“The Single Most Important Thing We Can Do To Reduce Energy Use In Buildings”

Becker’s New SB 48 Seeks To Create Performance Standards To Improve Energy Efficiency, & Cut Costs  As California Joins National Building Performance Standard Coalition

(Sacramento) – Setting building performance standards that will improve energy efficiency and cut costs for customers are the goals of Senator Josh Becker’s (D-San Mateo) new SB 48, which was introduced at the State Capitol.

“This is the single most important thing we can do to reduce energy use in buildings,” said Becker, the Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Clean Energy Future.  “Our standards for new buildings mean they are very efficient, but the same can’t be said for older structures.  Requiring all buildings to meet specific performance standards are one way we can improve these older structures, save power, cut people’s energy bills, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
The introduction of SB 48 comes as the White House announced today that California has joined the Biden Administration's “Building Performance Standards Coalition,” a group of state and local governments working to improve building energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and cut energy bills for customers by enacting building performance standards.  

According to the White House, adding California to the coalition means “… one quarter of all commercial, Federal, and multifamily buildings in the United States are now either covered by or moving toward sustainable building performance standard policies.”

“It’s great to see California join this coalition and it once again shows we intend to lead on this critical issue of reducing emissions and getting the state – and hopefully the country – to net zero,” continued Becker.  “The other critical benefit of enacting performance standards that I don’t want to overlook is that these standards will also make buildings both more comfortable and create a healthier environment for people who live or work in them.”
Residential and commercial buildings are responsible for 35% of the total energy-related emissions in the U.S. each year.  Commercial and government buildings cost $190 billion to power annually and with 80% of all existing U.S. buildings expected to remain in service in for at least the next two decades, electrifying existing buildings is essential to achieving the country’s climate goals.

Back in January, the White House announced a coalition of more than 30 state and local governments, in coordination with federal agencies, to promote building performance standards.  Beyond the state of California, which joined the list yesterday, other California participants include the cities of Chula Vista, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and San Francisco.

SB 48 will be assigned to a Senate policy committee where it will be heard in early 2023.

First elected in 2020, Senator Becker represents the 13th Senate District covering portions of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties and includes the cities of Belmont, Half Moon Bay, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Menlo Park, Millbrae, Mountain View, Pacifica, Palo Alto, Redwood City, San Bruno, San Carlos, San Mateo, South San Francisco, and Woodside.

PRESS CONTACT: Evan Goldberg at evan.goldberg@sen.ca.gov.