When measured by both national and global standards (by virtually any standard), California stands at the forefront in efforts to identify and address environmental challenges.

As noted in a recent media article, for example, a state law is on the books that mandates residential and business structures “to operate twice as efficiently by the year 2030.” That edict and reams of additional environmentally related legislation in the state are in response to what has been termed a “mission” to curb dangerous greenhouse-gas emissions. Reportedly, about 20 percent of all such discharges come from private homes and office buildings across the state.

Pursuant to that aforementioned mission, a new environment law has been written and scheduled to take effect from January 1 of next year. It will impose new requirements on builders who are making what are deemed “major renovations” to their properties, and it will apply broadly, affecting both homeowners and business principals.

State authorities have sought to downplay the financial challenges that are already being alleged in conjunction with upgrades that will trigger a host of new exactions for developers in both the private and commercial spheres. In fact, the new law mandates that affected renovations not be economically onerous for those who will be forced to comply with them.

What exactly does that mean, though?

“The details are not fleshed out,” says one state legislator, who adds that, “It’s going to be costly.”

And those costs will relate to new requirements for walls, lighting, water heaters, attics and more.

As always seems to be the case, there is a delicate dance between forging environmental improvements while still allowing for economic development. The director of one energy program notes that “equality and income sustainability” must be central considerations in any laws regarding environmental edicts and compliance.