Title 20: Energy Efficiency Regulations in California

What Retailers Should Know

If you sell (or offer for sale) such products as consumer electronics, household appliances and plumbing equipment in California, you should know about the state’s Appliance Efficiency Regulations (Title 20) and about the free resources from Energy Code Ace that can help with compliance.
What They Are
Title 20 includes state and federal minimum efficiency requirements for energy and water use in regulated appliances. These appliances include, but are not limited to, water heaters, furnaces, heat pumps, air conditioners, refrigerators, pumps, lamps and ballasts, computers, spray sprinkler bodies and showerheads.
Who’s Responsible
Manufacturers are responsible for certifying regulated appliances to the California Energy Commission’s Modernized Appliance Efficiency Database System (MAEDbS). This serves as the manufacturer’s claim that it has correctly met all applicable requirements, including testing, and marking products.
However, everyone in the sales chain – including manufacturers, distributors, retailers, contractors, and importers – is responsible for ensuring regulated products are listed in the MAEDbS prior to selling them or offering them for sale in California. This includes online sales.
Why You Should Care
Per Section 1609 of Title 20, any person involved with the manufacture, distribution and sale of noncompliant appliances may be subject to administrative civil penalties of up to $2,500 for each unit of the appliance that was sold or offered for sale.
To verify the products you are selling are compliant, search for them on the MAEDbS. If they are listed on the database, you can sell them in California.
By ensuring that the products you sell comply with energy efficiency regulations, you will avoid
applicable enforcement fines. You will also contribute to the tremendous greenhouse gas (GHG) savings and related climate change mitigation such policies are working to achieve – and that today’s consumers increasingly appreciate.
In 2017, the California Energy Commission estimated that appliance standards save Californians more than 34,000 GWh of electricity annually, resulting in a reduction of GHG emissions equivalent to those from 5.2 million passenger vehicles.
Title 24, Part 6 Building Energy Code
Commercial property owners in California should also be aware of the state’s Title 24, Part 6 building energy efficiency standards (Energy Code), which regulates state building energy efficiency requirements for newly constructed projects, additions, and alterations. The California Energy Commission updates the Energy Code every three years by working with stakeholders in a public and transparent process, thereby helping to ensure that builders use the most energy-efficient and energy-conserving technologies and construction practices, while being cost-effective over the lifespan of a building.
Helpful Resources
EnergyCodeAce.com is a “one-stop shop” offering no-cost tools, training and resources to help industry professionals and consumers meet the requirements of California’s Title 20 appliance standards and Title 24, Part 6 building energy code. It is funded by California utility customers under the auspices of the California Public Utility Commission and implemented by PG&E, SDG&E, SCE and SoCalGas in support of the California Energy Commission.
  • A Title 20 certification overview fact sheet can be downloaded here.
  • Learn more about the MAEDbS and how to use it with the Energy Code Ace Title 20 On-Demand Video Training.
  • Find additional Title 20 training courses here.
  • Download Title 20 appliance-specific fact sheets here. Simply select “Title 20” under the “Energy Code & Reg” filter on the right side of the page to see all Title 20 fact sheets.
  • Easily navigate the Title 20 regulation document using the Reference Ace.
  • Email your specific Title 20 questions to Title20@energycodeace.com.
  • Create an Account on EnergyCodeAce.com and select an industry role in your profile to receive targeted email updates.
  • Find out how you can get involved in the Title 24, Part 6 Energy Code change process at Title24Stakeholders.com.
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