California's new construction guidelines demand at least 25 percent more energy efficiency

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New homes and commercial buildings in California will soon face requirements for at least a quarter more energy efficiency than in existing construction. Regulators have approved big changes to the energy efficiency part of the California’s building code.

The state's Energy Commission and various environmentalists say the new rules for buildings will save those property owners billions of dollars in energy costs.

The new rules range from common sense measures that contractors and consultants already recommend (like wrapping hot water pipes in insulation) to more intensive measures.

Windows that allow for increased sunlight but prevent homes from trapping heat have been added to the list, as has a new requirement that structures have solar-ready roofs, able to take the weight of photovoltaic panels up top.

Regulators say the new measures will raise monthly costs for homes by $11 per month, but will cut energy costs by $27 at the other end.

The new rules will take effect in a couple of years.

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