Business Insider

Top 6 Facts about CEC Compliance

Jesus Moreno, a Ferguson author

by Jesus Moreno


In 1974, the California Energy Commission, or CEC, was established in response to the energy crisis faced by residents in California and the rest of the nation at that time. Since then, the CEC increased regulations around the sale and installation of a wide range of fixtures, appliances and construction material for commercial and residential structures in order to increase energy efficiency.

If you're a plumber, HVAC contractor or builder in California, CEC compliance should be at the top of your mind on every job. Even for trade professionals outside of California, being aware of CEC regulations is important because other states have adopted some of California’s standards for energy efficiency. Additionally, there is a high consumer demand for efficient products across the country. Discover the top facts about CEC regulations and what you need to know about compliance.

  1. Q: What are Title 20 and Title 24, and what do they have to do with CEC compliance?

    A: Title 24, the Building Energy Efficiency Standards, deals with the way a building is set up and controlled. Title 20 is a product-specific standard. In fact, just because a product meets Title 20 standards does not necessarily mean it will help you meet Title 24 regulations. Think about it this way: A product does not have to be Title 24 certified to be sold in California. New construction projects or major retrofits, however, do have to be inspected and approved as meeting Title 24 standards.

  2. Q: What types of products are regulated in California?

    A: The list of product types that are regulated in California is extensive. In order to be sold in California, a product must be included in the Modernized Appliance Efficiency Database System, or MAEDbS. Some of the types of products that trade professionals should be especially mindful of include:

    • Central air conditioners
    • Central heat pumps
    • Cooking and washing products
    • Fans and dehumidifiers
    • Heating products
    • Landscape irrigation equipment
    • Lighting
    • Noncentral air conditioners and heat pumps
    • Plumbing products
    • Refrigeration products
    • Water heaters
  3. Q: Where can I check to see if a certain product can be legally sold in California?

    A: The MAEDbS hosts a database of all products that meet Title 20 energy efficiency standards. You can search a product by model number, appliance type, company and brand to check for compliance status.

  4. Q: Does the CEC impose fines?

    A: The CEC has the authority to impose fines for selling products that are noncompliant with Title 20. Trade professionals who sell products that do not meet CEC standards can face a penalty of $2,500 for every violation.

  5. Q: What forms do I need to complete for an inspection?

    A: All new construction projects and major retrofits are subject to inspection to ensure the work is completed according to Title 24. For the inspection, you must file the corresponding form for the type of work being done and certify the products used are also compliant with Title 20. The CEC offers an online resource center with links to all relevant forms.

  6. Q: What are the current Title 24 standards?

    A: The CEC hosts a list of resources where you can find the most up-to-date Building Energy Efficiency Standards outlining Title 24 requirements. Standards are updated every three years with the most recent being the 2019 version.

At Ferguson, we’re committed to helping our customers find the right products for every job. We make it easy to shop a range of energy efficient products like bath and kitchen faucets, toilets and water heaters. Shop online and filter select products by CEC compliance status, or contact your local Ferguson to find what you need.

Jesus Moreno, a Ferguson author
Jesus Moreno

Jesus applies his expert knowledge of the latest product regulations to help trade professionals find compliant products.