Reach Codes

East Bay Community Energy is working together with our participating Cities and the County of Alameda to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions within our service territory by developing forward-thinking building and transportation electrification reach codes.

In support of cities and the county, EBCE is providing extensive technical assistance plus a $10,000 incentive to each city that brings a reach code to their council.

Key Meetings

There are a few key dates and events before the new building code takes effect on January 1, 2020.

April 23rd, 2019
EBCE South Reach Code Meeting – Strongly Recommended

Time: 12:00 – 2:00 PM
(Building Officials and Key Staff)Register Here
Time: 6:00 – 8:00 PM
(Community Stakeholders and Builders)Register Here

Location: Fremont Development Services Center, Niles Room, First Floor
39550 Liberty Street, Fremont CA, 94538

April 24th, 2019
EBCE North Reach Code Meeting– Strongly Recommended

Time: 3:00 – 5:00 PM
(Building Officials and Key Staff)Register Here
Time: 5:30 – 7:30 PM
(Community Stakeholders and Builders)Register Here

Location: Berkeley Multi-Purpose Room
1947 Center Street, Berkeley CA 94704

What Are Reach Codes?

Every three years, cities and counties across the state can adopt local reach codes in line with the new Building Standards Code (Standards) or Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations. Cities and counties may adopt building codes more advanced than those required by the state, which are known as reach codes.

Reach codes aim to update local building codes concurrently with the state-required adoption of the 2019 Standards. The previous adoption cycle with new Standards took effect January 1, 2017. The next reach code adoption cycle, to coincide with the 2019 Title 24 Standards that go into effect January 1, 2020, must be adopted by cities and counties by the end of calendar year 2019. Reach codes may include:

an engineer looking at energy efficiency schematics

Prescriptive Codes

Require one or more specific energy efficiency measures

young architects discussing computer modeled blueprints to discuss trade-offs between energy efficiency measures

Performance Codes

Require a building to perform more efficiently based on accepted computer modelling and allow trade-offs between energy efficiency measures

Several cities within Alameda County have utilized reach codes in the past similar to this effort, including Albany, Berkeley, Fremont, Hayward, and Oakland.

Why Establish Reach Codes?

The benefits of GHG-free electricity can best be realized by electrification of new and existing buildings and the transportation sector. Electrification transitions buildings, vehicles, and off-road equipment away from natural gas, gasoline, and diesel to clean energy provided by EBCE. By developing electrification reach codes, cities can save energy and reduce GHG emissions in Alameda County. All-electric buildings are safer and healthier to live in along with being cost effective, especially when adopted at the new construction stage.It is most efficient for cities to coordinate adoption of reach codes with the adoption of the new 2019 building code, taking effect January 1, 2020.

wind turbines on a mountain landscapecoal-powered power plant emitting greenhouse gases

Process and Timeline

Cost Effectiveness Study ReviewMar 2019
Review Code OptionsApr 2019
Select Code Options*May 2019
Draft AmendmentsMay 2019
External Stakeholder InputMay 2019
Submit for Council Review**Aug 2019 — Feb 2020
Application to Energy Commission (not for EV code)Oct 2019 — March 2020
File with Building Standards CommissionDec 2019 — April 2020
New Code EffectiveJan 2020 — Jun 2020
*Letter of Intent for $10,000 support grant from EBCE
**Payment of $10,000 support grant from EBCE

How To Participate

Cities are encouraged to participate and avail themselves of the technical support by completing the “Stay in Touch” section below. To obtain the $10,000 incentive, complete the letter of intent and submit the draft codes to city council.

construction worker and architect looking at draft codes


Can a city receive the $10k for just an Electric Vehicle (EV) reach code or a building reach code? Does it require both code amendments to qualify?

A city will receive the $10k once their respective city council votes on the reach code(s). While statewide goals suggest cities would be well served to adopt both building and EV reach codes at this time, the $10k is a single sum paid for a building reach code, EV reach code, or both.

man fixing public solar panels

Does a city have to participate with the EBCE support system to qualify for the $10k?

Any city receiving electrical generation service from EBCE in which their city council votes on an all-electric building reach code or an EV Readiness reach code is eligible so long as the vote occurs before December 31, 2019. Please contact JP Ross.

Does it matter which meeting I attend?

No, the meetings are essentially a brainstorming exercise on building electrification and EV Readiness reach codes.

man with a bicycle planning to attend a building electrification and EV infrastructure reach code meeting



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