Energy Code of California

building energy efficiency standards

The energy code of California is designed to lessen unnecessary and wasteful energy consumption in existing as well as the newly constructed buildings. The California Energy Commission updates the Building Energy Efficiency Standards by working with stakeholders in a transparent and public process every three years.

California Energy Commission

The well-being and safety of all Californians are of utmost concern to the California Energy Commission (CEC). Consistent with Governor Gavin Newsom’s Executive Order to combat the COVID-19 Pandemic (N-33-20, dated March 19, 2020), the CEC advises all of its partners and stakeholders to abide by its directives. The California Department of Public Health’s State Public Health Officer According to this order has ordered, “all individuals living in the State of California to stay home or at their place of residence except as needed to maintain continuity of operations of the federal critical infrastructure sectors, as outlined at.
In addition, and in consultation with the Director of the Governor's Office of Emergency Services, I may designate additional sectors as critical in order to protect the health and well-being of all Californians.” The State Public Health Officer has designated essential critical infrastructure workers needed at this time to support critical sectors. 

This list of essential workers is updated as needed. Since Home Energy Rating System raters and Acceptance Test Technicians Certification Program technicians test and inspect energy-efficient equipment installed in buildings they fall under the category of an inspector as defined by CDPH below: “Construction Workers who support the construction, operation, inspection, and maintenance of construction sites and construction projects (including housing construction).” All workers are instructed to follow the public health guidelines issued by CDPH and local public health officials, including social distancing and staying home California Energy Commission Advisory April 8, 2020 Page 2 when sick to protect those they serve, their coworkers, and themselves. As efforts to control the spread of the virus continue, state and local officials are regularly updating their directives and guidance. Because a person can be infected with novel coronavirus without exhibiting any symptoms, the California Energy Commission advises technicians and raters not to enter homes or buildings in which sensitive populations are, except under emergency situations. When possible, stay of Acceptance Test Technicians Certification Program and Home Energy Rating System inspections, testing, or field verification is recommended until such time as the orders are lifted.

Acceptance Test Technician Certification Provider Program

Acceptance Test Technicians perform required tests for lighting controls and mechanical systems in nonresidential buildings. The California Energy Commission’s approved Acceptance Test Technician Certification Providers (ATTCP) train, certify and oversee the technicians and their employers. Learn more about Acceptance testing in the next paragraph.

Acceptance Testing

Acceptance testing was included in the 2005 Building Energy Efficiency Standards (Energy Code) to help ensure that the installed equipment in nonresidential buildings was operating as designed and in compliance with the Energy Code. Acceptance testing generally includes three phases: documentation inspection, construction inspection, and functional testing. While performing the document inspection, the technician is required to review the construction plans that were approved by the local building department. These plans should include the nonresidential certificates of compliance and the nonresidential certificates of installation that are required by the Energy Code. The technician then compares the approved plans and documentation to the actual installations and verifies that they are consistent. After all necessary modifications are made, the technician can then proceed with the functional test. The functional test is specific to the equipment type and requirements in the Energy Code. Acceptance testing can be performed by the installing technician or a third party. The acceptance test is intended to give the installation technician a credible document that shows that the installed system was operational and in compliance with the Energy Code when the technician left the construction site.

Mandatory Requirement

Acceptance testing is a mandatory requirement in the Energy Code for both lighting controls and mechanical systems. However, currently, only lighting controls acceptance tests are required to be completed by a certified Acceptance Test Technician. Mechanical acceptance tests may be completed by the field technician until the mechanical threshold requirement has been satisfied.

ATTCP Provider

An Acceptance Test Technician Certification or ATTCP Provider is an entity that is approved by the CEC to provide training, certification, and oversight services for technicians and their employers. There are two types of ATTCPs: lighting controls ATTCPs and mechanical ATTCPs.

Acceptance Test Technician

An Acceptance Test Technician (ATT) is an installation technician that is certified by an ATTCP to perform nonresidential acceptance testing for lighting controls (Title 24, Part 6, Section 130.4) or mechanical systems (Title 24, Part 6, Section 120.5). 

And what should you do to become certified ATT? - There are two types of ATTs: lighting controls ATTs and mechanical systems ATTs. Technicians seeking certification to perform lighting controls acceptance tests need to be trained and certified by an approved lighting controls ATTCP. Technicians seeking certification to perform mechanical acceptance tests need to be trained and certified by an approved mechanical ATTCP.

While the general requirements for certification from ATTCPs are dictated by the Energy Code, each ATTCP has requirements and procedures that are specific to their program. To learn about how to receive certification from a specific ATTCP, visit the ATTCP's website. Technicians may be certified by any of the approved ATTCPs to perform acceptance testing and may hold certification from more than one ATTCP at a time. However, please be advised that technicians will be subject to the fees and requirements of each ATTCP from which they receive certification.