California Green Building Code (CALGreen) – Green power

To promote electricity purchases from utilities with a renewable energy portfolio, therefore lowering reliance on carbon-based fuel for energy production and related greenhouse gas emissions. There may be rules that utilities must go by for their customer portfolios or pricing policies to safeguard consumers, but there are no building energy standards.

CALGreen Code Section A5.211.3: Green power.

If offered by local utility provider, participate in a renewable energy portfolio program that provides a minimum of 50-percent electrical power from renewable sources. Maintain documentation through utility billings.


The intent of this provision is to encourage the purchase of electricity from a utility that offers a renewable energy portfolio, reducing dependency on carbon-based fuel for energy generation and associated greenhouse gas emissions. There may be regulations for utilities to follow for their portfolios or pricing mechanisms for consumer protection, but there are no building energy standards relative to this concept.

Compliance Method:

Indicate in the electrical plans and/or specifications the intent to enroll in the renewable energy portfolio of the local utility to purchase electricity at least at the 50 percent renewables level. As construction draws to a close, the intent should be recorded in the operation and maintenance manual as a recommended practice in the operation of the building beyond the certificate of occupancy.


If the permittee is enrolled during construction, the contractor should make available for the enforcing agency utility billings showing the program details.


Plan intake: If the permittee expresses the intent to participate in the utility’s renewable energy portfolio for the purchase of electricity, the plan reviewer should review the construction documents for documentation.

On-site enforcement: The inspector should check utility electricity billings documenting enrollment in a renewable energy program and verify the operation and maintenance manual for recommendations to continue with the program.

(Excerpted from ‘Guide to the 2022 California Green Building Standards Code Nonresidential’ – Appendix A5)

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