The California Energy Commission May 31 updated building efficiency standards that it says will result in significant annual reductions of greenhouse gas emissions and produce massive energy and water usage savings. \u201cTrying to get buildings built correctly from the start is one of the key things this institution does and does well,\u201d commission chair Bob Weisenmiller said. \u201cIt\u2019s important not to just adopt [the standards], but get them out in the field. I think it\u2019s very important that we focus on the compliance and we focus on the education and training part,\u201d he added. The building standards take effect Jan. 1, 2014. They revamp regulations for constructing both new commercial and residential buildings. Provisions of the newly-adopted and tightened efficiency standards include: -\tRequiring water pipes in newly-built homes to be insulated, to save water and energy, as well as reduce time for heating water; -\tUsing energy efficient windows that allow more sunlight in, at the same time reducing heat; -\tRequiring non-residential buildings to be equipped with sensors and controls to allow for the use of natural light; and -\tUtilizing cool roof technologies on commercial buildings. Complying with the measures would increase the cost of constructing a new home by $2,290 but would return more than $6,200 in energy savings over 30 years, the commission estimates. About $11 per month would be added to the average house payment, based on a 30-year mortgage, but the tradeoff is that consumers can expect to save $27 a month on their heating, cooling and lighting bills, according to data. A long line of stakeholders in the energy industry took issue with one aspect or another of the revised standards, but few offered suggestions or recommendations regarding any potential improvements. \u201cIt is important to bring forward questions about what we have, but what is compelling to us is when you\u2019re able to bring forward information that potentially could contradict, undermine, cause us to call into question the conclusions we\u2019re reaching,\u201d commissioner Karen Douglas said regarding the perceived nitpicking of the efficiency standard revisions. Buildings constructed to the efficiency standards are projected to avoid over 155,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year, according to the commission, while also saving 200 million gallons of water annually and $1.6 billion in energy over a 30-year span.