Chapter 18.07


18.07.010    Purpose.

18.07.020    Definitions.

18.07.030    Exemptions.

18.07.040    Nonapplicability.

18.07.050    Certificate of completion.

18.07.060    Energy conservation requirements.

18.07.070    Notification.

18.07.080    Energy conservation – Existing multifamily residential structures – Violations.

18.07.090    Appeals.

18.07.100    Fees.

18.07.010 PURPOSE.

The purpose of this chapter is to establish standards which promote the efficient use of energy in existing multifamily residential structures by requiring installation of cost-effective conservation devices in connection with title transfers on all existing residential structures of four or more units.

(Ord. 85-25 § 1 (part), 1985).

18.07.020 DEFINITIONS.

(a)    Accessible. There is sufficient space in which to install the specified conservation measures without significant structural alteration. In the case of attics, “accessible” shall mean a space between a ceiling joist and roof rafter where the vertical clear height from the top of the bottom chord of the truss or ceiling joist to the underside of the roof sheathing at the roof ridge is greater than thirty inches.

(b)    Cost-Effective. A conservation measure is considered “cost-effective” if the savings it produces for the customer during its useful life exceed the cost of the measure.

(c)    Dwelling – Multiple Dwelling. Any privately owned residential rental building, group of buildings, or portion thereof, which contains four units or more, under unified ownership and has a heating system; including apartments, flats, and all condominium conversions (as defined in Chapters 23, 27), but not including residential dwellings of less than four units, mobile homes or hotels, motels or inns whose primary purpose is to provide occupancy for less than thirty days.

(d)    Certificate of Completion. Standard form certifying compliance with the energy conservation requirements specified by this chapter. Such certificate shall be signed by an authorized energy inspector as defined herein. The form includes the name or names of the owners of the property for which it is applicable, the street address, assessor’s parcel number, together with a legend after the title of certificate:

“NOTICE TO OWNER: This certificate is valuable since it indicates the completion of installation of certain energy conservation devices on your residential property which are prescribed by law. This is a recordable document, and you may want to keep a copy with your own records pertaining to this property.”

(e)    Energy Inspector. Energy inspector of the city of Santa Cruz or person authorized by the city to certify that the energy conservation requirements specified in this chapter have been installed. Persons qualifying as energy inspectors include but are not limited to, Pacific Gas and Electric auditors, state licensed energy auditors, and authorized state licensed contractors. The authorization of energy inspectors shall be accomplished by completion of a form submitted to the building official and signed by the building official or his designee.

(f)    Feasible. Capable of being accomplished in a successful manner within a reasonable period of time, taking into account economic, environmental, social and technological factors.

(g)    Hardship. Demonstration that compliance with the provisions of this chapter will prevent the buyer/owner/seller from maintaining an adequate expenditure for food, health, shelter, or transportation between home and employment, thereby worsening their general welfare and/or that of their dependents.

(h)    Buyer. Owner of the property after time of sale.

(i)    Seller. Owner of property prior to time of sale.

(j)    Transfer of Title. The conveyance of title to real property by deed or other instrument including conveyance by a real property sales contract as defined in Section 2985 of the California Civil Code. Any transfer of title made prior to the effective date of this chapter is not subject to the requirements of this chapter.

(Ord. 85-25 § 1 (part), 1985).

18.07.030 EXEMPTIONS.

(a)    The following transfers shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter:

(1)    Transfers pursuant to court order, including, but not limited to, transfers ordered by a probate court in administration of an estate, transfers pursuant to a writ of execution; transfers by a trustee in bankruptcy; transfers by eminent domain; or transfers resulting from a decree for specific performance;

(2)    Transfers to a mortgage by reason of the mortgagor defaulting; transfers to a beneficiary of a deed trust by reason of a trustor defaulting;

(3)    Transfers, other than sales, by a fiduciary in the course of the administration of a guardianship, conservatorship, or trust;

(4)    Transfers from one co-owner to one or more co-owners;

(5)    Transfers made to a spouse, or to a person or persons in the lineal consanguinity of one or more of the transferors;

(6)    Transfers between spouses resulting from a decree of dissolution of a marriage or a decree of legal separation or from a property settlement agreement incidental to such decrees;

(7)    Transfers by the State Controller in the course of administering the Unclaimed Property Law, Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 1500) of Title 10 of Part 3 of the Code of Civil Procedure;

(8)    Transfers under the provisions of Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 3691) and Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 3771) of Part 6 of Division I of the Revenue and Taxation Code;

(9)    Transfers resulting by operation of law;

(10)    Transfers by which title to real property is reconveyed pursuant to a deed of trust.

(b)    No utility or representative of a utility shall be in violation of this chapter or liable under this ordinance, for any act done in the performance of an energy audit or other acts done in the course of providing utility services.

(c)    Failure to comply with provisions of this chapter shall not prevent recordation of any legally recordable document or invalidate any transfer of title.

(Ord. 85-25 § 1 (part), 1985).


The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to real property for which an energy conservation “Certificate of Completion” has been recorded.

(Ord. 85-25 § 1 (part), 1985).


(a)    Multiple-Family Dwellings. The energy conservation requirements in Section 18.07.060 shall be installed in connection with each transfer of title unless the provisions of this chapter are made inapplicable by Section 18.07.040 or unless the transfer is made exempt by Section 18.07.030.

(b)    Compliance. Compliance with this chapter shall be achieved by installation of the energy conservation requirement specified in Section 18.07.060 prior to, or within six months of the transfer of title of any multiple-family dwellings or time of sale. A “Certificate of Completion” shall be recorded with the county recorder and a recorded copy of the certificate of completion submitted to the planning director.

(c)    Recordation. Recordation of a properly signed certification of completion shall indicate that the requirements of this chapter have been met and shall evidence compliance for subsequent title transfers. When recorded, an energy conservation certificate of completion shall include the legal description of the property, the owner’s name, and the assessor’s parcel number, so that it may be indexed by the county recorder.

(d)    Disclosure. Landlords shall give thirty days’ notice to the tenants of any building which the landlord intends to bring into compliance with the provisions of this chapter. The notice shall include his/her intent to install required conservation measures and state the potential for changed utility costs.

(Ord. 85-25 § 1 (part), 1985).


(a)    Ceiling Insulation. Ceiling insulation shall be installed to a minimum resistance level of R-19 within accessible attic space directly above conditioned space provided that the existing ceiling insulation is less than R-11. Dropped spaces in attic floors such as those above stairwells, shall be sealed to effectively limit air infiltration prior to installation of insulation.

(b)    Weatherstripping. All doors, including attic access doors, and all windows which lead to the outside, unheated or uncooled areas, shall be weatherstripped so as to effectively limit air infiltration.

(c)    Water Heater Insulation Blankets. All accessible water heaters shall be equipped with an external, commercially available water heater insulation blanket or equivalent insulation material with minimum installed thermal resistance of R-6. Where the water heater is only partially accessible, the heater may be equipped with a lesser thickness blanket as approved by the city energy inspector.

(d)    Infiltration. All major cracks and joints and other openings in the building exterior shall be caulked or sealed to reduce the loss of heated air or the entry of outside air. The sealing of accessible electrical outlets and plates shall be required. All major openings from heated space itself or from walls within or surrounding the heated space into the attic, including, but not limited to, those found around plumbing vent pipes, electrical wiring, or furnace fuel pipes shall be sealed.

(e)    Ducts, Plenums, and Fitting Joints. All accessible transverse (both supply and return) air ducts, plenums, and fitting joints of all heating equipment in unheated areas such as attics, crawl spaces, garages and basements shall be insulated to the equivalent of two-inch-thick, 0.65 pounds per square foot density fibrous glass insulation. All visible unsealed duct and plenum joints shall be sealed with pressure-sensitive tape or mastic. Furnace blower compartment doors shall be securely fastened if located in unheated space.

(Ord. 85-25 § 1 (part), 1985).


(a)    The city shall develop, maintain and periodically update a list of all dwelling units in the city which are either in compliance with or in violation of the provisions of this chapter.

(b)    Prior to the operative date of this chapter, the city shall inform all affected owners of the requirements of this chapter. Notices shall also be placed in a newspaper of general circulation informing the public of the provisions of this chapter.

(Ord. 85-25 § 1 (part), 1985).


(a)    Actions Constituting Violation. It shall be a violation of this chapter for any person to do any of the following:

(1)    Sell or offer to sell any dwelling subject to this chapter without full disclosure of the provisions of this chapter;

(2)    Refuse or neglect to install the energy conservation requirements specified in Section 18.07.060, according to the timetables established by Section 18.07.050(b);

(3)    Evict any tenant in retaliation for the exercise by such tenant of any rights created by this chapter.

(b)    Penalties. Each violation of this chapter shall be an infraction subject to the penalties provided in Title 4.

(Ord. 2021-18 § 23, 2021; Ord. 85-25 § 1 (part), 1985).

18.07.090 APPEALS.

Any property owner or other person for whom this chapter involves a hardship, as defined, or who is dissatisfied with any act or determination of any authorized employee charged with the administration of this chapter, may appeal to the housing advisory and appeals board.

(Ord. 85-25 § 1 (part), 1985).

18.07.100 FEES.

Reasonable fees may be assessed to cover the costs of administering this chapter.

(Ord. 85-25 § 1 (part), 1985).