slide decks and provides a good introduction to the topic. For upcoming events by the Statewide Reach Codes Program, please see https://localenergycodes.com/content/events or email reachcodes@sce.com.

  • Reach Codes for All-Electric Buildings” slide deck presented by Jay Madden, PE, SCE, Energy Codes & Standards during the County Building Officials Association of California (CBOAC) Annual Conference & Business Meeting in April 2022  
  • Reach Codes Newcomers Webinar (recordings and slide decks)

 

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