Substantial Benefits by Accelerating Implementation of Codes and Standards

Many policies and protocols governing California’s energy efficiency investments were established to protect the ratepayers that fund those programs. In so doing, important resource, environmental, and economic benefits are sometimes inadvertently deterred.

As noted in Chapter 2. Drought Resilient Technologies, Energy Commission staff’s evaluation of 2015 changes to Title 20 for toilets, urinals, faucets, and showerheads showed that substantial resources and environmental benefits would be achieved. However, the expected annual benefits at inception were dwarfed by the magnitude of annual benefits that would be achieved by 2038, when “full turnover” is envisioned.


Table 6. Incremental Annual Value of Early Title 20 Water Fixtures Changeouts[1]

California Title 20 Changes to Water Efficiency Standards Estimated Annual Savings at Inception vs. “Full Turnover”
Projected Year Water (MG) Electricity (GWh) Gas (Mtherm) GHGs
(tons eCO2)
First Full Year 2018 12,250 303 45 3,511,151
At “Full Turnover” 2038 127,392 2,999 425 36,099,844
Incremental Annual Value of Early Changeouts 115,142 2,696 380 32,588,693

Sources: Compiled from [1] California Energy Commission. Staff Analysis of Water Efficiency Standards for Toilets, Urinals and Faucets. Publication Number CEC–400–2015–021; [2] California Energy Commission. Staff Analysis of Water Efficiency Standards for Showerheads. Publication Number CEC-400-2015-027.


“Full Turnover” occurs when installed fixtures and appliances of the type subject to the Title 20 changes have finally been changed out and meet “today’s” code. The projected value at “full turnover” does not include potential additional savings that may accrue over the 20 year period due to anticipated future enhancements to Title 20


The incremental benefits at “full turnover” are too significant to defer

Figure 5 shows the incremental water, energy and greenhouse gas benefits that would be achieved by performing early changeouts of all existing toilets, urinals, faucet aerators, and showerheads that do not comply with at least 2015 Title 20 code.


Figure 5. Incremental Statewide Benefits by Accelerating Title 20 Changeouts


The incremental water and greenhouse gas reduction benefits that could be achieved “today” vs. over a period of 20 years are significant and irresistible

[1] See Appendix K: Accelerated Compliance with New Codes and Standards for more information.