CPUC’s “CA Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan” Includes Geothermal Heat Pump Implementation Objectives


In order to guide market transformation in a number of key sectors, this Plan embraces four specific programmatic goals, known as the “Big Bold Energy Efficiency Strategies” (BBEES), established by the CPUC in D.07-10-032 and D.07-12-051. These goals were selected not only for their potential impact, but also for their easy comprehension and their ability to galvanize market players.

1. All new residential construction in California will be zero net energy by 2020;
2. All new commercial construction in California will be zero net energy by 2030;
3. Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) will be transformed to ensure that its energy performance is optimal for California‘s climate; and
4. All eligible low-income customers will be given the opportunity to participate in the low income energy efficiency program by 2020.


Residential energy use will be transformed to ultra-high levels of energy efficiency resulting in Zero Net Energy new buildings by 2020. All cost-effective potential for energy efficiency, demand response and clean energy production will be routinely realized for all dwellings on a fully integrated, site-specific basis

IMPLEMENTATION PLAN (2.1.5) Goal 1: Deliver Zero Net Energy New Homes By 2020.

3.1 VISION (3.1)
Commercial buildings will be put on a path to zero net energy by 2030 for all new and a substantial proportion of existing buildings. Innovative technologies and enhanced building design and operation practices will dramatically grow in use in the coming years through a combination of comprehensive whole building programs, technology development, market pull, professional education, targeted financing and incentives, and codes and standards.

3.2 PROFILE (3.2)
Commercial buildings consume more electricity than any other end-use sector in California. The sector‘s 5 billion-plus square feet of space is very diverse—not only office buildings but stores, restaurants, warehouses, schools, hospitals, public buildings and facilities36, and others—in aggregate accounting for 38 percent of the state‘s power use and over 25 percent of natural gas consumption. Four electric end uses (lighting, cooling, refrigeration, and ventilation) account for 75 percent of all commercial electric use, while just three (space heating, water heating, and cooking) account for over 90 percent of gas use. These end uses command attention for energy efficiency savings strategies.

3.3 GOALS (3.3)
The following goals will spur actions to transform the energy patterns of California‘s largest energy- consuming sector—its commercial buildings.


Goal 1: New construction will increasingly embrace zero net energy performance (including clean, distributed generation), reaching 100 percent penetration of new starts in 2030.
Goal 2: 50 percent of existing buildings will be retrofit to zero net energy by 2030 through achievement of deep levels of energy efficiency and with the addition of clean distributed generation.

The residential and small commercial heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) industry will be transformed to ensure that technology, equipment, installation, and maintenance are of the highest quality to promote energy efficiency and peak load reduction in California’s climate.

One of the BBEES adopted by the Commission in October 2007 is to ―reshape residential and small commercial HVAC to ensure optimal equipment performance. This initiative targets a 50 percent improvement in efficiency in the HVAC sector by 2020, and a 75 percent improvement by 2030.

The rapid growth in air conditioning in California‘s commercial buildings and homes has made it one of the state‘s largest energy- consuming end uses and the single largest contributor to peak demand—and a leading opportunity to improve energy efficiency and reduce peak power demand.


6.4 STRATEGIES (6.4)
To achieve the Commission‘s adopted Programmatic Initiative of transforming the HVAC market and the four specific goals identified above, broad-based and aggressive strategies are needed that involve many stakeholders beyond the Commission and IOUs. An HVAC Advisory Group should be chartered to involve high-level HVAC industry stakeholders—such as manufacturers, distributors, and contractors—to coordinate industry sponsorship of and participation in HVAC strategies. Membership should also include other key players, such as the CPUC, Energy Commission, utilities, local building officials, building owners/managers, consumers, and the federal government.


Goal 3: Building industry design and construction practices that fully integrate building performance to reduce cooling and heating loads.

Both the Residential and Commercial Sector Chapters address the need for ―whole building‖ design and implementation in California, in order to achieve truly aggressive energy efficiency savings. One key goal of this overall effort must be building performance that improves space conditioning, by dramatically reducing cooling and heating loads. Fundamental changes will be needed in current design and building practices.

Specific design and building changes addressing HVAC performance include:

  • Placing more emphasis on the whole building as a complete interactive system and improving the thermal integrity of the building shell to reduce heating and cooling loads.
  • Moving ducts and equipment off the roof and out of hot attics.
  • Incorporating ductless systems, radiant heating and cooling, ground source heat pumps and thermal energy storage technologies with overall higher efficiencies.

The Residential and Commercial Sector Chapters address behavioral change strategies to promote whole building design and implementation. Those strategies must include a focus on the HVAC industry in particular.