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Reach Codes in San Jose2019 Reach Code Initiative
The City of San José is exploring the development of reach codes to electrify buildings and transportation vehicles. New Buildings Institute is guiding the City’s reach code evaluation and stakeholder engagement process.

Register below to participate in upcoming stakeholder meetings.

What Are Reach Codes?
Reach codes are building codes that are more advanced than those required by the state. Every three years, cities and counties across California adopt new Building Standards Code (Standards) or Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations. Cities can also choose to adopt local reach codes, on top of these Standards, at anytime.   

Reach codes may include:

Prescriptive Codes: Require one or more specific energy efficiency measures, solar photovoltaic (PV),
  electric vehicle (EV), or battery storage
Performance Codes: Require a building to perform more efficiently based on accepted computer modeling
  and allow trade-offs between energy efficiency measures, solar PV, EV, or battery storage

Several Bay Area cities have utilized reach codes in the past, including Fremont, Palo Alto, and San Mateo. 

Why Establish Reach Codes?
Climate Smart San José is the community’s approved climate action plan. The plan makes San José one of the first major cities to have greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets aligned with the international Paris Agreement. Reach codes that support energy efficiency, electrification, and renewable energy can save energy and reduce GHG emissions.

San José can reduce emissions by powering new and existing buildings and vehicles with GHG-free electricity. Instead of burning natural gas and gasoline to operate buildings and vehicles, they can run on clean electricity provided by San José Clean Energy. All-electric buildings are safer and healthier to live in and are cost effective, especially when designed at the new construction stage.

Process and Timeline

It is most efficient for a city and for local development projects to coordinate adoption of reach codes with the adoption of the new 2019 CA Building Code, taking effect January 1, 2020.

The process and timeline below align with a January 1, 2020 potential reach code start date.

Statewide Cost Effectiveness Studies Completed Mar. 2019
Review Code Options Apr. 2019
External Stakeholder Input May - July 2019
Submit for Council Review Aug. 2019
Application to California Energy Commission Sep. 30, 2019
File with Building Standards Commission Dec. 2019
New Code Effective Jan. 1, 2020

How to Participate
Stakeholders are encouraged to participate in all of the upcoming public meetings listed below.

Upcoming Stakeholder Meetings
 Wednesday, May 29 – Introduction to Reach Codes in San José (Register for the first meeting)
  Time: 5:30 - 7:30 PM PDT 
  Location: City Hall, Wing Room 118/119, 200 E Santa Clara Street, First Floor, San José 

• Tuesday, June 4 – San José Reach Code for Commercial New Construction (Register for the second meeting)
  Time: 12:30 - 3:30 PM PDT 
  Location: City Hall, Wing Room 118/119, 200 E Santa Clara Street, First Floor, San José 

Additional meeting dates to be announced. 

Contact us at  if you have any questions or fill out the Reach Code Stakeholder Notification Form to be added to our notification list.


BayREN’s Guide to Understanding and Adopting Reach Codes
Reach Code Ordinances (adopted by local governments across California)