Energy Reach Code

The City is taking strides to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our buildings, by way of electrification. Electrification is the process of converting fossil fuel operated equipment and appliances to electricity (i.e. vehicles, space heating, water heating).   The Healdsburg Electric Dept. provides low-carbon electricity to our customers that will continue to decline in carbon intensity to meet California's mandate of carbon-free electricity by 2045. In order to avoid future greenhouse gas emissions, a reach code that promotes electrification can minimize GHG impacts. 

What is a Reach Code?

In California, Title 24 of the Code of Regulations sets the building code standards for all jurisdictions statewide. The Energy Code (Part 6 of Title 24) regulates building energy efficiency such as building insulation, heating and cooling systems, and lighting. Local governments can adopt more stringent energy efficiency requirements through the development of reach codes. 

A reach code must be at least as stringent as the statewide code and must meet the following requirements:

1. As a minimum, reach codes must be cost effective. Meaning that the money saved from the reduced energy costs must cover initial cost increases (if any) within the standard lifetime of the additional energy efficiency measures.

2. Must be approved by the California Energy Commission.

3. Needs to be reviewed and re-approved every three years with the code cycle.

What Reach Code did the City adopt? 

Electric space and water heating: Requires electric heating appliances (i.e. heat-pump water and space heating) in homes but allow for gas for cooking, fireplaces and pool heaters. 

What building types does the reach code apply to?

New Construction Low-Rise Residential

•New construction single family residential

•New construction of an accessory dwelling unit

•Multifamily residential properties under 4 stories in height

New Construction Commercial Buildings

Major Renovations and Significant Remodels

•Defined as removal of any structure's exterior wall area and roof/ceiling area, exposes 75% or more of the entire building's existing conditioned space.


Codes & Standards Statewide Cost Effectiveness Studies (Residential and Non-residential)

Appliances & Technology  

Heat Pump HVAC  - List of models and specifications

Heat Pump Water Heaters - List of models and specifications 

Cooking - List of  models and prices

Fireplaces - List of models and prices

Dryers - List of models and prices

Landscaping - List of models and prices

Community Engagement and Process Timeline 

Aug 19, 2019 - Introduction to City Council, seeking direction to get public feedback on reach code preferences. Staff report with background information can be found here

Sept 24, 2019 - Community Workshop to receive feedback on reach code preferences.

Reach Code Basics presentation - Felicia Smith, City of Healdsburg

Efficient Electric Technology presentation - Amy Rider, Archamy Consulting

Reach Code Cost Effectiveness presentation- Ted Tiffany, Guttman & Blaevoet

Oct 24, 2019 - Report back to City Council on community input.


Please sent any written questions or feedback to Felicia Smith.