Energy Efficiency, Green Bldg, Renewable Energy

The County of San Diego is concerned with protecting the environment and encouraging resource-efficient building and planning. As part of this effort, the Department offers a Green Building Incentive Program, enforces mandatory energy efficiency requirements, and promotes and supports additional energy saving and resource conservation measures that advance the goal of sustainability.


The California Energy Commission has adopted the NEW 2016 Building Energy Efficiency Standards effective January 1, 2020. The 2016 Building Energy Efficiency Standards will be effective for permit applications filed through December 31, 2019. Building permit applications submitted on or after January 1, 2020, must comply with the new standards.

The new standards have been updated for a number of reasons, including:

  • A response to Assembly Bill 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, which mandates that California reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.
  • Pursuing California energy policy that energy efficiency is the resource of first choice for meeting California’s energy needs.

For more information and relevant forms, please link to the Energy Efficiency Standards.


The purpose of the Green Building Incentive Program is to encourage homeowners and builders to build using environmentally sound practices. This program is in line with the County’s Strategic Plan which has established goals of safeguarding our environment and quality of life and encouraging responsible development.

The County of San Diego Green Building Incentive Program is designed to promote energy efficiency, natural resource conservation, and water conservation in new and remodeled residential and commercial buildings. Eligible participants can benefit from program incentives that, along with the potential for long-term savings, make building green a viable alternative to traditional construction.

For more information, please see the Green Building Incentive Program informational brochure (PDS #273).


The 2019 California Green Building Standards Code (CALGreen Code) was adopted by the California Building Standards Commission will be effective for MANDATORY use on January 1, 2020.

The purpose of this code is to improve public health, safety, and general welfare by enhancing the design and construction of buildings through the use of building concepts having a positive environmental impact and encouraging sustainable construction practices in the following categories:

  • Planning and design
  • Energy efficiency
  • Water efficiency and conservation
  • Material conservation and resource efficiency
  • Environmental air quality.

In advance of the mandatory effective date, the Department strongly encourages everyone to be aware of this new code and familiarize themselves with the upcoming regulations.

For more information, please see the following:

2019 CALGreen Code

California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) CALGreen Information



Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE)

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)

California Energy Commission (CEC)

San Diego Gas and Electric (SDGE)


Energy Efficiency Links:

California Energy Commission, Title 24

SDGE Residential Rebates and Programs

SDGE Commercial Rebates and Savings


Renewable Energy Links:

Center for Sustainable Energy, Renewable Energy

Solar Energy and SDG&E

National Renewable Energy Laboratory


Renewable Energy Rebate and Incentive Programs:

California Solar Initiative (CSI)

Solar Water Heating Pilot Program 


Acknowledgement: This material is based upon work supported by the Department of Energy under Award Number DE-EE0000902.
Disclaimer: This report was prepared as an account of work sponsored by an agency of the United States Government. Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government or any agency thereof. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or any agency thereof.