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The U.S. Department of Energy and the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center are excited to announce that a new, modernized DSIRE is under construction. The new version of DSIRE will offer significant improvements over the current version, including expanded data accessibility and an array of new tools for site users. The new DSIRE site will be available in December 2014. Staff are currently working hard on the new version of DSIRE but are also maintaining the content of the current version of DSIRE. Thank you for your continued support and patience during this transition. We hope you are as excited for December as we are!

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Incentives/Policies for Renewables & Efficiency

Printable Version
Green Building Action Plan for State Facilities   

Last DSIRE Review: 11/07/2012
Program Overview:
State: California
Incentive Type: Energy Standards for Public Buildings
Eligible Efficiency Technologies: Comprehensive Measures/Whole Building, Specific technologies not identified
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Passive Solar Space Heat, Solar Water Heat, Solar Space Heat, Photovoltaics, Wind, Biomass, Geothermal Heat Pumps, CHP/Cogeneration, Bio-gas, Daylighting, Small Hydroelectric
Applicable Sectors: State Government
Goal:Solar energy equipment should be installed by January 1, 2009, on any public building or facility where such an installation is determined to be cost-effective over the life of the system, and funding is available.
Solar energy equipment must be installed on any state-owned buildings constructed after January 1, 2008.
Equipment/Products:Energy Star products when cost-effective
Requirement:Reduction in grid-based energy usage for state buildings by 20% of 2003 levels by 2018; all new and renovated buildings must achieve a minimum LEED "Silver" rating.
Web Site:
Authority 1:
Date Enacted:
Executive Order B-18-12
Authority 2:
CA Government Code § 14710, et seq.
Authority 3:
Date Enacted:
Date Effective:
CA Government Code § 14684.1

Note: California voters approved Ballot Proposition 39 in November 2012. The new law closes a tax loophole, which is expected to provide $1 billion in additional revenue every year. According to the law, half of the new funding collected in the first five years must be used for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects at schools and public facilities, workforce development, and providing assitance to local governments in establishing and implementing PACE programs. It is unclear at this time how the new funding will be allocated.

On December 14, 2005, California’s governor signed Executive Order S-20-04, creating a Green Building Action Plan to improve the energy performance of all state buildings. The order established energy savings targets for state facilities, declared the "Silver" level of LEED as the minimum performance standard for new buildings, and to required state government to purchase ENERGY STAR products when cost effective.

A later Executive Order (B-18-12), signed in April of 2012, updated some of these requirements while rescinding the earlier Executive Order. It adjusted the energy savings targets such that grid-based energy purchases must be reduced by 20% by 2018 using 2003 as a baseline. New state buildings and major renovations started after 2025 must be constructed to be zero net energy, while 50% of existing square footage must be in the process of achieving zero net energy by 2025.  Additionally, new buildings or major renovations larger than 10,000 square feet must earn the "Silver" level of LEED certification and incorporate on-site renewable energy if economically feasible.

California has additional legislation (GC14710-14714) requiring the identification of public buildings where it is feasible to reduce energy consumption, achieve energy efficiencies, produce onsite electrical generation, or reduce the level of peak electricity consumption using alternative energy equipment, thermal energy storage technologies, or cogeneration equipment.

In addition, A.B. 532 of 2007 extended a requirement specifically for solar energy equipment to be installed on state buildings. The law required solar water heaters and photovoltaics to be installed on any public building, parking facility, or state-owned swimming pool by January 1, 2009, where such an installation is determined to be cost-effective over the life of the system and funding is available. Additionally, the law requires solar energy equipment must be installed, when feasible, on any new public building or parking facility constructed after January 1, 2008. Click here for more information about solar installed on public buildings.

  Lance Shaw
California Energy Commission
1516 Ninth Street, MS-42
Sacramento, CA 95814-5512
Phone: (916) 653-1227
Web Site:
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Disclaimer: The information presented on the DSIRE web site provides an unofficial overview of financial incentives and other policies. It does not constitute professional tax advice or other professional financial guidance, and it should not be used as the only source of information when making purchasing decisions, investment decisions or tax decisions, or when executing other binding agreements. Please refer to the individual contact provided below each summary to verify that a specific financial incentive or other policy applies to your project.

While the DSIRE staff strives to provide the best information possible, the DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. make no representations or warranties, either express or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of the information. The DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. disclaim all liability of any kind arising out of your use or misuse of the information contained or referenced on DSIRE Web pages.

Copyright 2014 - 2015 North Carolina State University, under NREL Subcontract No. XEU-0-99515-01. Permission granted only for personal or educational use, or for use by or on behalf of the U.S. government. North Carolina State University prohibits the unauthorized display, reproduction, sale, and/or distribution of all or portions of the content of the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) without prior, written consent.