News and Updates

February 16 Program Updates

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Thank you to all of the Participating Contractors who attended the Project Processing Training event on January 31 and the 2017 Program Year Kick-off event on February 7! We hope you gained valuable knowledge and skills to put to use this upcoming year. Please visit the Program Resources, Past Training Presentations section of the Southern California Edison (SCE)/SoCalGas® Contractor Website to find copies of the presentation slides. 

SCE/SoCalGas Program Updates

Reminder: Post-Retrofit Submit All August 1 Program Rules Projects by March 31!

Any projects that were reserved before January 1, 2017 currently fall under the August 1 Program Rules. To remain eligible for processing under those rules, your project must be post-retrofit submitted in the WebApp by March 31, 2017. Projects post-retrofit submitted April 1, 2017 or later will be processed under the 2017 Program Rules.

Moisture Issues Reminder:

Due to the rainy weather and increased humidity we have experienced recently in Southern California, it is especially important to look for black organic matter (BOM)/mold in homes due to leaky roofs, broken pipes, crawlspace seepage, poor ventilation in bathrooms and other areas, etc.

SoCalGas Updates

Please note that the updates listed for the SCE/SoCalGas program above also apply to the SoCalGas-only program. If you have any questions, please contact your Account Management team.

QC Corner

The following areas are just some of the topics presented during the Technical Training at the 2017 Program Year Kick Off event. More of these topics will be in the next newsletter. The complete presentation slides are available on the Contractor Website under Program Resources, Past Training Presentations .

Gas Appliance Ambient Testing Procedure: Proper Test Locations

It is important to use the correct test locations when taking ambient carbon monoxide (CO) readings for gas furnaces, water heaters, and fireplaces. For forced air furnaces, test appliance ambient CO levels in the supply register closest to the FAU. For wall furnaces, test appliance ambient CO levels just above the heat exchanger on both sides of the draft hood inlet, or in the air flow of the built-in circulating fan if present. For floor furnaces, test appliance ambient CO by placing the probe six inches above the top of the appliance. For gas storage water heaters, test appliance ambient CO by placing the probe six inches above the water heater and inducer unit if applicable. For indoor direct vent gas tankless water heaters, test appliance ambient CO levels six inches above the top of the water heater. For gas fireplaces, measure just outside the fireplace directly above the unit.

Gas Log-Sets and Vermiculite

Vermiculite is a platy mineral that expands when heated. It is used in various building materials, including gas log sets to imitate the look and feel of glowing embers and ash beneath the logs.


A vast majority of the vermiculite used in the U.S. through the mid-1990s came from a mine contaminated with asbestos. Per BPI technical standards if vermiculite is suspected, the contractor must have the material inspected to determine if asbestos is present. This requirement must be followed before diagnostic testing (blower door, duct test, WCD testing) takes place. Numerous labs in the area are certified to perform this testing; contact your Account Manager if you need help locating a lab.

Reminder: R-8 Insulation Credit and Effective R-Value for Buried Ducts

For projects reserved on or after February 15, 2017, Participating Contractors may completely bury R-6 ducts to receive credit for R-8 ducts. This is applicable for projects participating in both Home Upgrade and Advanced Home Upgrade. To claim an effective R-Value above R-8 credit for buried ducts in Advanced Home Upgrade (Snugg Pro and Optimiser models only) additional requirements including HERS certification and Quality Insulation Installation (QII) requirements must also be met. A buried duct diagram is not required. For full details, see the February 1, 2017 newsletter available in the Updates tab of the Contractor Website.

Please contact your Account Management team if you have any questions.

Marketing Updates

Statewide Branding and Website Update

The statewide Energy Upgrade California brand is under new management in 2017. During this transition period, please continue to follow the current Energy Upgrade California Home Upgrade brand guidelines. Submit any co-branded materials to your Account Manager for review. Currently, the new management team is updating the statewide website, with a tentative relaunch date of Earth Day 2017 (April 22).

Review your Listing on the Contractor Website

Please take the time to review your current partnership listing on the Contractor Website Find a Contractor page. As noted above, the statewide website is currently under redevelopment, and the contractor listing is not active. This means that customers looking for a Participating Contractor will be directed to the SCE/SoCalGas Find a Contractor page. Review your listing in detail, and share any updates with your Account Manager. 

Join us for a Hands-On Mechanical Ventilation class in Murrieta on February 21 from 8:30 a.m. - noon.  Space is limited, so please contact your Account Manager for more information if you'd like to attend!  BPI BAs will earn CEUs.

February 1 Program Updates

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Don't forget to register for the Southern California Edison (SCE) and SoCalGas® Energy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade 2017 Program Year Kick-Off event scheduled for next Tuesday, February 7! Get updated on the 2017 program, new marketing materials, and a chance to win great tools! More details and the link to register are listed below.

SCE/SoCalGas Program Updates

One Year Cancellation Policy

In order to ensure that ineligible projects do not tie up reserved incentive funds, the program is now instituting a one year project cancellation policy. Effective April 1, 2017, if a project has not been completed within a year from the project reservation date, the project is subject to cancellation by the program. Participating Contractors at risk of getting their projects cancelled will be notified well ahead of time so that they are able to take action to prevent this. Please contact your Account Manager if you have any questions or concerns about any at-risk projects.  

Buried Duct Insulation Credit

For projects reserved on or after February 15, 2017 to claim R-8 duct insulation credit when duct sleeve insulation is less than R-8, the following requirements must be met:

  1. Ducts must have a minimum insulation sleeve value of R-6 prior to being buried, and be completely buried in loose fill fiberglass or loose fill cellulose insulation, to claim credit for a duct insulation value of R-8.
  2. Ducts must be covered by loose fill insulation to a level that is consistent throughout the entire attic area. Credit may not be taken for duct insulation when the surrounding attic insulation is lower than the top of the ducts and insulation is mounded over the area of the ducts. This requirement applies only to supply ducts, not to return ducts.
  3. Participating Contractors must submit an insulation certificate (or include a line on the current insulation certificate for wall, attic or floor insulation) to indicate the duct sleeve R-Value of the buried duct.
  4. A buried duct diagram is not required.

To claim buried duct effective R-Values greater than R-8 (as shown in Table 14 on Page 41 of the 2016 Residential Alternative Calculation Method Reference Manual) the following requirements must be met:

  1. Attic insulation must be certified by a HERS rater for Verified Quality Insulation Installation (QII). All applicable documentation (CF2R/3R-MCH-29 [buried ducts] and ENV-21, -22 and -23 [QII]) must be submitted to VisionDSM. A buried duct diagram is not required.
  2. Ducts must have a minimum insulation sleeve value of R-6 prior to being buried to claim buried duct effective R-Values from Table 14.
  3. Duct runs must be positioned to rest on the ceiling gypsum or be no more than 3.5" from the ceiling gypsum.
  4. Attic insulation must be a minimum of R-30 blown-in (loose fill fiberglass or loose fill cellulose) insulation (or a minimum of R-38 if claiming the attic insulation measure).
  5. Credit will be given for buried ducts on the ceiling only in areas where the ceiling is level and there is at least 6" of space between the outer jacket of the installed duct and the roof sheathing above.
  6. Ducts deeply buried in lowered areas of the ceiling and covered by at least 3.5" of insulation above the top of the duct insulation jacket may claim effective insulation of R-25 for fiberglass insulation and R-31 for cellulose insulation.

Reminder: Always Keep a Visual Record of Your Work!

Contractors are required to document various aspects of their projects. Date-stamped images of all pre-retrofit building details that affect the energy consumption of a home must be captured for all projects. Images are to be kept on file with the Participating Contractor until the project has been closed out. Images to be captured include but are not limited to: AC condensers, furnaces, heat pumps, ductwork, water heaters, insulation levels (attic, wall, crawlspace), attics, walls, knee walls, crawlspaces, windows and doors. Having these photos on file can help eliminate delays with processing should the need for verification arise.

Reminder: Test-In Manometer Images Requirement for Advanced Home Upgrade Custom Values projects

AHU Custom Values projects reserved on or after October 15, 2016 require that date-stamped images of test-in blower door and duct test manometers be submitted via the WebApp during the post-retrofit submittal process. If a hazardous condition prohibits blower door and duct testing at test-in, contractors will not be required to submit manometer images. These situations will allow vintage default values to be used in place of actual test results.

If you have any questions, please contact your Account Management team.

SoCalGas Updates

Please note that the updates listed for the SCE/SoCalGas program above also apply to the SoCalGas-only program. If you have any questions, please contact your Account Management team.

Historic Building Energy Efficiency Program (HBEEP)

Do you have customers in the SoCalGas/municipal territory with homes built in 1940 or earlier?  These homes have special historic characteristics to preserve, but can still greatly benefit from energy-saving upgrades, especially whole building air sealing and insulation measures. Participating Contractors who become HBEEP contractors offer upgrades to these customers that maintain the historic nature of the home, and incentives at 100% of the calculated amount.

If you would like more information on how to become an HBEEP contractor, please contact your Account Manager.

2017 Program Year Kick-off Event

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.


SoCalGas Energy Resource Center

9240 Firestone Blvd

Downey, CA 90241


Join the Home Upgrade program team for the 2017 Program Year Kick-Off Event! Specific topics that will be covered include:

  • Testing by Measure review
  • New Info Sheets, Incentive Application Forms and Incentive Calculators
  • Best practices
  • Marketing materials and co-branding
  • SB 1414
  • SoCalGas Historic Building Energy Efficiency Program
  • Buried ductwork greater than R-8, appliance ambient testing and more!

All attendees will receive a bag with updated program materials, a presentation flash drive and more! In addition, we will give a $200 gift certificate to TruTech Tools to one lucky winner. Breakfast will be provided and BPI CEUs are available.