Santa Monica Favors ZNE Building Requirement Ordinance


The Santa Monica Council recently voted to implement an ordinance considered to be the first of its kind. The ordinance requires all new single-family homes constructed in the city to be zero net energy (ZNE). ZNE homes yield enough energy from renewable sources to match what they take from the power utility in a year.

Santa Monica Mayor Tony Vazquez said, “Santa Monica is proud to take a global lead in zero net energy building standards that put the state’s environmental policy to action. The council’s adoption of this new ordinance reflects our city’s continued commitment to the environment. ZNE construction, considering the gold standard for green buildings, is a major component that will help us reach our ambitious goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.”

Currently, the ordinance is submitted to the California Energy Commission (CEC) for approval.

The Chief Sustainability Officer of Santa Monica, Dean Kubani, stated “This ordinance makes environmental and economic sense. With the price of utility power continuing to rise, ZNE homeowners will avoid those escalating costs while benefitting from local renewable power for all of their energy needs.”

The new ordinance makes Santa Monica the first city in the state of California to take on a ZNE ordinance. With a goal of assuring the newly constructed homes meet the most energy-efficient, and cost-effective requirements in the HVAC/R industry.

Richard Bloom, an Assembly member, said, “Santa Monica’s new zero-net-energy ordinance is a forward-thinking measure that will help California meet its statewide energy efficiency goals. This ordinance reflects the city’s leadership on local policymaking as well as its commitment to doing its part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption.”

Aside from the ZNE for single-family homes, the new ordinance also demands non-residential construction be developed to use 10 percent less energy than required by the 2016 California Energy Code.