Santa Clara County Electrical JATC
Updated On: Aug 06, 2018

Acceptance Technician Frequently Asked Questions

What is behind the new lighting controls and acceptance testing?

AB32 signed by then Governor Schwarzenegger in 2006 set out an ambitious plan for California to reduce its carbon footprint by reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2020. In response to AB32, the California Public Utilities Commission in 2008 published, and updated in 2011, the California Long-term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan (Strategic Plan) which set bold market transformation energy efficiency goals for the state that has led to updates to the energy efficiency sections of the California state building code – Title 24.

Who is requiring acceptance testing?

The California Energy Commission under Title 24 requires that comprehensive lighting controls be acceptance tested. The 2013 code greatly expands the lighting control requirements for commercial, non-residential buildings.


What is Acceptance Testing?

Acceptance testing is one part of a multi-stage compliance program that ensures newly constructed buildings and new construction in existing buildings conforms to energy-efficiency standards contained in Title 24, Part 6 of the California Code of Regulations (CCR). Acceptance testing consists of a series of construction inspections and functional tests for different types of mechanical and electrical systems. These inspections and tests ensure that applicable systems are installed and operate correctly.


Why This Rule, and Why Now?

Acceptance testing has been around since 2005, but only for new buildings and retrofits impacting over 50% of the existing luminaires or ballasts. The 2013 Building Energy Efficiency Standards (California Code Regulations, Title 24, Part 6) require more acceptance testing and establish a criteria for what skills a state certified acceptance technician needs to have.


What spaces will be affected?

The 2013 Building Energy Efficiency Standards (California Code Regulations, Title 24, Part 6) states that the following commercial buildings will have to comply with new acceptance testing requirements:

1)      All newly constructed commercial buildings (no previous occupancy)

2)      Any addition

3)      Any alteration that adds new equipment to an existing space (retrofit) that modifies more than 10% of the existing luminaires or ballasts, or any retrofit of < 40 ballasts or luminaires.

What has to be done for a space to be acceptance tested?

While the acceptance test process is a separate and independent process, Title 24 regulations now require that a Commissioning Report be completed and provided to the Building Owner before a building occupancy certificate can be provided. A lighting control “acceptance test” report is required as part of this larger commissioning report.


If I am an electrical contractor, can I also acceptance test my own work?

Yes, as long as you are a state certified acceptance testing contractor and the work is performed only by a state licensed acceptance technician. For CALCTP we are identifying these as CALCTP-AT or CALCTP acceptance testing contractors.

Do I have to be a CALCTP certified contractor to be a CALCTP-AT Contractor?

No, you do not have to be a CALCTP certified contractor for installations to be eligible to become a CALCTP-AT Contractor.


If I’m an electrical contractor and I don’t have an acceptance technician on staff what do I do?

a.      Before January 1st you can take the CALCTP-AT class and become a certified acceptance test contractor, and encourage current CALCTP electricians to take the CALCTP-AT technician course.


b.      Per state law, after January 1, 2014  if the project impacts the spaces mentioned above, a building occupancy certificate will not be issued unless the control system(s) are acceptance tested. Thus, you would have to hire an outside acceptance technician to do this work.


Who can become an acceptance testing contractor?

Any state licensed C-10 contractor may become a CALCTP-AT contractor as long as they follow the requirements spelled out in the CALCTP-AT Handbook that will be available shortly on the website.


How long is the CALCTP-AT Contractor Course

The course is 4 hours.


Who can be an CALCTP Acceptance Test Technician?

Currently, we are focusing on the 2,000 Certified CALCTP electricians

How long is the CALCTP-AT Technical Course?

For those who hold a CALCTP installer technical certification, the CALCTP-AT Technical course is 16 hours in length and is a mix of lecture, labs, and a final exam.


(The CA LMCC has received a grant from the California State Employment Training Panel (ETP) to train electricians on advanced lighting controls. If your JATC is interested in receiving these funds for the Acceptance Testing training classes they must offer at least 24 hours of training. An optional 24 hour class is available to meet the reimbursement requirements.)


I was an acceptance technician before can I continue doing this work?

No, because of inconsistencies in the quality of acceptance testing, the 2013 Building Energy Efficiency Standards outlined new requirements for the skills and training that is needed to become an acceptance test technician or an acceptance test contractor. These State of California rules require that an individual must be licensed by a state certified acceptance technician provider. The rulemaking did establish CALCTP as the first (and currently the only) pre-approved interim provider for lighting controls acceptance technicians.

Where do I go for more information?

You can receive more information on the CALCTP website at: or by emailing CALCTP at


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