When it comes to energy efficiency, the state of California is pretty clear on where its priorities lie — and when it comes to efficiency standards, it’s not afraid to flex some muscles to prove it. Consider the fact that the state has already set some of the highest standards in the nation for everything from television sets to cell phone and laptop chargers — and now, the California Energy Commission has ushered in energy standards for nonresidential buildings that beat the old standards by a whopping 30 percent.

The new standards offers developers a number of tools to help meet those tougher numbers, including high performance windows, sensors and controls that allow buildings to use natural (rather than artificial) lighting during daylight hours; advanced lighting controls to synchronize light levels with daylight and building occupancy, and provide demand response capability; and cool roof technologies.

Los Angeles

image via Shutterstock

All of which you’ll find in many greener residential structures throughout the Golden State. But what about the specific challenges faced by nonresidential structures in meeting higher standards for energy use? The CEC recommends, basically, using better tech, in the form of more efficient process equipment in supermarkets, computer data centers, commercial kitchens, laboratories and parking garages.

Another key component of the standards is include improving window efficiency — emphasizing increased natural light and decreased heat gain — which is expected to be a boon for companies that manufacture high-efficiency window glazings and films.

The standard goes into effect on January 1, 2014.