News and Updates

September 1 Program Update

Friday, September 1, 2017

September 1 Program Update

Greetings to all Participating Contractors in the Southern California Edison (SCE) and SoCalGas® Energy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade Program. Below are important reminders and deadlines, so please read thoroughly and take note. Contact your Account Manager if you have questions about any of the topics. 

SCE/SoCalGas Program Updates

Important Reservation Deadlines to Save:
With the end of the year approaching, please carefully read the following deadlines to ensure your projects qualify for incentives:

  • All reservations must be submitted by September 30, 2017 6 p.m. PST. Any projects submitted after this time will not be eligible to participate in the Program for 2017. NO EXCEPTIONS.
  • In order to receive an incentive in 2017, all projects reserved by September 30, 2017 must be post-retrofit submitted, with all required documentation, by November 15, 2017 6 p.m. PST. NO EXCEPTIONS.
  • The Program will not accept any new reservations until January 2, 2018. For 2018 projects, the qualified energy efficiency measures must be purchased and completely installed between January 1, 2018, and December 31, 2018, by a Participating Contractor. NO EXCEPTIONS. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your Account Manager.

Important Reminder: Reserve Projects Before Construction
Due to the overwhelming success of the Program and limited incentive funds, it is extremely important to reserve and receive confirmation for your projects before you begin construction. Not only does this help ensure that your customer's project qualifies for incentives, it also protects your company from liability and maintains your good reputation with your customers.

Please remember the last day to reserve projects for the 2017 Program is September 30, 2017 6 p.m. PST. The Program will resume with new funds in January 2018.

Reminder: Dual Submission Is No Longer Accepted  
Multiple project reservations for the same residence (i.e., dual submission) will not be allowed for projects in both the SCE/SoCalGas and SoCalGas Programs. This went into effect on August 15, 2017. For residences seeking credit for multiple HVAC system upgrades, Participating Contractors should submit a single Advanced Home Upgrade project.

Reminder: Home Performance Coalition Conference & Trade Show Coming in November
The 2017 HPC Conference is coming in November to Long Beach at the Hilton! Click here to register and become a part of the home performance and weatherization conversation as we work together to strengthen the industry through education, networking and new ideas. Grow your business and enhance your career in California!

Energy Efficiency Financing for California Homeowners
If you have customers who are hesitant about moving forward with a project due to cost concerns, energy efficiency financing may offer an ideal solution. The California Hub for Energy Efficiency Financing (CHEEF) offers the Residential Energy Efficiency Loan (REEL) Program. REEL aims at providing attractive financing options to help residential customers complete more energy efficiency home improvement projects. For more information about this Program, view details here!

SoCalGas Program 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.

Important Reminder: SoCalGas Program Has Aligned with Joint Program Incentives and Measures
The SoCalGas Program requirements and incentives have been revised to align with the Joint SCE/SoCalGas Program for all projects reserved on or after August 15, 2017 and/or all projects post-retrofit submitted on or after October 1, 2017. More information about the changes that went into effect are located below. Information on these changes is also available under the SoCalGas Program Resources page on the Contractor Website.

Home Upgrade projects:

  • Incentive amounts per measure will match the Joint Home Upgrade Program (non-LADWP and non-Historic Building Energy Efficiency Program (HBEEP) municipal projects will be eligible for 30% of this)
  • Projects with less than 10% energy savings in the Home Upgrade Calculator must reach a minimum incentive amount of $1,200 for LADWP and HBEEP-eligible municipal projects or $360 for municipal projects without HBEEP
  • The Whole Building Air Sealing Leakage Reduction measure minimum in Home Upgrade will increase to 30% (it will remain at 15% in Advanced Home Upgrade)
  • Windows measure will no longer be offered in Home Upgrade (but still available in Advanced Home Upgrade)
  • Bonus incentive for second and third base measures will no longer be offered

Advanced Home Upgrade projects:

  • Base and kickers incentive calculation will be replaced with $130 per percentage energy savings (e.g., 22% energy savings = 22 x $130 = $2,860 incentive)

If you have any questions about the current incentive structure, please consult your Account Management team.

SoCalGas Incentive Calculators
Please be sure to use the updated SoCalGas Home Upgrade Incentive Calculator V3 and Advanced Home Upgrade Calculator V8.0, available for download in the Reference Materials section of the Contractor Website. 

SoCalGas Program Home Upgrade Incentive Calculator v3 must be used for projects reserved on or after August 15, 2017 or post-retrofit submitted on or after October 1, 2017. Projects are only eligible for pre-August 15, 2017 incentives if they are post-retrofit submitted by September 30, 2017 6 p.m. PST.

Advanced Home Upgrade Calculator V8.0 must be used for projects reserved on or after August 15, 2017 or post-retrofit submitted on or after October 1, 2017. Projects are only eligible for pre-August 15, 2017 incentives if they are post-retrofit submitted by September 30, 2017 6 p.m. PST.

When downloading and opening the Program calculators, please be sure to select "Enable Editing" and "Enable Content" to ensure accuracy of the calculated values.  

QC Corner

Excellent Job, Keep Up the Good Work!

It's hard to believe we are already nearing the end of the third quarter of 2017. Thanks to you, the Participating Contractors and Raters, the Program has come close to or exceeded meeting the 2017 goals. Congratulations and a big thanks to all of you for getting the Program to this point so early in the year. With the end of the year just around the corner, there are still projects pending completion and upgrades to be made.

This year the Program instituted changes in the gas leak testing procedures, CAS/CAZ testing guidelines and (soon to be announced) the duct test documentation policy. The gas leak and CAS/CAZ processes were put into place to help contractors/auditors more easily navigate the program and spend less time onsite while still maintaining a high level of safety for themselves, their employees and the occupants of the home. The new duct testing documentation process is designed to allow the QC Inspector to spend less time in customers' homes while still assuring a detailed and accurate duct test is performed.

During the June 6, 2017 technical training at the SoCalGas® Energy Resource Center, copies of various documents were distributed. Among the documents were the  Inspection Guidelines Version 7.0 and the Processing Guidelines June 2017

We addressed these documents in the July 13 newsletter. After questions from contractors regarding the Inspection Guidelines, we thought a quick review of these documents would be helpful.

The Inspection Guidelines V7 (updated June 2017) is designed to help contractors andauditors perform an inspection in the exact same manner as the QC inspectors. When contractors, auditors and QC inspectors complete inspections using the same methods, inspection findings should be consistent. Following the Inspection Guidelines reduces the chance that the QA/QC reviewers will identify an issue that the contractor may have missed or misinterpreted while on site.

The Processing Guidelines (updated June 2017) informs the reader about next steps when an issue is identified on a project. While there are multiple sections containing useful information in the Processing Guidelines, there are three sections that should be of particular interest to contractors and auditors: F.) PASS WITH RECOMMENDATIONS (Proceed with Payment), I.) REMEDIATION REQUIRED (Withhold Payment) and J.) FAIL ISSUES (Withhold Payment). Whenever an issue has been identified by an inspector or technical reviewer, look through these three sections, find the issue, and you will know if the issue needs to be recommended to the homeowner as a repair, replacement, or modification, OR if it causes the project to fail and must be remediated to receive an incentive payment. When in doubt, consult the Processing Guidelines and be sure to contact your ICF Account Manager if you need clarification!

One particular situation that was brought to our attention was that of a gas log fireplace that failed spillage and had a reading of 105 ppm CO; both results were under Worst Case Depressurization testing. The contractor referenced the Inspection Guidelines on page 75 and read the following:

A. CO Action Levels and Test Conditions

  1. CO action levels apply to testing under WCD and/or NC.
  2. When an appliance fails spillage, or exceeds CO action levels at steady state under WCD, re-test spillage and undiluted CO under NC.

The contractor understood item #2 to mean that if the gas log passed testing under Natural Conditions (NC) (which it did), then the appliance would pass-negating the WCD fail-and no remediation would be required. That is not the case here. Based on the table in the Inspection Guidelines that follows #2, if the appliance FAILS SPILLAGE under WCD and the CO reading is >25 ppm, REMEDIATION IS REQUIRED.

The reason for testing under natural conditions after a WCD fail is not to get the appliance to pass, but to help the contractor, auditor or technician get a better idea of what is causing the appliance to fail. Is the appliance failure because it was tested under WCD, or is there something wrong with the appliance that is causing high CO under WCD or NC?

We hope this explanation gives you a better understanding of why the appliance failed and a remediation is required.

One last note we would like to pass along: when you perform a blower door test, you must perform a positive pressure blower door test. This is the standard test method for all projects. The only time a negative blower door test should be performed is if there is a hazardous situation taking place outside the home that would put the technician's or occupant's health at risk if a positive blower door test was performed. In this case, photo documentation and a note describing the hazard in Vision is required.

Marketing Updates

Statewide Branding and Website Reminder
Participating Contactors should continue to follow the current Energy Upgrade California Home Upgrade brand guidelines and submit any co-branded materials to your Account Manager for review. Currently, the new management for the statewide Energy Upgrade California brand is continuing to update the statewide branding guidelines and will give ample time to contractors to switch over to the new guidelines and logos once completed. 

Home Upgrade Learning Center

Participating Contractors and their staff have access to the online Home Upgrade Learning Center for a variety of free courses! The learning center offers courses in building science and home performance, as well as sales and marketing, to increase knowledge and grow your business. Please take advantage of this free resource. Visit the Home Upgrade Learning Center to view current available courses.

For course recommendations, please feel free to contact your Account Manager.

Contact Us: 855-355-6675 | Email Us | Visit Our Website

Energy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade provides assistance and incentives for home improvement projects that can reduce energy use and make homes more comfortable. This statewide program is managed locally by utilities and regional energy networks and directed by the California Public Utilities Commission in collaboration with the California Energy Commission. Funding comes from utility customers under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission. Incentives are offered on a first-come, first-served basis and are effective until the funding is expended or the program is discontinued. Terms and conditions apply. See program rules for details. Programs may be modified or terminated without prior notice. ©2017 Trademarks used with permission and are property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.