News and Updates

August 15 Program Updates

Monday, August 15, 2016

Don't forget that program changes went into effect on August 1, 2016. Make sure you are now using Version 9.5 of the Incentive Application Forms for the Southern California Edison (SCE) and SoCalGas® program as well as the SoCalGas only program. Contact your account manager if you have any questions about the program changes.

SCE/SoCalGas Program Updates

What's in a Value?

When performing energy modeling, you will use different categories of values when building a model of the existing home. These values allow you to model correctly and consistently when submitting your project to the program. So what values are we talking about and what do we mean?

Types of Base Values

These are the values you will use to map out the existing home before you make improvements. There are different types of base values:

  • Vintage Default Value - Vintage default values must be used for all Default path projects and can be used for one or two values for Custom path projects. These values are based on the vintage of the home, and can be found in the Vintage Default Table. For example, in a home built in 1940s the vintage default value for attic insulation would be R-11.
  • Actual Values - These are measured or observed values collected at the on-site visit-they are the inputs you will use for what is actually existing in the home (for values not listed in the Vintage Default Table when modeling a Default path project). These can be values such as the square footage of the home or the square footage of windows present. You will also use actual values instead of default values when modeling Custom path projects. For example, you would use whatever existing R-value is present in the attic.
  • Program Values for Default Path -Program values are the same for all Default projects. These values are specific to the modeling software and Advanced Home Upgrade Default path projects; they will be set the same for all projects.
    •  Example: Snugg Pro Program Values for Default Path Projects
      • Dishwasher Efficiency (if present)
      • Refrigerator Efficiency
      • Thermostat Set-Points
      • Wind Zone
      • U-Value and SHGC for Windows
      • Lighting Type Present
      • Shielding
      • DHW Temperature Set-Point
      • Clothes Washer Efficiency (if present)
  • Program Values for Custom Path - Program values are the same for all Custom projects. These values are specific to the modeling software and Advanced Home Upgrade Custom path projects, they will be set the same for all projects.
    •  Example: Snugg Pro Program Values for Custom Path Projects
      • Dishwasher Efficiency (if present)
      • Refrigerator Efficiency
      • Thermostat Set-Points
      • Wind Zone
      • U-Value and SHGC for Windows
      • Lighting Type Present
      • Shielding
      • DHW Temperature Set-Point
      • Clothes Washer Efficiency (if present)

Improved Values

When modeling the upgrades in your scope of work you should always use actual values. You will only include the actual value of the measures you are upgrading. For example, you would input R-44 to gain credit for the R-44 attic insulation improvement you made in the home.

You may not change the default values when that value is not a part of the scope of work. For example, if you were not upgrading the attic insulation for a default value project in a 1940s home, no improvement would be indicated in the improvement section of the modeling software; it would remain at R-11 in the energy model.

Interested in learning more about the values to use in your model? Visit the Energy Modeling Resources Section of the Contractor Website for more information specific to your software vendor.

Length and Width Inputs in Snugg Pro

House Length and Width should always be measured and completed in the House Information of your Snugg Pro model. It is a very important field in calculating wall square footage, window square footage and energy savings. For more information please review Snugg Pro's guidance on this subject.

August Training Opportunities

Getting Started with Contractor Co-Op Webinar

August 22, 8:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

Are you looking for resources to help support your efforts with Home Upgrade? Contractor Co-Op could be a great fit for your business. This program supports Home Upgrade Participating Contractors by reimbursing 50% of qualifying business costs up to $10,000. This webinar will cover:

  • Who is eligible and how to get started with Co-Op.
  • Eligible purchases and example projects.
  • How to submit projects and utilize funds. 

Ongoing training is available from the Residential Energy Efficiency Loan (REEL) Assistance Program. After completing training and becoming a REEL participating contractor, you can offer financing options to help your customers complete bigger projects for deeper energy savings! Learn more about REEL

August 1 Program Updates

Monday, August 1, 2016

Thank you to the Participating Contractors who attended the Snugg Pro training event on July 26. And a special thank you to the Statewide Workforce Education and Training (WE&T) for funding the workshop! For those using CakeSystems, a training date for CakeSystems Version 2 will be coming soon.

 

SCE/SoCalGas Program Updates

Credit for Buried Ducts:

Buried ducts are an acceptable measure to meet the minimum of R-8 duct insulation requirement in the Program for both Home Upgrade and Advanced Home Upgrade. Advanced Home Upgrade Participating Contractors also have the ability to claim any additional savings associated with going above and beyond R-8 duct insulation by burying ductwork. However, to claim credit you must bury the ductwork, provide a buried duct diagram, and model the buried ducts according to the energy modeling software's requirements.

Below you will find an outline of how additional credit for buried ducts can be claimed in each software:

Snugg Pro

  • Snugg Pro recommends that contractors use the manual R-value setting for duct insulation and include the effective R-Value.
  • Click here to learn more about modeling buried ducts in Snugg Pro. 

CakeSystems

  • Modeling buried ducts is not available in CakeSystems Version 1, so additional credit for buried ducts is not available with this software at this time.

OptiMiser

  • When modeling duct insulation as a retrofit, model the effective R-value in the duct insulation improvement section for additional savings associated with burying the replacement ductwork.

Energy Pro

  • Model the effective R value of each of the duct runs in the HVAC distribution menu to gain additional credit for buried ducts.

Interested in learning more about how to calculate the effective R-Value of buried ductwork? Click here and scroll to Page 37 of the California Energy Commission's 2013 Residential Alternative Calculation Method Reference Manual for more information.

Updated Snugg Pro Documents Now Available! 

The following guidance documents have been updated to reflect the Snugg Pro Version 5 changes, and are available for download from Contractor Website's Program Resources page:

  • Guide to Snugg Pro Modeling for Energy Upgrade California Home Upgrade: A guide to using the program-required settings and values for Advanced Home Upgrade Default Values and Custom Values projects
  • Snugg Pro HPXML Guide: Directions for downloading the HPXML file from Snugg Pro and uploading it to the WebApp
  • Snugg Pro Test Home Worksheet: Sample project data you can model to verify that your modeling method achieves the same results as the program
  • Snugg Pro Test Home Worksheet Guide: A guide to help you model the sample projects in the Snugg Pro Test Home Worksheet

New Program Requirements and Software Vendors

The energy modeling software vendors will be incorporating the new program changes into their models' internal incentive calculators. Please use the  Advanced Home Upgrade Incentive Calculator  to verify the incentive amount while they make these updates, and for any projects claiming pool pumps, using EnergyPro, or with propane or natural gas service not provided by SoCalGas or Long Beach Gas & Oil.

Calculators FYI!

The Home Upgrade Energy Savings and Incentive Calculator and Advanced Home Upgrade Incentive Calculator should only be used in Microsoft Excel as software other than Excel (such as Google Docs) will not yield accurate results. 

WebApp Changes Launching August 1 for Projects Reserved after August 1

As a reminder, all Home Upgrade projects reserved on or after August 1 will need to meet a minimum of 200 points or at least 10% energy savings as determined by the Home Upgrade Energy Savings and Incentive Calculator.

In the WebApp, these projects will have a checkbox to be marked if the project is less than 200 points, but still achieved at least 10% energy savings. The energy savings from the calculator should then be entered in the field below it:

These fields will appear in the pre-retrofit reservation and post-retrofit submission WebApp in the sections where the project cost is entered.

Both Home Upgrade and Advanced Home Upgrade incentives will be capped at a maximum of 50% of the project cost.

New Incentive Applications and Marketing Materials

To reflect the new program changes, new incentive applications and information sheets have been released and are available for download from the Contractor Website and through the links below: 

Incentive Application: Please be sure to use the new version of the incentive application for projects reserved on or after August 1. Projects reserved on or after September 1 will not accept the v9 incentive application.

Home Upgrade Information Sheet: This updated form gives an overview the new program requirements as well as the measure specifications and points for your team members and customers.

Advanced Home Upgrade Information Sheet: This new form gives an overview of the requirements and measure specifications for Advanced Home Upgrade projects for your team members and customers.

Getting Started with Contractor Co-Op Webinar

August 22, 8:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. 

Are you looking for resources to help support your efforts with Home Upgrade? Contractor Co-op could be a great fit for your business. This program supports Home Upgrade Participating Contractors by reimbursing 50% of qualifying business costs up to $10,000.

This webinar will cover:

  • Who is eligible and how to get started with Co-op.
  • Eligible purchases and example projects.
  • How to submit projects and utilize funds.

SoCalGas Program

Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® - Home Performance Assessment Requirement: 

As of June 1, all SoCalGas Program Home Upgrade projects need a home assessment completed and a report uploaded at post-retrofit project submission. The assessment must include all of these tasks:

  • Customer interview
  • Review of energy bills, if available
  • Visual inspection of the home, interior and exterior
  • Minimum diagnostic tests
  • Data collection of building assemblies and mechanical systems

For your convenience, the program has created a form you can use for this:  the Home Energy Efficiency Assessment, available here. You are welcome to create your own report, if it includes at least all of the following items:

  • General information
  • Existing conditions
  • Prioritized list of recommended improvements (the proposed improvement measures)
  • Notice of health and safety related issues
  • Savings projections (estimated, modeled, or calculated)

If you would like to create your own report, you must have it reviewed by your Account Management team to ensure it meets the above requirements before submitting it in projects.

Program Changes Reminder: As noted previously, these changes will go into effect for projects reserved on or after August 1 and/or post-retrofit submitted on or after December 31:

SoCalGas-only Home Upgrade:

SoCalGas-only Advanced Home Upgrade: No changes to existing requirements

 

July 15: Program Updates

Friday, July 15, 2016

Greetings to all Participating Contractors from the Southern California Edison (SCE) and SoCalGas® Energy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade program team! Below, we share reminders about the upcoming program changes and important information to remember regarding Combustion Ventilation Air. 

SCE/SoCalGas Program Updates

Updated CAZ Forms in the WebApp: The CAZ Forms have been updated in the WebApp to align with the current program requirements and BPI Building Analyst Forms/Combustion Appliance Ambient Form.

Snugg Pro Version 5 Updates: Snugg Pro Version 5 has now arrived with new interface changes!  Please view Snugg Pro's full list of changes on their website here. The following Version 5 changes apply to the Energy Upgrade California Advanced Home Upgrade program:

  • New HVAC Interface:  The new interface gives you more options to specify the HVAC system, allowing for more complex system changes like heat pumps or the addition of duct systems. PLEASE NOTE: Although the interface allows for fuel switching, it is NOT allowed in the program.
  • Job Stages:  To help you sort your projects, jobs can now be labelled with different stages. To download the correct HPXML file for the program, the stage must be marked "Retrofit Complete."
  • Better User Interface:  The sub-navigation for the Input Screen and the Refine Screen is now on the left and clearly shows what section is being modified. The details section (base and improved values, notes and photos) of each input has moved to the right in the section header and no longer has the label "details."
  • New CAZ Input:  Detailed Combustion Appliance Zone (CAZ) inputs are now accessible, yet these inputs are not needed in the HPXML file required for the program and should be left blank.
  • Default Thermostat Set Points:  All new jobs created will have a default range of set points already given. However, as listed in Sections 2 and 3 in the program's Guide to Snugg Pro Modeling, these defaults must be overridden to 70 High/70 Low for the heating set point and 78 High/78 Low for the cooling set point.

The following guidance documents will be updated to reflect the Snugg Pro Version 5 changes:

  • Guide to Snugg Pro Modeling for Energy Upgrade California Home Upgrade ("Snugg Pro Guide")
  • Snugg Pro HPXML Guide
  • Snugg Pro Test Home Worksheet
  • Snugg Pro Test Home Worksheet Guide

Look for them on the Program Resources page of the contractor website soon!

Please join us for a hands-on Snugg Pro training event to help you become more proficient in using Snugg Pro in the Advanced Home Upgrade program. You'll learn to create models with the proper program settings, as well as tips and tricks for faster and easier energy modeling!

Date: Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Time: 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Location: SoCalGas Energy Resource Center

                  9240 Firestone Blvd., Downey, CA 90241

We will be offering a separate training workshop for energy modeling with CakeSystems Version 2 - details coming soon!

Program Changes Reminder: Thank you to everyone who joined our Program Changes webinars on June 29 and July 12 to learn about and discuss the new program requirements. As a reminder, these changes will go into effect for projects reserved on or after August 1 and/or post-retrofit submitted on or after December 31:

 SCE/SoCalGas Home Upgrade:

  • Projects must meet a minimum of 10% energy savings or 200 points
  • Incentives cannot exceed $3,000 or 50% of project costs (whichever is lower)

Joint SCE/SoCalGas Advanced Home Upgrade:

  • Project incentives cannot be more than 50% of project costs

Refer to the Program Change Overview for a detailed description of the new program requirements. 

New Calculators for Home Upgrade and Advanced Home Upgrade: 

The new calculators for the program changes are now available! We have also created User Guides to help you become more familiar with the calculators. Please note you will need to be logged in to the contractor website to access the following documents:

Home Upgrade Incentive Calculator

Home Upgrade Incentive Calculator User Guide

Advanced Home Upgrade Incentive Calculator

Advanced Home Upgrade Incentive Calculator User Guide

Please review them now and use them when selling any projects that you anticipate may be reserved on or after August 1 and/or post-retrofit submitted on or after December 31 to offer correct incentive estimates to your customers.

SoCalGas Program

Program Changes Reminder: As noted above, these changes will go into effect for projects reserved on or after August 1 and/or post-retrofit submitted on or after December 31:

SoCalGas-only Home Upgrade:

  • Projects must meet a minimum of 10% energy savings or 200 points
  • Incentives cannot exceed $3,000 or 50% of project costs (whichever is lower)

SoCalGas-only Advanced Home Upgrade:

  • No changes to existing requirements

Media Campaign: To increase awareness of the Home Upgrade program throughout its service territory, SoCalGas is pleased to announce the deployment of a five-month media campaign exclusively promoting Energy Upgrade California Home Upgrade! The campaign comprises digital advertising (banner ads, keyword search in English and Spanish, contextual ads and Facebook advertising) and 17 billboards in locations throughout the SoCalGas service territory including Hidden Hills, Pasadena, Culver City, Anaheim and San Pedro. Customers are directed to visit socalgas.com/upgrade, where they can then easily reach the Find a Contractor tool to find a Participating Contractor in their area.

We have developed two alternate versions of the program trifold brochure (view version Aview version B) that complements the campaign. Please contact your Account Manager if you would like to request copies of the brochure for use with your customers. 

 Quality Control Corner

Combustion Ventilation Air (CVA) is air for combustion, ventilation and dilution of flue gases for appliances installed in buildings. CVA is a common term used in association with fuel-burning appliances. With few exceptions, most fuel-burning appliances require sufficient CVA to assure proper combustion and safe operation. Without sufficient CVA, it is possible for the appliance to backdraft or create excessive amounts of carbon monoxide.

Many homes have combustion appliances located within conditioned space or adjacent to conditioned space. For this reason, it is important to follow CVA requirements. Doing so helps reduce the chances of putting the homeowner or occupants at risk from a health or safety issue.

A major issue QC Inspectors discover during their inspections is insufficient CVA. While this situation is easily fixed in most scenarios, one must first understand the basics of CVA. There are five main aspects of CVA. Depending on the home, appliance/s and their locations, one or more of the following items may apply:

  • Indoor CVA deals with how much room volume is available to supply an appliance(s) with the proper amount of CVA for the combined Btuh rating of all the appliances located in the Combustion Appliance Zone (CAZ).
  • The standard method of calculating CVA is 50 cu.ft./1000 Btuh. A confined space is a location where combustion appliances do not have enough room volume to provide sufficient CVA. Insufficient CVA may cause the appliance to backdraft or produce excessive amounts of carbon monoxide.
  • Outdoor CVA deals with vent and or duct design and location as well as sizing to ensure sufficient CVA is available to the appliance(s) located in the CAZ in a confined space. This is also an important factor that allows heat and combustion gasses to be able to vent from the CAZ.
  • Reduction Factors for Net Free Vent Area (NFVA) calculations when the combustion appliance is in a confined space. These are formulas used to determine how much airflow blocking effect a louver, mesh, or screen will have on the amount of air available to the appliance(s) located in the CAZ. See Quality Control Inspection Guidelines V6.0 June 2016, Chapter Five, Section I, Table 5-3.
  • The Known Air Infiltration Rate Method for Indoor CVA Calculations must be used when a blower door test has been performed and the ACHn are ≤0.60. In some instances, this method allows for less CVA per Btuh. What this means to contractors is in some cases less room volume is required for CVA. See Quality Control Inspection Guidelines V6.0 June 2016, Chapter Five, Section H, Table 5-2.
    • When the ACHn is >0.60, the standard method must be used for CVA calculations. To determine the proper calculation method for CVA, there are detailed guidelines regarding this in the Quality Control Inspection Guidelines V6.0 June 2016, Chapter Five, Section G, Table 5-1. 

Key CVA Points to remember

  • CVA is critical for safe and clean combustion for natural and induced draft appliances.
  • CVA does not apply to gas dryers or direct vent appliances. Direct vent appliances draw combustion air from outdoors.
  • CVA applies to cook top burners, ovens and broilers for homes built in 2008 or later.

When CVA room volume in a CAZ is insufficient, additional room volume can be provided by connecting adjacent room(s) with sufficient volume. To include adjacent room volume, use any of the following methods:

  • For indoor CVA, upper and lower unscreened louvered grills that communicate with an adjacent room/space can be installed. The upper vent must begin within 12" of the ceiling and the lower vent must begin within 12" of the floor. The NFVA of each vent must be 1 sq. in. per 1,000 Btuh input, with a minimum of 100 sq. in. per vent.
  • Replace solid doors to adjacent rooms with louvered doors (excluding bathrooms and bedrooms).
  • Permanently remove doors (and hinges) to adjacent rooms (excluding bathrooms and bedrooms).
  • Appliances located in an enclosure closet adjacent to a confined space can have the enclosure door sealed and draw its CVA from outdoors, an attic or a crawlspace.
  • An open combustion appliance can never be located in a sleeping area or a bathroom!
  • A forced air unit located in an enclosure closet can never draw combustion ventilation air from indoors!

This illustration shows one method of supplying CVA to a CAZ from the outside. In this particular situation all of the CVA is being supplied from outdoors (vented attic) through vertical ducting. This is only one of a variety of methods available to supply the CAZ with adequate CVA. Please refer to the Inspection Guidelines for additional CVA options.

It is the contractor's responsibility to confirm that sufficient CVA is available for all combustion appliance/s at the home. It makes no difference if the combustion appliance(s) is existing or part of the contractor's scope of work. Minimum CVA requirements set forth in the Inspection Guidelines must be followed.

This is not a fully detailed document on CVA. Detailed CVA information may be found in the Quality Control Inspection Guidelines V6.0 June 2016, Chapter Five. For more information on CVA, you can also reference the California Mechanical Code (CMC) section 7 on Combustion Air.

Snugg Pro Training

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Snugg Pro Training

The Southern California Edison (SCE) and SoCalGas® Energy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade program team invites you to a workshop designed to help you become proficient in Snugg Pro according to Advanced Home Upgrade program requirements.

Topics will include:

  • Creating an accurate energy model from start to finish
  • Proper settings to use in Snugg Pro (Specific to Energy Upgrade California Home Upgrade program)
  • Tips and tricks for quicker and easier energy modeling
  • Generating customized energy audits
  • Uploading the HPXML report to the WebApp for project close-out
  • Troubleshooting HPXML upload errors

 

Date: Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Time: 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Location: SoCalGas Energy Resource Center, 9240 Firestone Blvd., Downey, CA 90241

Please contact your Account Management team with any questions. (For those using CakeSystems, a training date for CakeSystems Version 2 will be coming soon).

Program Changes Webinar: Mandatory Attendance

Thursday, July 7, 2016

 Program Changes Webinar: Mandatory Attendance

As outlined in the Program Changes newsletter, the Southern California Edison (SCE)/SoCalGas® Energy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade program has updated project requirements to ensure continuation of the program without interruption through 2016 and beyond.

To make sure Participating Contractors understand how these changes will affect them, Program Management will hold a second webinar on Tuesday, July 12 at 7 a.m. If you did not attend the webinar held on Wednesday, June 29, 2016, your attendance at this second webinar is mandatory. Log in information will be provided prior to the webinar.

Program Changes Update

Monday, June 27, 2016

In order to ensure the continuation of the Southern California Edison (SCE)/SoCalGas® Energy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade program without interruption through 2016 and beyond, updates to project requirements have been made. These updates are outlined below. Program Management would like to thank Participating Contractors who provided input and feedback on these changes.

The outlined program changes will go into effect for projects reserved on or after August 1, 2016. Projects reserved before that date must have all post-retrofit submission completed prior to December 31, 2016 in order to maintain the pre-change rebates and project requirements.

SCE/SoCalGas

Home Upgrade: Projects must meet a 10% energy savings minimum OR

meet a 200 point minimum. All incentives are a maximum of $3,000 or 50% of the final project cost. The $10 per point structure will remain the same. All other existing program requirements will remain the same.

For example, if your project's final cost was $10,000, the maximum incentive available is $3,000; however if your project's final cost was $4,000, the maximum incentive available is $2,000. 

Advanced Home Upgrade: Project incentives will also be capped at 50% of project cost. Questions about the incentive changes are answered below. 

SoCalGas Program

Home Upgrade: Projects must meet a 10% energy savings minimum OR meet a 200 point minimum. All incentives are a maximum of $3,000 or 50% of the final project cost. The $10 per point structure will remain the same. All other existing program requirements will remain the same.

For example, if your project's final cost was $10,000, the maximum incentive available is $3,000; however, if your project's final cost was $4,000, the maximum incentive available is $2,000. 

Advanced Home Upgrade:  No changes at this time.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What if I reserve my rebate before August 1, 2016 but do not submit my post-retrofit application ahead of the December 31, 2016 deadline?

 The new program requirements will apply.

  • What if I reserve my rebate on August 2, 2016?

The new program requirements will apply.

  • How do I learn more?

You may contact your Account Management team with questions. Please join us on Wednesday, June 29, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. for a webinar to discuss and review these program changes with the Program Team. Register here. Log in information will be provided prior to the webinar.

  • Were contractors allowed to provide input on this change?

Yes, some Participating Contractors reviewed these changes and provided input to the Program Management team.

  • Will the incentives and requirements go back to the old requirements on January 1, 2017?

The new program requirements will also apply in 2017.

 

June 15: Program Updates

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Greetings to all Participating Contractors from the Southern California Edison (SCE) and SoCalGas® Energy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade program team! We hope you all have a busy and great summer and we look forward to seeing you at events and training in the fall!

SCE/SoCalGas Program Updates

Program Change Announcement: 

In order to ensure the continuation of the SCE/SoCalGas Home Upgrade program without interruption through 2016 and beyond, updates to the incentive structure and project requirements have been made. These updates are outlined below. Program Management would like to thank Participating Contractors who provided input and feedback on these changes.

The outlined program changes will go into effect for projects reserved on or after August 1, 2016. Projects reserved before that date must have all post-retrofit submission completed prior to August 1, 2016 in order to maintain the pre-change incentives and program requirements. 

SCE/SoCalGas Home Upgrade: Home Upgrade projects must meet a 10% energy savings minimum OR meet a 200 point minimum. All incentives are a maximum of $3,000 or 60% of the final project cost. The $10 per point structure will remain the same. All other existing program requirements will remain the same.

For example, if your project's final cost was $10,000, the maximum incentive available is $3,000; however if your project's final cost was $4,000, the maximum incentive available is $2,400. 

SCE/SoCalGas Advanced Home Upgrade: Changes to Advanced Home Upgrade project incentives will also be capped at 60% of project cost. Questions about the incentive changes are answered below. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: How will these changes affect incentives?

 A: Home Upgrade average incentives under the new program requirements are expected to be approximately $2,500.

A: Advanced Home Upgrade average incentives under the new program requirements are expected to be approximately $3,600 (current average).

Q: What if I reserve my incentive before August 1, 2016 but do not submit my post-retrofit application ahead of the August 1, 2016 deadline?

A: The new program requirements will apply

Q: What if I reserve my incentive on August 1, 2016?

A: The new program requirements will apply

Q: How do I learn more?

A: Contact your Account Management team

A: Review the changes with Program Management

A: Please join us on Monday, June 20, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. for a webinar to discuss and review these program changes with the Program Team.  Register here. Log-in information will be provided prior to the webinar.

Q: Were contractors allowed to provide input on this change?

A: Yes, some Participating Contractors reviewed these changes and provided input to the Program Management team.

Q: Will the incentives and requirements go back to the old structure on January 1, 2017?

A: The new program requirements will continue to apply in 2017.

Q: How will I calculate the energy savings for a Home Upgrade project?

A: The program will provide a Home Upgrade calculator that will assist Participating Contractors with the new requirements, including the 10% energy savings minimum.

 

Customer-Facing Frequently Asked Questions Available on the Contractor Website:

Do your customers have questions about the program? The program has developed a Frequently Asked Questions document for you to help address and provide accurate information when discussing the program with your customers. 

Multiple Submission Projects: 

When submitting dual submissions for the same residence, you are required to check the box indicating a dual submission project in order to alert the program that there will be more than one project submitted in conjunction. This is required at both the reservation and post-retrofit submittal stage. You can find an example of the check box for both stages below.

Reservation Stage:

Post-Retrofit Stage:

SoCalGas Program Updates

SoCalGas Program Requirements and Incentive Structure: At this time, no updates or changes will be made to the SoCalGas programs. These programs will continue to follow the "existing structure" columns above. 

Home Performance with ENERGY STAR®: 

As a reminder Home Performance with ENERGY STAR is now available in both Home Upgrade and Advanced Home Upgrade. As a Participating Contractor you have Home Performance with ENERGY STAR marketing materials available for your use. Contact your Account Management team to learn more.

Click here to tell us what type of marketing materials are most useful for your business.  

 

Home Energy Score:

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Home Energy Score provides information that helps your customer understand their home's energy efficiency and how to improve it.

The Home Energy Score includes three parts:

  1. Score of 1 to 10
  2. Facts about the home
  3. Recommended improvements to increase the score and the energy efficiency of the home

Home Energy Score is only available for single family homes and townhomes and in areas served by DOE's official Home Energy Score partners.

What are benefits of becoming a Home Energy Score Home Assessor and providing a Home Energy Score to your customer?

  • Home Energy Score can be a powerful motivator in getting homeowners to make energy efficiency improvements
  • Quick, simple marketing tool to sell home performance upgrades
  • Provides estimates on how recommended energy upgrades can reduce a customer's utility bills
  • Official way to reflect and document improvements and changes made to the home
  • Carries the credibility of the U.S. Department of Energy

Interested in becoming an assessor or learning more? Review the Home Energy Score section of the  May 2016 Technical Training slides or visit the Home Energy Score website

Multiple Submission Projects: As noted above for the joint SCE/SoCalGas program, when submitting dual submissions for the same residence, you are required to check the box indicating a dual submission project in order to alert the program that there will be more than one project submitted in conjunction. This is required at both the reservation and post-retrofit submittal stage. You can find an example of the check box for both stages below. 

Reservation Stage

Post-Retrofit Stage

June 1: Program News and Updates

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Program News and Updates: June 1, 2016
 
Greetings to all Participating Contractors from the Southern California Edison (SCE) and SoCalGas® Energy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade program team! Thank you to everyone who attended our events this spring! We will see you again in the fall for our September 8 Technical Training event. Look out for fall training updates and other announcements this summer. Thank you as always for all the hard work you do to bring energy efficiency to your customers!
 
 

SCE/SoCalGas Program Updates

Introducing a New Customer Promotion - Smart Strips: 

Customers chosen for Quality Control (QC) inspection will receive an Embertec Emberstrip AV+ installed in the home during the inspection . Requirements for customers to receive an Emberstrip AV+ include the following:

  • Must participate in a Home Upgrade or Advanced Home Upgrade project chosen for inspection
  • Customers will be responsible for completing an Emberstrip AV+ Installation Completion form at the time of the install
  • A maximum of one Emberstrip AV+ is available per Service Account holder

For more information on the features and benefits of installing the Emberstrip AV+ in homes click here

Do you have a customer that was not chosen for an inspection but has expressed that they wish to have an Emberstrip AV+ installed in the home? Contact your Account Management team to set up a special installation appointment with RHA.

Revised Customer Emails: You provided your feedback, we listened! We have reduced the number of emails sent to customers and have softened the language in all emails that your customer will receive.

REMINDER: You should always be providing the customer's email during the pre-retrofit process. Customers are asked to complete a customer satisfaction survey. These results (or lack thereof) have an impact on your inspection rates.

Rate Change Updates: Beginning June 1, 2016 SCE residential customers' rates will move from a 4 rate tier system to 3 tiers. This simplification is led by the state's investor-owned utilities (SCE, PG&E, and SDG&E) and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and is designed to better align rates with the actual costs of service. For more information about this new rate change and to help your customers calculate their new rate, visit the Rate Changes page on the SCE website here!

 

SoCalGas Program Updates

Home Performance with ENERGY STAR®: Don't forget that both SoCalGas Advanced Home Upgrade and Home Upgrade projects are now Home Performance with ENERGY STAR! In order to be eligible you must:

  • Simply sign the CPA addendum for Home Upgrade and Advanced Home Upgrade and follow program and branding guidelines
  • Complete an Assessment at every project
    • Every SoCalGas Home Upgrade project reserved on or after June 1 is required to have a home assessment included in the supporting documentation for the project. Any projects reserved on or after this date without documentation outlining the home assessment will be sent back to the contractor for revision during the post retrofit review process.

Speak with your Account Management team to learn how to create your own assessment, sign the CPA Addendums or how to fully leverage the ENERGY STAR brand.

Revised Customer Emails: You provided your feedback, we listened! We have reduced the number of emails sent to customers and have softened the language of all emails that your customer will receive. 

REMINDER: You should always be providing the customer's email during the pre-retrofit process. Customers are asked to complete a customer satisfaction survey. These results (or lack thereof) have an impact on your inspection rates.

Certificates of Completion: Certificates of completion that list the measures completed in the home now include the ENERGY STAR logo for both Advanced Home Upgrade and Home Upgrade projects. Studies have shown that certificates like these can help aid homeowners in the process of selling their home. According to ENERGY STAR, "A newly released Better Buildings white paper lists this certificate as one of the first steps towards valuating energy efficiency in the real estate transactions."

Energy Modeling Updates

Snugg Pro Modeling Engine Updates: If you are a Participating Contractor using Snugg Pro you may have noticed that the modeling engine has been upgraded. As a result, please model your project again before you submit your post-retrofit information to the WebApp. Please visit Snugg Pro's Knowledge Base for more information on the upgrades.

Announcing New Energy Modeling Training Materials! New materials have been released to help you learn how to model projects accurately in the program. 

Home Upgrade Learning Center: Is your BPI Building Analyst certification coming up for renewal? Are you hoping to brush up your building science skills on your own time during the busy summer season? Do you have a new staff member in the office who you would like to train on building science and home performance? As a Participating Contractor you have access to the Home Upgrade Learning Center at no cost to you. More than 25 courses are available, ranging from home performance centric courses such as Basics of Building Science to courses on Marketing and Sales to help transform your business. Many courses also include Continuing Education Units to use towards your BPI Building Analyst recertification. 

Unsure how to navigate or access the Home Upgrade Learning Center? Access our Home Upgrade Learning Center User Guide for help or contact your Account Management team.

Don't forget! The Home Upgrade Learning Center is available on your smartphone or tablet for anywhere, anytime learning! To download the app, simply search for 'LearnUpon' in the Apple App Store and use your email and password for the online Learning Center to access your account. For a preview of the look, feel, and features of the app, click here! 

Home Upgrade Learning Center Featured Content: HVAC to Home Performance: "Home Performance" represents a great expansion opportunity for HVAC contractors. This course discusses the market opportunity of why home performance makes sense within an HVAC business.  It also introduces the pathway to success: Building on an existing customer base and offering customers more comprehensive solutions. Log on to the Home Upgrade Learning Center to take this course today.

New Resources Available on the Contractor Website:  New resources have been added to the Program Resources section of the Contractor Website. In the Additional Resources Section under Program Documents you will find quick links to: ASHRAE, Title 24 and the current BPI Technical Standards for your reference.

 

Program News and Updates: May 16

Monday, May 16, 2016

Greetings to all Participating Contractors from the Southern California Edison (SCE) and SoCalGas® Energy Upgrade California Home Upgrade program team! Thank you to everyone who attended Project Processing Training on May 5 and our second 2016 Technical Training Workshop on May 10. Please visit the Resources section of the Contractor Website to download past training presentations. Below, we share brief program updates and information on upcoming training opportunities. Additional training will be offered later this year after the busy summer season. If you need any support or training for new staff during this time, please reach out to your account manager for individualized support. Thank you as always for all the hard work you do to bring energy efficiency to your customers!

SCE/SoCalGas Program Updates

April Hands-On Mechanical Ventilation and BPI BA Training: Thank you to everyone who came out to both the Hands-On Mechanical Ventilation and BPI BA Training! We hope you gained the skills and knowledge of the preferred testing method as well as learned the building science, home performance and diagnostic testing skills needed to become BPI certified. Congratulations to those who have become newly certified as BPI Building Analysts! 

Introducing a New Customer Promotion-Smart Strips: We are pleased to announce a new promotion to benefit your customers - the installation of an Emberstrip AV+ Smart Strip! The RHA team will install the Smart Strip during the inspection appointment. More details to come soon! 

 

SoCalGas Program Updates

Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® for Home Upgrade is hereAs of May 1, 2016 all Home Upgrade projects in the SoCalGas program are now ENERGY STAR. In order to be eligible to participate and market yourself as a Home Performance with ENERGY STAR contractor, you must:

  • Sign the CPA addendum and follow program and branding guidelines. If you did not attend the May technical training workshop and sign your addendum there, please complete the form and return to your account manager.
  • Complete an Assessment at every project. A limited amount of pre-printed copies of the program-developed assessment form are available for Participating Contractor use - contact your account manager for more details. We've also developed a fillable PDF form you can use on your computer or tablet.

Anatomy of a Home Assessment: Now that home assessments are required for SoCalGas Home Upgrade Home Performance with ENERGY STAR projects, what should you include? You can use the program-developed assessment form or make your own! If you are using your own, it will need to include the following:

  • General customer information
  • Customer interview with issues/need assessment
  • Walk through/assessment of the home's current conditions using the whole-house approach
  • Review of the assessment results, recommendations, and benefits 

What does ENERGY STAR mean for your business?

  • Awareness: the National Awareness of ENERGY STAR study performed by the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) in 2014 shows that 89 percent of households recognize the label
  • Co-brand with Home Performance with ENERGY STAR
    • Materials available from SoCalGas
    • Materials available from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)

Contact your Account Manager for guidance on adding Home Performance with ENERGY STAR to your materials

Energy Modeling Updates

Cake Modeling Guidance: Are you unable to test Ductwork with a Blower Door or Duct Blaster due to circumstances at the home? Or not able to test Measured Efficiency of the Furnace or Recovery Efficiency of the Domestic Hot Water (DHW) system? Use the updated guidance in the table below:

*Reasons a Furnace cannot be tested may be due to: Furnace(s) may be non-operational, and testing cannot be conducted. There could be other safety concerns that prevent the Furnace from being tested in the pre-retrofit stage such as a cracked heated changer, a disconnected vent pipe, or rodent feces. Manufacturers may also prohibit the system's B-Vent to be drilled, or contractor's testing equipment may not be capable of Measured Efficiency testing.

**Formulas for conversion for Recovery Efficiency (RE) and Efficiency Factor (EF) are as follows:  RE=15.1/(15.1/EF) - SB and EF = EF = 15.1/(15.1/RE + SB) where SB = stand by loss in MMBtu/yr. Cake Systems SB for Gas DHW = 7.0  

Note: When a Default value is used at test-in and the measure is not upgraded as part of the project's scope of work, the Default value must be entered at test-out.   

Quality Control Corner

New Quality Control (QC) Tools are available!

There are five separate powerful QC tools designed to assist with the submittal of accurate values (the only one required to be submitted to the program is the Mechanical Ventilation (MV) calculator when MV is required). The calculators and combustion safety form were developed to ensure Participating Contractors have the same tools as the QC vendor. The intent of utilizing the QC tools is to provide consistency by ensuring the Participating Contractors and QC have the ability to calculate values the exact same way. Though it is not required that the combustion safety form is used, it is strongly encouraged because it will help facilitate the data collection process required by the program due to the BPI 1200 changes. The new QC Tools can be found in the Program Resources Section > Reference Materials.

This new resource allows you to calculate:

  • Dimensions
  • Duct Leakage
  • MV Requirements and the Minimum CFM Capacity (Must be submitted when MV is required)
  • Intermittent MV
  • Combustion Safety results

Spotlight on Building Air Sealing and the MV Calculator

  • Use this tool to calculate Building Air Leakage percentage reduction and determine when MV is required.
  • If MV is required, you must use the MV calculator to determine the minimum CFM capacity for the home.
  • You must upload the completed MV calculator to your project at post-retrofit submission when MV is required or your project will not be processed.
  • Follow these easy steps:
    • Step 1: Determine if MV is required by completing the white cells in the Structure Information and Building Air Sealing Sections.

  • Step 2: Interpret the results. Have you hit your Air Sealing target if you are claiming the measure? Is MV required?
  • Step 3: Calculate the Minimum MV Air Requirement (CFM). Input your CFM50 test results into the white cells in the MV CFM calculation section. Next, determine the Weather Station Factor (WSF) by checking the table below the calculator and choosing the weather station geographically closest to the dwelling's location. Input the WSF in the correct cell.

Sales and Marketing Training

May 19, 2016

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

The SCE and SoCalGas Energy Upgrade California Home Upgrade Program team invites you to a workshop designed to help you gain the knowledge, skills and tools that will help you sell more projects, increase profit margins, and win in competitive situations. Join instructor Judy Rachel to discuss and refine selling skills based on the home performance model!

Access to Training is available 24/7

Is your schedule full during business hours with no time to fit training and continuing education into your busy schedule? The Home Upgrade Learning Center is available for you to gather knowledge and further your skills as a home performance professional 24 hours a day via computer, smart phone or tablet. Questions on how to navigate the Home Upgrade Learning Center? Reference the Learning Center User Guide  for help!

 

 

 

Program News and Updates: April 29, 2016

Monday, May 2, 2016

Greetings to all Participating Contractors from your Southern California Edison (SCE) and SoCalGas® Energy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade team! Below are a few updates and upcoming training opportunities for Participating Contractors!

Get CEUs From Your Phone:

We are excited to announce that the Energy Efficiency Learning Center is now available as an app! You can now complete your Onboarding training anywhere, anytime! To download the app, simply search for 'LearnUpon' in the app store and use your email and password for the online Learning Center to access your account. For a preview of the look, feel, and features of the app,click here!

Duct Testing Reminder for Home Upgrade and Advanced Home Upgrade: 

  • For Home Upgrade projects, Participating Contractors have the option to use either Total Leakage or Leakage to the Outside testing methods to meet duct leakage program requirements.
  • For Advanced Home Upgrade projects, Participating Contractors will use the duct test method required by the modeling software selected for project energy modeling:
    • CakeSystems: Leakage to Outside
    • EnergyPro: Leakage to Outside
    • Optimiser: Leakage to Outside
    • SnuggPro: Leakage to Outside

Mechanical Ventilation Policy Change:

The QA/QC Inspection Guidelines V6 went into effect on April 1, 2016. Within those guidelines an update was made to the Mechanical Ventilation (MV) policy. The trigger for when MV is required has stayed the same: if the Building Airflow Standard (BAS) is < 70%, MV must be installed. For projects submitted in the Reservation stage after April 1, please note that the new MV policy will be enforced. The Program has developed a calculator to assist Participating Contractors with the calculation for the minimum CFM capacity needed when MV is required. The calculator can be accessed on the Contractor Website in the Reference Materials section. When Mechanical Ventilation is required, please upload a copy of the completed Mechanical Ventilation Calculator with your contractor post-retrofit submission.

Simultaneous Project Submission Requirements:

In September 2015 guidance was provided on submitting multiple projects per home. Namely that Advanced Home Upgrade Default Path projects could only be submitted as the first project at a home, which still holds true. However, as of May 15, 2016 any new reservations received will be limited to a maximum of two total Home Upgrade projects. Additional Home Upgrade projects beyond the maximum of two will not be accepted. After the second project, future projects are required to be an Advanced Home Upgrade Custom project. Advanced Home Upgrade Custom projects do not have a submission maximum.

As a reminder, all projects submitted to the program must meet all requirements independently to be eligible for incentives. 

Updated Combustion Appliance Safety Form:

An updated Combustion Appliance Safety (CAS) testing form is available here for your use. The CAS form is up to date with the newly released QA/QC Inspection Guidelines and is meant as a collection form and reference for your use. This form is not required in your project submissions, however you will need to provide the data on this form if requested by the program during the submission process.

SoCalGas Program Updates

Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® (HPwES) for Home Upgrade is Here: 

HPwES for Home Upgrade is now available for the SoCalGas only program! Previously, HPwES was only available for Advanced Home Upgrade. Make sure to join us at the May 10 Technical Training for more information and details about this exciting program!

Project Processing Training

Thursday, May 5, 2016

8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Location: SoCalGas Energy Resource Center, 9240 Firestone Blvd., Downey, CA 90241

Join us for an in-person workshop on Home Upgrade and Advanced Home Upgrade Project Processing! Space is limited, register today!

TechnicalTrainingHome Upgrade Technical Training

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

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

Location: SoCalGas Energy Resource Center, 9240 Firestone Blvd., Downey, CA 90241

Topics Include:

  • Overview of exciting program enhancements
  • Modeling Guidance and Updates
  • Power Strip Promotion information
  • Documentation updates and streamlining
  • California Hub for Energy Efficiency Financing
  • QA/QC Updates

In addition, meet with Mechanical Ventilation manufacturers to learn more about the equipment and benefits of the installation of Mechanical Ventilation in your customers' homes! Come and speak to Panasonic, Broan/NuTone, Tamarack  and more to learn about their products! 

Sales and Marketing Training

Thursday, May 19, 2016

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

Location: SoCalGas Energy Resource Center, 9240 Firestone Blvd., Downey, CA 90241

The Home Upgrade Program team invites you to a workshop designed to help you gain the knowledge, skills, and tools that will help you sell more projects, increase profit margins, and win in competitive situations. Join instructor Judy Rachel to discuss and refine selling skills based on the home performance model!

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