CA Title 24 Quick Reference: Plug Load Control – When Do You Need It?

This may not be the most popular topic but with the new 2016 version of Title 24 code there are exciting and important changes to discuss. The requirements for plug load control have remained rather the same, with a few major changes.

The biggest change for plug load control is the requirements in alterations. Alterations section 141.0(b)2 has a new subsection P (141.0(b)2P) that covers Electrical power distribution requirements in alterations. 141.0(b)2 Piv states that “Circuit Controls for 120-Volt Receptacles and Controlled Receptacles. For entirely new or complete replacement of electrical power distribution systems, the entire system shall meet the applicable requirements of Section 130.5(d).” The CEC has confirmed that this means that receptacle control is only required in alterations when the entire electrical distribution is replaced. Note, if replacing the entire distribution system, then all connected receptacle loads must meet the requirements of 130.5(d).

The areas/spaces where plug load controls are required are similar but listed with broadened terms. Private offices and open offices have been changed to Office Areas, to include any space that has office related functions being performed. This includes any room or area of a building in CBC Group B Occupancy where business, clerical or professional activities are conducted, including quiet rooms, warehouses, etc., where these functions are also performed. “Reception lobbies” was changed to Lobbies to include all lobbies within a building or space. The term Kitchenette was broadened to Kitchen Areas as to include any space within a building where there are cooking facilities or where food is prepared. Conference Rooms and Copy Rooms have remained unchanged. Hotel and motel guest rooms maintain the same requirement to control half of the receptacles using a captive keycard, occupancy sensing control, or automatic controls that switch the power off no longer than 30 minutes after the guestroom has been vacated.

The requirements for plug load control are still to install a control system: that can automatically shut off the lighting when the space is typically unoccupied, with an automatic holiday shut-off and maximum 2-hour override. At least one controlled receptacle must be installed within 6 feet of an uncontrolled receptacle or split wire the receptacles to provide at least one controlled and one uncontrolled receptacle. Modular furniture in open office areas are to have at least one controlled receptacle installed at each workstation. Provide controlled receptacles or circuits with a permanent and durable marking that differentiates them from other uncontrolled receptacles or circuits.

Be sure to check out nLight’s nPP20 PL that controls a full 20 amp receptacle circuit and gives you peace of mind when controlled receptacles are required.

https://www.acuitybrands.com/products/detail/441248/nLight/nPP20-PL/Plug-Load-Control-Power-Pack

CA Title 24 2016 Quick Reference: Local Manual Control

Where do you put light switches for spaces that are open to the public like corridors, retail spaces, lobbies, restrooms, arenas, etc? These can be locked devices, placed within view of the lighting, or controls capable of annunciating the space that is being controlled. You can use a nPOD KEY, a keyed digital dimming switch, a nPODM decora digital dimming switch, or best of all, a nPOD GFX a 16 channel single gang touchscreen dimming controller with custom digital labeling. Read on for the specific requirements and solutions by area.

With the enforcement of 2016 T24 code, there have been a lot of inquiries surrounding the changes to local manual control requirements. Per 130.1(a), it is a requirement to provide manual control that is readily accessible and located within the same room or area. The exceptions provided allow for: areas to have lighting control that is within view of the lighting (or illuminated area) or controls that annunciate the area being illuminated; and to have the manual control not accessible to unauthorized personnel.

The areas that allow for controls to be within view or annunciated are malls and atria, auditorium areas, retail merchandise sales areas, wholesale showroom areas, commercial and industrial storage areas, general commercial and industrial work areas, convention centers, and arenas. The areas that allow for controls that are not accessible to unauthorized personnel are public restrooms with two or more stalls, parking areas, stairwells, and corridors. What does having controls not accessible to unauthorized personnel entail? The CEC accepts using a standard switch within a locked enclosure, a keyed switch, a switch located within an inaccessible area with a view of the lighting or illuminated area or using a switch with the controlled area being annunciated.

Per 130.1(a)4, General lighting shall be separately controlled from other lighting systems in the area so additional switches/controls are needed if providing additional types of lighting.

Note, the requirement for dimmable fixtures to be controlled by a dimming switch that can control the fixture through all of the required steps of Table 130.1-A has moved from the Area Control requirements section to section 130.1(b)3.

T24 Compliant Control Typicals:

SDLA:  https://www.sandiegolighting.com/controls-typicals/

T24 Compliant Control Systems:

nLight:   https://www.acuitybrands.com/products/controls/nlight

nLight AIR:  https://www.acuitybrands.com/products/controls/nlightair

Fresco:  https://www.acuitybrands.com/products/controls/fresco

LC&D – Blue Box:  https://www.acuitybrands.com/products/controls/blue-box

XPoint Wireless:  https://www.acuitybrands.com/products/controls/xpoint-wireless

EchoFlex: http://www.echoflexsolutions.com/

Back to School with NECA

As an Associate Member of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), SDLA was cordially invited to participate in the California Title 24 training course on April 20th, hosted at the NECA San Diego office. These training courses exist as a valuable resource for union electrical contractors of IBEW Local 569. NECA training courses help electrical contractors take their career to the next stage with tailored courses in traditional and new technologies. We enjoyed participating in the event where NECA San Diego hosted a great presentation with breakfast and an afternoon BBQ.

Martin Dodd from Energy Soft was the keynote speaker, while Joshua Desoto of NECA hosted the event. Martin provided an extensive overview of how Title 24 is approached and applied in the industry. Martin not only reviewed the requirements contractors need to be aware of but went into detail on how to decipher and implement the variety of Title 24 forms. This four-hour training course was highly interactive throughout, with Martin calling on us to speak to our wealth of knowledge of different Title 24 requirements and solutions. Chris Bale (SDLA Contractor Salesman) and I were heavily involved in giving code and project insight based on our controls department’s vast experiences. Attendees were kept engaged as well by being asked to share their questions, different experiences and advice when dealing with Title 24 code requirements. After the conclusion of the presentation, Chris and I were available to give attendees project specific solutions and advice.

NECAOur controls team was excited to be invited because of our expertise in Title 24 requirements and compliances in the San Diego area and we enjoyed the opportunity to support NECA, Martin, and those in attendance with specific lighting and lighting controls questions. NECA training emphasizes the importance of continuing education and it’s an organization we are proud to support. We look forward to supporting NECA San Diego and our electrical community with future trainings and projects.

If you have any questions regarding Title 24, or any project specific solutions you can implement to meet compliance requirements, email me at jeretc@sdltg.com!

Join Us For a Free IES Training!

We’re eliminating any excuses you may have for furthering your education by sponsoring a FREE IES, Title 24 compliant training! On April 11th, we invite all distributors, electrical contractors, electrical engineers, architects, lighting designers, and anyone else interested to attend our training. This IES Spring update will be held at the REXEL San Diego Energy Center and lunch will be provided for all those in attendance from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. This opportunity comes to you with no admission fee and free parking, so if you have been waiting to attend a training course, this is the perfect chance to get a baseline knowledge or refresher of industry standards as regulations continue to become more rigorous.

As the speaker for the event, I’m looking forward to seeing and hearing several perspectives from different occupations and experience levels in the industry. This training is suited for anyone new to Title 24 or any seasoned professional looking for a refresher course. In this course, I will discuss the exceptions to the code professionals should be aware of and how to utilize these benefits to move projects from concept to execution. Even some seasoned electrical professionals and distributors may not be aware of the way they can use code and regulations to their benefit and sometimes see compliance strictly as a prohibitory factor. This IES training will also cover how to offer lower up-front costs and energy savings projects, while still being Title 24 compliant. As code requirements and regulations continue to become more and more challenging, it’s essential that we continue to educate ourselves through training in order to save our clients and our companies time and money.

There are still spots available for this training, so be sure to register online and secure your spot free of charge! If you want more information or have any other questions, please reach out to me at danielc@sdltg.com.  

A Bright New Year For SDLA

Family, Friends, Colleagues and Customers,

First and foremost, Happy New Year. For us at SDLA, 2016 was one for the books, and that’s in part thanks to all of you reading this note. Thank you, thank you, thank you. And also thanks to you, the new year that’s upon us is looking even brighter. If you’re here reading this blog post, you know we have a brand new website that just launched, to help serve as a better portal and resource for our customers. But that’s just scratching the surface of the excitement we’re feeling here at SDLA.

For months we have carefully and thoughtfully designed our new headquarters to be a living testament to our work. Our goal with this new space was to create a place where our talented staff can enjoy coming to work. A space they would feel proud to work in. Our new facility will also serve as a resource center – think of it as the lighting hub of San Diego – for our valued customers and lighting professionals in the area. We plan to host regular trainings, “lunch and learns”, and more.

Happy New Year, and here’s to an incredible 2017 for all.

-Danny Cortez

P.S. Keep an eye out for upcoming details on our open house tour that will include drinks and appetizers on us! Some pics of our new space below.