The California Energy Commission approved the use of an optional compliance pathway for use in non-residential lighting alterations that trigger Title 24, Part 6. This is in addition to the pre-existing two compliance pathways. This new option may significantly reduce the requirements for lighting controls on qualifying projects and can be applied immediately.
Eligible projects include those that:
- reduce lighting power of the replaced or altered luminaires by at least 50% over existing lighting systems in office, retail or hotel/motel applications, and
- projects that reduce lighting power of replaced or altered luminaires by at least 35% in all other applications such as K-12 schools, parking garages or manufacturing facilities.
This approach does not require modifying other luminaires to reach area-specific lighting power density targets. This option only requires that the wattage of the altered luminaires be at least 35% or 50% lower than what’s being replaced.
Projects with the lighting reductions described above have reduced controls requirements. Using this option, the following controls are not required:
- dimmable or multi-level luminaires;
- bi-level switching or partial on/off controls;
- daylighting controls; and
- automated demand response controls.
The designer is allowed to exceed the requirements and specify partial on/off (occupancy/vacancy sensing) controls in corridors, stairwells, parking garages, warehouse aisles and library book stacks in appropriate projects. On/off occupancy sensing controls are still required for applicable spaces.
Energy Code Ace is developing a dynamic form to aid in the compliance process in the near future. Each building department has the authority to require additional documentation of existing conditions to demonstrate reduction levels have been met. Please advise permit applicants to check with their building departments for local rules.
Download the California Energy Commission’s Blueprint newsletter offering guidance on this topic here.
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