Escondido, CA

Building code changes coming in July

Changes to the County of San Diego’s Building Code intended to promote the use of photovoltaic electricity systems and electric vehicle charging in new homes are expected to take effect July 1.

A 4-1 San Diego County Board of Supervisors vote March 18, with Bill Horn opposed, approved the first reading and introduction of the ordinance amendments. A second reading and adoption is scheduled for April 8.

“These will be great upgrades,” said Supervisor Dianne Jacob.

In April 2014 the Board of Supervisors directed the county’s Chief Administrative Officer to research potential updates to the Building Code to promote energy-efficient standards. Potential amendments were presented to the county supervisors in August, and the supervisors directed the Chief Administrative Officer to develop ordinance language to implement four of the options.

During the process to implement the ordinance county staff worked with the Building Industry Association, the California Center for Sustainable Energy, and the California Solar Energy Industry Association. All three stakeholders provided positive feedback about the four changes.

“It’s great to see the building industry working collaboratively with county staff,” said Supervisor Dave Roberts.

One of the changes requires that all new single-family development include an electric panel of at least 200 amperes and which has space reserved to accommodate circuit breakers for photovoltaic and electric vehicle charging systems. The space reserved for the future photovoltaic and electric vehicle circuit breakers must also be labeled to facilitate potential future installation and use.

The code change will also require all new single-family development to include installation of conduit which will run from the electrical panel to a nearby junction box and then through the wall or attic for potential future use by a photovoltaic system. That requirement will allow the installer of a future photovoltaic system to use the conduit to install the wiring and would also provide the aes-

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