News and Updates

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!

April 15 Program Updates

Monday, April 18, 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!

Pool Pump Clarification:

For Advanced Home Upgrade default projects seeking pool pump credit - do not model the base or improved pool pumps in your OptiMiser, Cake, or SnuggPro (or EnergyPro) model. Credit will be given for the pool pump during the processing phase of the project by the program processing. Simply indicate that you replaced the pool pump in the WebApp and provide the required documentation to qualify. 

If you are submitting your project via the custom path and are utilizing Optimiser or SnuggPro's utility bill calibration option* you may model existing pool pumps only. This will allow the model to calibrate properly. However, pool pump upgrades should NOT be modeled. Credit will be given for the pool pump during the processing phase of the project by the program processing. Simply indicate that you replaced the pool pump in the WebApp and provide the required documentation to qualify. 

*Utility bill calibration is only availale when submitting projects as Advanced Home Upgrade Custom Path.Utility bill calibration may not be used in projects being submitted to the Advanced Home Upgrade default path.

Incentive Checks: 

Do you have a project where the utility account holder's primary mailing address is not the same as the premise address of the project? If this is the case, it is possible for checks to be sent to the account holder's primary address when it is not the same as the project address. In order to do so, during post retrofit submission simply indicate via a note in the general notes section that the check mailing address is different and include the correct mailing address for the check instead. 

When incentive checks are addressed to the contractor, only one address may be used per contractor account. If your address changes it should be updated as soon as possible to ensure the checks that have been assigned to you arrive without a problem!

If you have an address update or question, please contact your account management team.

Streamlined Required Documentation:

You asked? We listened! You will now only need to upload the applicable signature pages of the Incentive Application to the WebApp at post-retrofit submission. See below for the list of pages that are now required for each application:

  • SCE/SoCalGas Version: pages 9, 10 and 11*
  • SoCalGas/LADWP: pages 8 and 9
  • SoCalGas/Municipal: pages 8, 9 and 10*

*When Applicable

Cake Systems Custom Path Modeling Clarification:

As a reminder, projects submitted using Cake Systems are required to be custom path projects. In previous newsletters guidance was provided that Participating Contractors should use recovery efficiency of Domestic Hot Water (DHW) systems and measured efficiency for Furnaces when modeling the existing condition in a home. Please see the table below to determine which input to use for existing values based on the conditions present for DHW, Furnace, Blower Door Testing and Duct Testing that may preclude you from determining the custom value.  

*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                    

**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.

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.   

Updated Documentation for BPI Building Analyst Certification Form:

The BPI Building Analyst form has been updated to reflect the QA/QC Inspection Guideline changes that went into effect April 1, 2016. All projects signed on or after April 1, 2016 require the updated certification form. How will you know you have the correct form? The up to date form shows that it was updated in 2016 in the bottom right hand corner of the page. The new form can be accessed in Program Resources > SCE/SoCalGas Program > Project Processing Documents or SoCalGas Program > Project Processing Documents.

Announcing--One form for both programs:

The new BPI BA Certification Form will be available for use in both programs. You no longer need to match the form you are using to the program the project is submitted to for this document, as it is a one-form-fits-all document! Simply have your BPI BA complete the pre and post retrofit forms and submit the form at post-retrofit submission regardless of project territory. Important Note: This is applicable to only the BPI BA Certification Form--Incentive Applications should always match the appropriate utility providers. Furthermore, the SoCalGas BPI BA Ambient form should only be submitted to the SoCalGas Home Upgrade Program when applicable.  

Hands-On Technical Training: Mechanical Ventilation

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

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

Location TBD

Join the Home Upgrade team to learn Hands-On Mechanical Ventilation skills. The class is limited to ten attendees--reserve your spot today! The address for the class will be provided after successful registration for the event.

BPI BA Training

Monday, April 25 - Friday, April 29, 2016

8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Location: Hampton Inn, Cypress

                 10900 Yamaha Ave

                 Cypress, CA 90630

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 Energy Upgrade California® Advanced Home Upgrade projects! The Southern California Edison and SoCalGas® Energy Upgrade California 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 registration details.

Project Processing Training

Thursday, May 5, 2016

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

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

Home Upgrade Technical Training

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

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

Specific topics will be announced soon!

Meet and Greet with Valley Oak Credit Union: REEL Program Training Session

Monday, April 11, 2016

Do you work in the Madera or Tulare counties? Would you like to learn about a way to close more deals? The California Hub for Energy Efficiency Financing (CHEEF) is launching the Residential Energy Efficiency Loan Assistance Program (REEL) aimed 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!

You're invited to:

Meet & Greet with Valley Oak Credit Union & REEL Program Training Session

Date: Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Time: 8:00 - 11:00 a.m.

Location: SCE Energy Education

                   Edison Building

                   4175 South Laspina Street

                   Tulare, CA  93274

REEL Program Benefits for You:

  • Learn to close more deals and expand your customer base
  • Receive up to $7,000 in co-op marketing funds
  • Get featured on the statewide Energy Upgrade California website
  • Gain access to free training opportunities with BPI CEUs!

Register today--seating is limited to the first 30 contractors! To register for this free training, email The CHEEF team with your business name, phone number and contact person to cheef@treasurer.ca.gov.

Program News and Updates: April 1, 2016

Monday, April 4, 2016

Greetings to all Participating Contractors from your Southern California Edison (SCE) and SoCalGas® Energy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade team! Thank you to everyone who attended the March Technical Training workshop last week. The slides are available for download in the Resources section of the contractors' website.

New Consumer Rebates on Select Variable-Speed Pool Pumps:

Beginning today, April 1, Variable Speed Pump Consumer Rebates of up to $100 on IntelliFlo® and IntelliPro® 2 VST Pumps are available for your customers ($50 on all other IntelliFlo and IntelliPro Variable Speed Pump models which includes VS, XF, VF, VS+SVRS, and i1 models). For more information and details about this promotion please click here.

Meet & Greet with Valley Oak Credit Union & REEL Program Training Session: Do you work in the Madera or Tulare counties? Would you like to learn about a way to close more deals? The California Hub for Energy Efficiency Financing (CHEEF) is launching the Residential Energy Efficiency Loan Assistance Program (REEL) aimed 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 and be sure to join us for our Meet & Greet

Upcoming SCE Marketing: During May, SCE will promote the Home Upgrade program through the following tactics:

  • Direct Mailer - targeting approximately 150,000 residential customers with a high propensity to participate in Home Upgrade based on age of home and other demographic information.
  •  HTML Email- Targeting approximately 355,000 high-propensity customers
  • Bill Message: 4.2 million residential customers will see information about Home Upgrade during the May billing cycle
  • Home Upgrade Message Integration in SCE OPower Energy Report (email) - to be distributed in May

Upcoming SoCalGas Marketing: During the months of April and May, SoCalGas will promote the Home Upgrade program as well!

  • Bill Insert - targeting 3.9 million residential SoCalGas customers. The bill insert features information on Home Upgrade in both English and Spanish. These bill inserts will hit customer mailboxes April 1 through April 30.
  • Email blast - during May, SoCalGas will distribute a targeted HTML email to customers promoting the program.
  • In addition, SoCalGas is currently developing a comprehensive media plan to promote Home Upgrade to targeted customers. Stay tuned for additional details!

EnergyPro Extension Date: You provided feedback, we listened! The EnergyPro sunset date has been extended. New reservations through EnergyPro will be accepted until further notice. During the interim the program will continue to provide training materials to aid the transition from EnergyPro to your new software choice. As a reminder, the new acceptable software choices are: SnuggPro, CakeSystems and Optimiser. Please tell us which you are planning to switch to here.

New Inspection Guidelines: Check the Program Resources section for the NEW QA/QC inspection guidelines.

Meet & Greet with Valley Oak Credit Union & REEL Program Training Session 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

8:00 - 11:00 a.m.

SCE Energy Education Center

Edison Building

4175 South Laspina Street, Tulare, CA  93274

Join Valley Oak Credit Union and learn about the REEL Program benefits available for both you and your customers! Learn to close more deals and expand your customer base, receive up to $7,000 in co-op marketing funds, get featured on the statewide Energy Upgrade California website, and gain access to free training opportunities with BPI CEUs! 

Register today--seating is limited to the first 30 contractors! To register for this free training, email The CHEEF team with your business name, phone number and contact person to cheef@treasurer.ca.gov.

Hands-On Technical Training: Mechanical Ventilation

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

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

Location TBD

Join the Home Upgrade team to learn Hands-On Mechanical Ventilation skills. The class is limited to ten attendees--reserve your spot today! The address for the class will be provided after successful registration for the event.

  

BPI BA Training

Monday, April 25 - Friday, April 29, 2016

8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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 Energy Upgrade California® Advanced Home Upgrade projects! The Southern California Edison and SoCalGas® Energy Upgrade California 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 registration details.

Industry Event: 2016 ACI National Home Performance Conference

April 4 through April 7

Austin, TX

Energy Modeling Updates: EnergyPro Extension

Monday, April 4, 2016

EnergyPro Sunset Extension

You provided feedback, and we listened! The EnergyPro sunset date has been extended. Newreservations modeled using EnergyPro will be accepted until further notice.

During the interim, the program will continue to provide training materials to aid the transition from EnergyPro to your new software choice. 

As a reminder, the new acceptable software choices are: SnuggPro, CakeSystems and OptiMiser. Please inform us as soon as possible which software vendor you are planning to switch to. Let your account manager know or respond here. Please provide your input by April 8 as it will allow the program to better support you with training and other valuable resource materials.

CakeSystems and the Default Program

Upon review of CakeSystems Version 1, it has been determined by the program that it is not appropriate to utilize within the default path. Moving forward, only custom jobs will be accepted for CakeSystems projects with Version 1. The program will reassess Version 2 of CakeSystems for use within the default path this summer when Version 2 is released. 

If you are currently using CakeSystems Version 1 please cease modeling projects using default. Do you currently have some CakeSystems default projects that are modeled or tested-in? Your account manager will be reaching out to you to provide guidance.

CakeSystems and Measured Efficiencies

When modeling with CakeSystems using the custom path, you will need to determine the steady state efficiencies for domestic hot water system and measured efficiency of the furnace instead of utilizing Energy Factor and AFUE (respectively).

Please reach out to your Account Manager with any questions or for more information on the software options. 

March 15 Program News and Updates

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Interested in helping make an Energy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade project more affordable for your customers? With the right resources you can help your customers perform energy-efficient upgrades that fit within their budget. Inform your customers about the available financial incentives, financing options and tax credits and let them start taking advantage today!

The Home Upgrade program also offers a variety of financing options to make a Home Upgrade more affordable for your homeowner. There are a variety of interest rates as well as loan options amongst all of the financing companies. To find an option that is right for your customers, please share the Financing options chart with them.

The Federal Tax Credits are back for 2016! Don't forget that tax credits are available through December 31, 2016 on select high-efficiency equipment products. For a complete list of eligible equipment and other important information about available tax credits follow the links below. And, as always, make sure to inform your customers that they should speak to their tax advisor about any tax credits they plan to claim. 

HVAC Tax Credits

Insulation Tax Credits

Water Heater Tax Credits

Window and Door Tax Credits

February Networking Event: Thank you to everyone who came out to our Home Upgrade Networking huddle! We hope you made lasting connections with one another and learned how you can expand and grow your business.

SCE/SoCalGas Program Updates

CF3R Clarification: CF3R documentation is used in the program to verify duct leakage amounts, and as such it is important that all information is correct and accurate on the CF3R. Please be sure to review the information before you submit it to the program and request any corrections from your HERS Rater prior to closing out your project.

Fuel Switching Reminder: Projects that include fuel switching, regardless of any other items included in the scope of work, do not qualify for any incentives under the Energy Upgrade California Home Upgrade Program through SCE or SoCalGas. Please contact your account manager if you have any questions regarding this policy. You will soon see a reminder in the WebApp regarding this policy when you submit your incentive application.

VisionDSM User Interface Update: VisionDSM recently made an update to the design of the user interface. A review of these changes will be covered at the upcoming Contractor Technical Training; see below to register for that event. Have a quick question about the change? Contact your account management team!

SCE/SoCalGas Incentive Application Version 9: Please make sure you are using Version 9 of the SCE/SoCalGas Incentive Application Form. We will not accept previous versions of the application as they are out of compliance.

Participating Contractor Survey: SCE and SoCalGas Program Management would like to request your participation in a very brief survey regarding your participation in the program. Your feedback will help us as we plan training opportunities and events for you in 2016!

Take the survey

SoCalGas Program Updates

SoCalGas Incentive Application Version 9: Please make sure you are using Version 9 of the SoCalGas and SoCalGas/LADWP Incentive Application. We will not accept previous versions of the application as they are out of compliance.

Home Performance with ENERGY STAR®: Don't forget that if you've signed the CPA addendum and are performing Advanced Home Upgrade projects in the SoCalGas service territory to tell your customers about Home Performance with ENERGY STAR and what it means to their home and project. To learn more about Home Performance with ENERGY STAR attend our Social Media 101 Training to gain the knowledge and skills to further market your company. If you have questions or would like more guidance or information, please contact your account manager. 

Energy Modeling Updates

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. 

EnergyPro Sunset Date Reminder: 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.

Pool Pumps: When seeking pool pump credit do not model the pool pump in your OptiMiser, Cake, or SnuggPro (or EnergyPro) model. Credit will be given for the pool pump during the processing phase of the project. Simply indicate that you replaced the pool pump in the WebApp and provide the required documentation to qualify. 

Updates from CakeSystems:  

  • CakeSystems now supports the calculation of kW.
  • CakeSystems Nominal versus Effective values: CakeSystems energy calculations from the EPS Inputs page uses nominal insulation R-values for building shell inputs. The software uses the provided nominal R-value and automatically assigns an effective R-value for the shell assembly based on the research that Michael Blasnik used in creating the SIMPLE energy modeling algorithm. In the Manage Projects section of CakeSystems, you can make adjustments to the effective R-values of the assembly using the Edit Actual Values feature. There, the effective R-value is displayed, and can be adjusted for calculations using an override. This process has proven the most accurate in calculating the energy profile of a building, and predicting the impact of improvements to the structure and systems of the building.

Buried ducts: Additional energy savings credit for buried ducts is not available in CakeSystems. Buried ducts may still occur on the project to qualify for the minimum insulation requirement of R-8, but no additional energy savings credit will be given. 

Quality Control Corner

Managing expectations plays a critical role when it comes to customer satisfaction. All contractors participating in the Program should inform homeowners they may/will be subject to a third party inspection by the Program's Quality Control vendor, RHA Inc.

Each of the first three projects submitted by a contractor are subject to a 100% sampling rate. After that, homes will be inspected based on a proprietary sampling protocol. Subsequent to the first three projects the contractor will not know which projects will or will not be inspected.

These Quality Control inspections are a program requirement designed to ensure the project's scope of work is in compliance with the program guidelines. There is no charge to the contractor or the homeowner for the inspection.

Notifying the homeowners of the possibility of an inspection will not only prepare them for a call from RHA to schedule the inspection, it may expedite the scheduling of the inspection, and reduce the project's cycle time.

Home Upgrade Technical Training

March 24, 2016

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

Join us for Technical Training! Specific topics that will be covered include:

  • Documentation reminders
  • Energy Modeling Updates
  • Positive Pressure Blower Door Testing
  • Updated BPI 1200 program related requirements

After Technical Training, please join us for lunch and Social Media 101 training to learn proper branding and useful marketing tactics. 

SocialMediaSocial Media 101 with Bonus Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® Training 

March 24, 2016

12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Interested in reaching potential customers via social media? Want to expand your current online presence, or learn what an online presence even is? We are pleased to offer a Social Media 101 training seminar for Participating Contractors who service the SoCalGas territory to prepare you to take the Internet by storm! As a bonus, we'll also cover what you need to know to use the Home Upgrade and Home Performance with ENERGY STAR brands in your own marketing efforts, whether print or online. Topics will include:

  • Seminar with overviews of the major social media platforms and the most active audiences
  • Determining best platforms to engage customers
  • Establishing your brand on social media
  • Management tools for streamlined distribution
  • Q&A session with a digital and social media expert, Bethany Gardner
  • How to use the Home Upgrade and Home Performance with ENERGY STAR brands in your own marketing efforts
  • At the end of the session you will receive additional Home Performance with ENERGY STAR marketing materials

Industry Event: 2016 ACI National Home Performance Conference

April 4 through April 7

Austin, TX

 

Updates and Training Opportunities: March 1, 2016

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Updates and Training Oportunities: March 1, 2016

Greetings to all Participating Contractors from your Southern California Edison (SCE) and SoCalGas® Energy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade team! Below, you'll find information about upcoming training opportunities with the program, as well as an update from the Optimiser software team. 

Announcing BPI 1200 Related Program Updates: BPI has announced changes to their standards and as a result the program will be implementing some changes that will reduce the burden for combustions safety testing. As a contractor you can expect:

  • Streamlined worst case depressurization setup and criteria
  • Simplified spillage testing
  • The elimination of instrumental draft testing
  • No more recommendations for undiluted CO Action Levels
  • The depressurization limit table for combustion appliances will no longer be instituted
  • New calculation method for mechanical ventilation

These changes will go into effect on April 1, 2016. To best prepare for these changes, the program will be providing support prior to and after the effective date. You can expect:

  • A detailed outline of related changes
  • Updated QA/QC inspection guidelines
  • Guidance during the March 24 technical training workshop
  • CAS/CAZ and ventilation worksheets

FAQs from Customers: What are the most common questions you receive from your customers? We are developing a FAQ sheet to address frequent questions from customers, and we would like your input! Please email your questions to the program team. 

Fuel Switching Reminder: Projects that include fuel switching, regardless of any other items included in the scope of work, do not qualify for any incentives under the Energy Upgrade California Home Upgrade Program through SCE or SoCalGas. Please contact your account manager if you have any questions regarding this policy. You will soon see a reminder in the WebApp regarding this policy when you submit your incentive application.

Optimiser: Report Content YOUR Way

In a recent newsletter, "Better Reports Faster," the Optimiser team presented its new streamlined report production. Many users have requested a more powerful way to add content to reports. To complement streamlined report production Optimiser created Canned Responses for memo controls. 

Controls for notes, recommendations, and other inputs let you:

  • Create as many versions of the report content as you like, and save for future use
  • Select any one of these "canned" versions that you want to be used for the default
  • Add bold, italic or underline formatting
  • Add paragraph breaks, bullets, or numbered lists
  • Open and edit the memo from within the Report Generator

Canned Responses are available everywhere that long notes can be saved and used in reports. 

BPI BA Re-Certification Written Exam

March 11, 2016

Energy Upgrade California Home Upgrade - BPI Building Analyst Written Exam Re-certification. ** Payment must be in the form of money order or cashiers check only. **

BPI BA Re-Certification Field Exam

March 18, 2016

Energy Upgrade California Home Upgrade - BPI Building Analyst Field Exam Re-certification. ** Payment must be in the form of money order or cashiers check only. **

Webinar: Home Energy Loans Basics

March 23, 2016

8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

Learn the basics of Home Energy Loans, streamlined financing for Home Upgrade and Advanced Home Upgrade projects.

This 30-minute webinar will help you show your customers:

  • What is available: low rates, flexible terms, no fees
  • Who is eligible: Homeowners who complete HU/AHU with 660+ FICO
  • How to apply: Quick online application with instant pre-approval

For more information on Home Energy Loans click here

Technical Training

March 24, 2016

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

Join us for Technical Training! Specific topics that will be covered include:

  • Documentation reminders
  • Energy Modeling Updates
  • Positive Pressure Blower Door Testing
  •  Updated BPI 1200 program related requirements

Industry Event: 2016 ACI National Home Performance Conference

April 4 through 7

Austin, TX

February 15 Training Updates

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Greetings to all Participating Contractors from your Southern California Edison (SCE) and SoCalGas® Energy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade team! Below, you'll find information about upcoming training opportunities with the program, as well as an update from the CakeSystems software team. 

Home Upgrade Learning Center: Are you a BPI Building Analyst interested in gaining more CEUs? Are you new to home performance and would like an introduction to building science? Interested in transforming your business from HVAC to Home Performance? Exploring new marketing and sales skills? 

The Home Upgrade Learning Center offers a growing selection of training courses and resources to Participating Contractors in order to enhance your participation in Home Upgrade in the SCE and SoCalGas service territories. After registering, you will be able to browse courses, add them to your course list and undertake self-paced training on your own schedule. 

Access the Home Upgrade Learning Center here. If you need your access information, please contact your account manager. 

Have a topic you would like to have added to our learning center? Email Hannah Laughlin.

Modeling Gas Fired Wall Furnaces with CakeSystems Software: CakeSystems software can model gas fired wall furnaces; however, there is not currently an input choice for this type of heating system.  In the screenshot below, you will see the correct way to enter a gas wall furnace.  This combination of inputs will negate the duct distribution from a forced air gas furnace  so that it models as a stand alone radiant system.  Gas wall furnaces will be included as an HVAC option in CakeSystems Version 2. 

Participating Contractor Survey: If you have not done so yet, SCE and SoCalGas Program Management would like to request your participation in a very brief survey regarding your participation in the program. Your feedback will help us as we plan training opportunities and events for you in 2016! 

Take the Survey

Networking Event

February 25, 2016

5:00 p.m. to 7:00 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!

BPI BA Certification

March 7-16, 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.

BPI BA Re-Certification Written Exam

March 11, 2016

Energy Upgrade California Home Upgrade - BPI Building Analyst Written Exam Re-certification. ** Payment must be in the form of money order or cashiers check only. **

BPI BA Re-Certification Field Exam

March 18, 2016

Energy Upgrade California Home Upgrade - BPI Building Analyst Field Exam Re-certification. ** Payment must be in the form of money order or cashiers check only. **

Technical Training

March 24, 2016

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

Join us for Technical Training! More information about the specific topics to be covered will be available soon.

Industry Event: 2016 ACI National Home Performance Conference

April 4 through 7

Austin, TX

The Home Performance Coalition has announced that they will award 75 contractor scholarships to attend the ACI National Home Performance Conference in Austin, thanks to a grant received from E4TheFuture, a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening the home performance industry. Applications must be received by February 19

Updates and Training Opportunities: February 1, 2016

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Greetings to all Participating Contractors from your Southern California Edison (SCE) and SoCalGas® Energy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade team! Below, you'll find information about upcoming training opportunities with the program, as well as information about scholarships available for the ACI National Conference coming up in April in Austin, TX. 

2016 Communications: During 2016, we're planning to send communications to Participating Contractors twice a month, on or around the 1st and 15th of each month, with longer formal newsletters coming your way in January, March, May, July, September, November and December. We'll keep you up-to-date on training opportunities, industry events and other topics of interest. We will also send occasional updates on special events and any topics that need to be communicated right away. Please make sure that everyone at your company who should receive these updates is on our contact list - feel free to send additional email addresses to your Account Manager. 

Federal Tax Credits: We'd also like to share some exciting information about the renewal of Federal Tax Credits for Consumer Energy Efficiency. These 2016 Federal Tax Credits are good through December 31, and can help offset the cost of energy upgrades even further for your customers! Follow the links below to learn about the Tax Credits available for certain products. And, as always, make sure to inform your customers that they should speak to their tax advisor about any tax credits they plan to claim. 

HVAC Tax Credits

Insulation Tax Credits

Water Heater Tax Credits

Window and Door Tax Credits

Participating Contractor Survey: Finally, SCE and SoCalGas Program Management would like to request your participation in a very brief survey regarding your participation in the program. Your feedback will help us as we plan training opportunities and events for you in 2016! 

Take the Survey

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!

Networking Event

February 25, 2016

5:00 p.m. to 7:00 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!

BPI BA Certification

March 7-16, 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.

BPI BA Re-Certification Written Exam

March 11, 2016

Energy Upgrade California Home Upgrade - BPI Building Analyst Written Exam Re-certification. ** Payment must be in the form of money order or cashiers check only. **

https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07ec6cn0kndf0a3fc9&oseq=&c=&ch=

BPI BA Re-Certification Field Exam

March 18, 2016

Energy Upgrade California Home Upgrade - BPI Building Analyst Field Exam Re-certification. ** Payment must be in the form of money order or cashiers check only. **

Technical Training

March 24, 2016

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

Join us for Technical Training! More information about the specific topics to be covered will be available soon.

Industry Event: 2016 ACI National Home Performance Conference

April 4 through 7

Austin, TX

The Home Performance Coalition has announced that they will award 75 contractor scholarships to attend the ACI National Home Performance Conference in Austin, thanks to a grant received from E4TheFuture, a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening the home performance industry. Applications must be received by February 19.

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