News and Updates

January 15 Program Updates

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Program News and Updates: January 15, 2016

Happy New Year! Before we dive in to 2016, we'd like to take a look back at the incredible results and impacts of your work last year. You, our Participating Contractors, are the reason for the great success of the Energy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade program in the Southern California Edison (SCE) and SoCalGas® service territories during 2015. 

Combined, the energy savings impacts of the two programs are equivalent to removing the Greenhouse Gas Emissions of more than 6 million miles driven by passenger vehicles or the Carbon Dioxide produced by the gasoline in 40 tanker trucks. In a place like the greater Los Angeles area, these impacts are important for the health and safety of our community now and for future generations. 

Pat yourselves on the back - you've created jobs, helped put money back into the local economy, provided safer, more comfortable homes for your customers and made a positive impact on the environment. Here's to even more success in 2016!

SCE/SoCalGas Program Updates

Lighting Innovations Program Coming to a Close: Up to $300 in select LED lighting products are available for SCE/SoCalGas Home Upgrade jobs of 150 points or greater through the SCE Lighting Innovation Program through February 29, 2016. Please submit projects by February 15 to allow time for validation and issue of a voucher. Just enter American Lighting or Walters Lighting in the promo code area, and be sure to have your customer sign the Program Agreement. Upload the Program Agreement with your pre-retrofit project reservation in the WebApp. Contact your Account Manager with any questions, and remember that this program offering comes to an end on February 29.

Incentive Application Form Update: We are pleased to inform all Participating Contractors that the 2016 Incentive Application Form (Version 9) is available for download on the program website! Please begin using the new Incentive Application Form immediately for all new projects. 

Visit the SCE/SoCalGas Program Documents Page

Blower Door Testing Procedure Clarification: The positive blower door test is the default test method for Energy Upgrade California Home Upgrade (this applies to both the SCE/SoCalGas and SoCalGas programs). Please be aware that this is how all homes should be set-up and tested in this manner unless circumstances prevent a contractor from doing so. For clarification on positive blower door testing procedures, please see Section 7 Energy Upgrade California Home Upgrade Program QA/QC Inspection Guidelines. For an opportunity to brush up your skills with hands-on training, please see our Training section below.

Fifth Annual Contractor Appreciation Night: Thank you to everyone who was able to attend our Fifth Annual Contractor Appreciation Night event held in Garden Grove in December! Congratulations to all award winners for the 2015 SCE/SoCalGas program, noted in the following list (see the SoCalGas Program Updates section below for a listing of SoCalGas program award winners):

  • Quality Workmanship Gold: McMaster Heating & AC
  • Quality Workmanship Silver: Burgeson's Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc.
  • Quality Workmanship Bronze: Zero Energy Contracting, Inc.
  • Highest kWh Reduction: Home Performance Matters
  • Highest Therms Reduction: Home Performance Matters
  • Rising Star Award: Burgeson's Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc.
  • Customer Satisfaction Top Performer: McMaster Heating & AC
  • Bronze Achievement: Alps Air Conditioning and Heating
  • Silver Achievement: Home Performance Matters
  • Gold Achievement: NuQuest Industries, Inc.
  • Performer of the Year: Zero Energy Contracting, Inc.  

SoCalGas Program Updates

Incentive Application Form Update: The 2016 Incentive Application Forms (Version 9) for SoCalGas and SoCalGas/LADWP projects are also available for download on the program website! Please begin using the new Incentive Application Form immediately for all new projects.

Visit the SoCalGas Program Documents Page

Emergency Equipment Replacement: As we enter the El Niño and associated bad weather, you may receive calls for emergency equipment replacement. Don't forget that these customers are still eligible for Home Upgrade/Advanced Home Upgrade incentives - simply complete the normal program process after you have completed the equipment installation. No additional forms or paperwork are required! 

Fifth Annual Contractor Appreciation Night: Congratulations to the following Participating Contractors who earned 2015 awards from the SoCalGas program!

  • Quality Workmanship Gold: Landmark Construction Crew Incorporated
  • Quality Workmanship Silver: AZ A/C and Heating
  • Quality Workmanship Bronze: Precise Air Systems, Inc.
  • Highest Therms Reduction: Zero Energy Contracting, Inc.
  • Rising Star Award: Hackney, Inc.
  • Customer Satisfaction Top Performer: Building Doctors
  • Bronze Achievement: Building Doctors
  • Silver Achievement: Mediterranean Heating and Air Conditioning
  • Gold Achievement: Progressive Insulation and Windows
  • Performer of the Year: Zero Energy Contracting, Inc. 

Energy Modeling in 2016

In 2016 there will be changes to modeling software; it is our goal to keep all Participating Contractors informed on the ever-changing energy modeling software marketplace. We will continue to provide updates as we receive them in our bi-weekly updates to Participating Contractors. As always, you can reach out to your Account Manager for individual support in selecting and using energy modeling software.

HPXML Uploading to the WebApp is Live: Home Performance XML (HPXML) is a data transfer standard for the home performance industry and has been launched in the SCE/SoCalGas and SoCalGas Advanced Home Upgrade Programs. What does this mean for you? Compatible energy modeling software will now transfer some of the project information directly into the WebApp.  This will reduce the amount of data you will need to input because the HPXML will input it for you! 

HPXML Upload to WebApp Troubleshooting: Are you having trouble downloading and uploading the HPXML of your energy model from the modeling software to the WebApp? Are you receiving an error message when you upload your HPXML to the WebApp? Click the links below to download step-by-step guides on how to download the HPXML and troubleshooting tips for error messages you may receive.

Cake HPXML Guide

SnuggPro HPXML Guide

kW Calculations: kW calculations are provided by some software vendors, including SnuggPro, and will soon be provided by all of the approved modeling software vendors. Please enter the value of the kW as reported by the software if it is available to you. If the modeling software you are using does not calculate kW for you, please enter 99 in the pre-retrofit kW calculation and 99 into the post-retrofit kW calculation on the energy modeling results pages of the WebApp (for reservation and for post-retrofit submission). If this information is not provided by the vendor or these results are calculated, the program will be making these calculations for contractors. Submitting other numbers into the kW calculation fields may cause an inaccurate estimate of the incentive to be calculated for the Notice of Incentive Reservation. 

EnergyPro Sunset Date: Last accepted new reservations for projects using EnergyPro will be March 31, 2016. The last day to complete post retrofit submission on EnergyPro modeled projects will be May 31, 2016. A note on switching software after a reservation has been submitted: if you choose to change your energy modeling software from one to another, a new reservation must be submitted indicating the updated software and accurate energy modeling results. Please be sure of the energy modeling software you plan to use for the close-out of the project at the time of the reservation--as the software used at pre-retrofit must match the software used at post-retrofit.  Once post-retrofit documentation is submitted, the energy modeling software choice is final and cannot be modified.

List of Current Approved Software Vendors for 2016: The following vendors are currently approved for Energy Upgrade California Home Upgrade in 2016. We will update Participating Contractors if/when new vendors are approved.  

  • Cake
  • Optimiser
  • SnuggPro 

We encourage you to contact more than one vendor and test a few projects to identify which fits best with your business. Training on modeling software is offered by each vendor. 

Navigating New Modeling Program Features and Program Requirements: Many of the new modeling programs boast features to aid your energy modeling. Program policy dictates that the following occupant behavior settings be used in all models:

  • Thermostats: Winter Indoor Temp (or heating) set to 70 degrees, Summer Indoor Temp (or cooling) set to 78 degrees
  • Lighting: Do not enter or include a lighting count in your energy model submitted to the program

Non-Approved Measures: In order to provide a more accurate projection of the incentive to the homeowner, only submit energy models that include savings for approved measures. Any measures submitted in the energy model for savings and incentives that are not approved (domestic water heater temperature reduction, for example) will be removed from the model and the savings and incentive will be recalculated. See the SCE/SoCalGas and SoCalGas Incentive applications for a list of approved measures. Interested in still including those measures in the model but not affecting the energy savings based incentive calculation? Ask your AM how to create a new measure without energy savings. This will allow you to show the measure as complete and an accurate incentive estimate to your customer. 

Guidance on Using Utility Bill Calibration: If you are using SnuggPro, there is an option to submit the utility bill data to aid in the calibration of the model; however, if you plan to submit through the default program you may not use this feature. Instead, you will be using program defaults. View this helpful graphic to determine if your chosen project path allows you to use this feature.

Upcoming Training Opportunities

Project Processing Training

January 26, 2016

8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Southern California Home Upgrade team invites you to join us for an in-person workshop on Home Upgrade and Advanced Home Upgrade Project Processing. Breakfast and lunch are on us! We will also be highlighting the new 2016 Incentive Application Form!

Hands-on Training Series - Positive Blower Door Testing Procedure

February 5, 2016

8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Join the Home Upgrade team to learn how to perform positive pressure blower door session. Classes limited to ten attendees - reserve your spot today!

BPI BA Certification

February 8-17, 2016

Becoming a Building Performance Institute (BPI) Building Analyst (BA) will help you expand your knowledge of building science, home performance, diagnostic testing and more, and will allow you to perform Advanced Home Upgrade projects!

The SCE/SoCalGas Home Upgrade program offers Participating Contractors the opportunity to participate in BPI BA training and obtain certification at a discounted rate. Contact your account manager for discount details, as a special code will be required at registration in order to qualify.

Networking Event

February 25, 2016

5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Join your Southern California Home Upgrade team for a fun night of networking with other Participating Contractors. Meet potential partners to work with you on Home Upgrade projects in 2016!