Reach Codes

Peninsula Clean Energy (PCE), the San Mateo County Office of Sustainability (OOS), and Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) are supporting our municipalities to adopt building codes that will result in safer and more comfortable buildings, increase our electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and reduce our carbon footprint.

In support of municipalities and counties in PCE and SVCE service territory, PCE and SVCE are providing extensive technical assistance plus a $10,000 incentive to each city that brings reach codes to their councils.  For more information, please visit

What Are Reach Codes?

Every three years, cities and counties across the state adopt the new Building Standards Code (Standards) or Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations. Cities and counties may adopt building codes more advanced than those required by the state, which are known as reach codes.

Reach codes aim to update local building codes concurrently with the state-required adoption of the 2019 Standards. The previous adoption cycle with new Standards took effect January 1, 2017. The next code adoption cycle, with new Standards, must be adopted by cities and the County by the end of calendar year 2019. Reach codes may include:

  • Prescriptive Codes: Require one or more specific energy efficiency measures
  • Performance Codes: Require a building to perform more efficiently based on accepted computer modelling and allow trade-offs between energy efficiency measures

Several cities within San Mateo County and Santa Clara County have utilized reach codes in the past similar to this effort, including Carlsbad, Palo Alto and San Mateo.

Why Establish Reach Codes?

The benefits of greenhouse gas free (GHG) electricity can best be realized by electrification of new and existing buildings and transportation vehicles. Electrifying buildings and vehicles transitions them away from the use of natural gas and gasoline to clean energy provided by PCE and SVCE. By developing electrification reach codes, cities can save energy and reduce GHG emissions in San Mateo and Santa Clara County. All-electric buildings are safer and healthier to live in along with being cost effective, especially when adopted at the new construction stage.

It is most efficient for cities to coordinate adoption of reach codes with the adoption of the new 2019 building code, taking effect January 1, 2020.

For more information about key dates, timeline, how to participate, and more, please visit