Peninsula Clean Energy (PCE), Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) and the San Mateo County Office of Sustainability (OOS) are joining together to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions within their service territories by developing forward-thinking building and transportation electrification reach codes.

In support of municipalities and counties in PCE & SVCE service territory, PCE & SVCE are providing extensive technical assistance plus a $10,000 incentive to each city that brings reach codes to their council.

PCE/OOS/SVCE Recommended Reach Codes

The following building electrification reach code language is based on the current IOU C&S Program cost effectiveness studies included below under Supporting Resources.

Building Electrification

Energy Code Ordinance

The following electric-preferred model energy code language is specific to climate zones 3 (most of San Mateo County) and 4 (most of Santa Clara County). The electric-preferred model requires buildings to perform at a higher level when natural gas is installed to any end-use. This model has been adopted by several other cities, such as Milpitas which is provided below as an example.

MODEL CODE: Climate Zone 3
MODEL CODE: Climate Zone 4
EXAMPLE CODE: Milpitas (page 459)

Energy Code Ordinance

This all-electric code is a model based on an ordinance adopted by the City of Menlo Park, and is appropriate for both Climate Zones 3 and 4. The energy code amendments require specific end-uses to install electric appliances, with some limited exceptions suggested. This model has been used by several jurisdictions that want to proceed aggressively, such as San Mateo County, which is provided below as an example.

MODEL CODE: Climate Zones 3 and 4

Last updated June 25, 2021

EXAMPLE CODE: San Mateo County

Natural Gas Ban
Municipal Code Ordinance

Several cities have adopted (and are continuing to adopt) ordinances, known as Natural Gas Prohibitions, that are more aggressive than the all-electric and electric-preferred model reach codes. We are in the process of creating a model code for Natural Gas Prohibition but have linked existing ordinances below for ease of reference. Please reach out for support in customizing this type of ordinance for your jurisdiction.

Morgan Hill
San Jose

Electric Vehicle Infrastructure

PCE and SVCE coordinated with local building developers and state agencies to develop a model reach code that exceeding EV infrastructure installations beyond what is required by California’s green building standards (also referred to as CALGreen). The model code attempts to enhance charging accessibility while meeting driver needs, minimizing costs, and allowing for reasonable exceptions. Most cities that have adopted the model code have followed this format, with custom changes to the percent of parking spaces affected or charging capacity.

MODEL CODE: Electric Vehicle

Last updated June 25, 2021

Supporting Resources

City Participation & the PCE/SVCE $10k Incentive

Cities are encouraged to participate and avail themselves of the technical support by completing the “Stay in Touch” section below. To obtain the $10,000 incentive, complete the letter of intent and submit the draft codes to city council.

For additional questions or specifics on the letter of intent, please contact Rafael Reyes (PCE), Rachael Londer (OOS) or John Supp (SVCE).

PCE: Download Letter of Intent
SVCE: Download Letter of Intent

What Are Reach Codes?

Every three years, cities and counties across the state can adopt local reach codes in line with the new Building Standards Code (Standards) or Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations. Cities and counties may adopt building codes more advanced than those required by the state, which are known as reach codes.

Reach codes aim to update local building codes concurrently with the state-required adoption of the 2019 Standards. The previous adoption cycle with new Standards took effect January 1, 2017. The next reach code adoption cycle, to coincide with the 2019 Title 24 Standards went into effect January 1, 2020, and were adopted by cities and the County by the end of calendar year 2019. Reach codes may include:

  • Prescriptive Codes: Require one or more specific energy efficiency measures
  • Performance Codes: Require a building to perform more efficiently based on accepted computer modelling and allow trade-offs between energy efficiency measures

Why Establish Reach Codes?

The benefits of greenhouse gases (GHG) free electricity can best be realized by electrification of new and existing buildings and transportation vehicles. Electrification transitions buildings and vehicles away from natural gas and gasoline to clean energy provided by PCE & SVCE. By developing electrification reach codes, cities can save energy and reduce GHG emissions in San Mateo and Santa Clara County. All-electric buildings are safer and healthier to live in along with being cost effective, especially when adopted at the new construction stage.

It is most efficient for cities to coordinate adoption of reach codes with the adoption of the new 2019 building code, taking effect January 1, 2020.

PCE and SVCE are launching additional initiatives to support building electrification beyond reach codes.
PCE EV Charging Incentives
SVCE Decarbonization Strategy

Video: How Heat Pumps Work (This Old House)

Video: Why an Electric Home Is Better

Video: 5 Benefits of Induction Cooking

Process & Timeline

1. Contact PCE/SVCE to understand resources available*
2. Conduct community engagement
3. Draft local amendments
4. Submit to council for review**
5. Application to Energy Commission
6. File with Building Standards Commission

*Letter of Intent for $10,000 support grant from SVCE or PCE
**Payment of $10,000 support grant from SVCE or PCE

Stay in Touch

Past Events

  • January 8th, 2020 – California Building Inspection Group
  • January 6th, 2020 – Builders Roundtable (San Mateo County Jurisdictions)
    Time: 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM PDT, Location: 455 County Center, 1st Floor, Room 101
  • June 24th, 2019 – Reach Code Peer Cities Working Group (San Mateo County Jurisdictions)
    Time: 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM PDT
  • June 6th, 2019 – Electric Vehicle Charging: Draft Reach Code Language Release
    Time: 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM PDT, Location: Webinar
  • May 29th, 2019 – Draft Reach Code Language Release
    Time: 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM PDT, Location: Webinar
  • April 24th, 2019 – Reach Code Measures Announcement
    Time: 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM PDT, Location: Webinar
    Repeat of April 11th Session
  • April 11th, 2019 – Reach Code Measures Announcement
    Time: 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM PDT, Location: Webinar
  • April 2nd, 2019 – 2019 Reach Codes Studies: Technical Review
    Time: 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM PDT, Location: Webinar
  • March 27th, 2019 – 2019 PCE, SVCE & OOS Reach Code Working Group, Redwood City – Additional Session
    Time: 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM PDT, Location: Peninsula Clean Energy, 2075 Woodside Road, Redwood City, CA 94061
  • March 24th, 2019 Draft Model Reach Code Measures (slides)
  • March 20th, 2019 – 2019 SVCE Reach Code Charrette, Santa Clara County
  • March 19th, 2019 – 2019 PCE Reach Code Charrette, San Mateo County
  • March 8th, 2019 – PCE, SVCE & OOS Reach Code Cost Effectiveness Findings/Update Webinar
    Time: 11 AM – 12 PM PST, Location: Webinar & Live at PCE with lunch and discussion to follow.
  • March 7th, 2019 – BayREN Workshop on Energy Reach Codes
  • January 16th, 2019 Reach Code Kick Off Presentation at PCE
  • January 15th, 2019 Reach Code Kick Off Presentation at SVCE