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CALmatters is looking into the complex topic of making California’s houses, schools, hospitals, offices and other buildings more energy-efficient — part of Governor Jerry Brown’s strategy for battling climate change.

Beginning next year, new rules will determine how millions of structures throughout the state use less energy so that consumption is cut in half by 2030.

Some of those savings will come as homeowners renovate. Other reductions will be made in new construction, under “greener” building codes.

What will these changes cost, in a state already short on affordable housing? And how will we pay for them? Will the government help defray the expense?

The devil may be in the details.

Will your kitchen redo be more expensive? Will everyone abide by the new standards? Who will make sure homeowners and businesses are complying?

What, in the end, will the effect be on California’s carbon footprint?

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Want to submit a guest commentary or reaction to an article we wrote? You can find our submission guidelines here. Please contact Gary Reed with any commentary questions: gary@calmatters.org, (916) 234-3081.

Julie Cart joined CalMatters as a projects and environment reporter in 2016 after a long career at the Los Angeles Times, where she held many positions: sportswriter, national correspondent and environment...