News and Updates

January 15 Program Updates

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Program News and Updates: January 15, 2016

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

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

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

SCE/SoCalGas Program Updates

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

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

Visit the SCE/SoCalGas Program Documents Page

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

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

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

SoCalGas Program Updates

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

Visit the SoCalGas Program Documents Page

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

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

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

Energy Modeling in 2016

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

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

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

Cake HPXML Guide

SnuggPro HPXML Guide

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

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

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

  • Cake
  • Optimiser
  • SnuggPro 

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

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

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

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

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

Upcoming Training Opportunities

Project Processing Training

January 26, 2016

8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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

Hands-on Training Series - Positive Blower Door Testing Procedure

February 5, 2016

8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

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

BPI BA Certification

February 8-17, 2016

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

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

Networking Event

February 25, 2016

5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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

 

November/December Home Upgrade Newsletter

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Greetings to all our Participating Contractors from Southern California Edison (SCE) and SoCalGas®! We are excited to sit back, relax and celebrate your accomplishments during 2015 at our fifth annual Contractor Appreciation Night coming up on December 17 in Anaheim! Additional details and a registration link are below. Make sure to register by this Friday, December 11!

Program Participation Updates and Reminders

Contractor Appreciation Night

Join us for a night of fun, food, drinks, prizes and more as we celebrate your achievements and accomplishments in 2015! We appreciate and recognize all of your hard work and look forward to celebrating your success with you! If you plan to attend, please register by this Friday, December 11. 

Date: Thursday, December 17, 2015

Time: 5:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Location: Embassy Suites Anaheim, 11767 Harbor Blvd., Garden Grove, CA, 92840

Should you prefer to stay the night at the hotel where the event will be held, our team worked with the Embassy Suites to reserve a discounted block of rooms. Room rates: $99 for King and $119 for Double. Please follow this link to learn more.

RHA: QC Reminder

Please make a point to explain to your customers how the QC process works and why it's important. QC inspections can be seen as additional value to homeowners who might be skeptical about having improvements made to their home. As part of that discussion, please inform your customers that they may receive a call from RHA to schedule a QC appointment and that if their project is selected, the inspection must occur in order for them to receive the incentive. Your account manager can help address any customer questions regarding QC.

Top QC and Processing Issues That Delay Incentive Payment 

We have created a document that highlights the main QC and processing issues noted by our program staff. Addressing these issues prior to QC inspection will help avoid incentive payment delays. Similarly, knowing the top processing issues that would cause a project to go into Appeal beforehand will help avoid incentive payment delays. Below is a list of the top QC and Processing Issues. For more details about these issues please click here.

QC Issues

  • Gas Leaks
  • Combustion Appliance Safety/Combustion Appliance Zone (CAS/CAZ)
  • Heat Producing Devices (HPDs)
  • Mechanical Ventilation
  • Combustion Ventilation Air (CVA)
  • Communication
  • Carbon Monoxide (CO) Monitor(s)
  • Possible Asbestos Containing Material (PACM)
  • Red Work Zone (RWZ)

Processing Issues

  • Missing AHRI Certificate
  • Missing Asbestos Abatement Certificate
  • Missing Window Specifications
  • Blower Door and Duct Test Manometer Photos
  • Mechanical Ventilation Verification
  • Gas Leak Documentation
  • Red Work Zone Remediation
  • Health and Safety Remediations
  • Submitted Images
  • CF3R Guidance

NFIR Form

The Notice of Field Identified Recommendations (NFIR) form was created so you aren't impacted by conditions in the home that are outside your scope of work. Use the NFIR form to make homeowners aware of pre-existing issues that may need to be fixed in the home, but are not required by the program or are not a part of your scope of work (e.g., disconnected exhaust fans and heat producing devices in contact with insulation as defined in the NFIR form). In order to request these two-part carbonless forms, please contact your account manager who will provide them to you at no charge.

Check Identifier

You asked and we listened: Effective immediately, theproject identifier, the SEHDPS or SEEPPS number, will be printed on all customer incentive checks for the SCE/SoCalGas joint program in order to easily match the customer with the check.

Home Upgrade Floor Insulation Points

To coincide with PG&E and remain consistent statewide with the Home Upgrade program, we are increasing the number of points earned for floor insulation from 40 to 55. This change is effective as of December 1, 2015.

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 about this policy. 

SoCalGas Program Participation Updates and Reminders

Winter Special Extended to 2016!

We're so happy to let you know: incentive levels in areas where SoCalGas provides gas service and electrical service is provided by a municipal utility (ex. Burbank, Glendale, Pasadena, Lompoc, Anaheim, etc.) will continue to be funded at 100 percent of the statewide levels all year in 2016! Be sure to take advantage of this opportunity to sell projects in areas with mature homes that stand to benefit greatly from our program.

Home Performance with ENERGYSTAR® is here!

The SoCalGas Home Performance with ENERGY STAR addendum gives you the ability to use the ENERGY STAR brand on your own marketing materials. The ENERGY STAR brand currently enjoys nearly 90% brand awareness in the USA - your customers recognize the label and associate it with energy efficiency and quality. If you submit Advanced Home Upgrade jobs to the SoCalGas only program and have not yet signed the addendum, contact your account manager to get your addendum taken care of. After you have signed the addendum feel free to download logos, branding use guidelines and other materials in the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR section on the SoCalGas program resources page

Cold Leads Program

If you've had a customer who expressed interest in the program but has not yet completed their project, we can help! Provide us with the information about your Cold Leads and allow the SoCalGas Home Energy Advisor team to contact these customers, address their questions and hand them back to you if their interest is reignited by the discussion. Contact your account manager for more information.

SoCalGas Program Top Performers: Customer Satisfaction

An important part of each project is finding out whether the customer is satisfied with the work and would recommend their contractor to a friend or relative. We are pleased to share the top five performers in customer satisfaction based on projects submitted since January 2015. Congratulations and great job to the following Participating Contractors!

  • well done excellent job or great work congratulations red wax seal stamp Home Performance Matters
  • Building Doctors
  • Mediterranean Heating and Air Conditioning
  • Progressive Windows and Insulation
  • Zero Energy Contracting

​Marketing Tip

Contact the Marketing Team! You can now email the marketing team directly with any questions about co-branding and other general marketing questions or requests.

QC Corner

Incorrect settings on DG-700 for blower door test? Not to worry.

Hate that sinking feeling when you realize you did not have your manometer set correctly. Unfortunately, you probably didn't realize it until long after you left the home. Looking at the photos of your blower door setup, you see that you had the DG-700 Configuration set to "Open," when in fact the fan was fitted with the "A" ring. 

Fortunately there is a way to come up with a correct air-leakage value without having to return to the home and re-test: use the Blower Door Manual Appendix B Flow Conversion Tables.

For example:

  • Your Blower Door reading was 3549 CFM
  • DG-700 Configuration was set to "Open"
  • The fan was fitted with the "A" ring

In the "Open Fan" column of the conversion table, locate 3549 CFM; this equates to a fan pressure of 54pa. Look to the right in the "Ring A" column to find the correct reading of 1330 CFM. It's that easy.

This table can be used for other configurations as well, just locate your values in the proper column and determine the correct value based on how you had your equipment setup. The Energy Conservatory article on this blower door correction is located here.

The ability to easily correct for an improper manometer setting is one reason why it is important to digitally capture images of your blower door manometer as well as the actual fan setup. Ideally you could take one image with the manometer in the foreground and the fan in the background.

A similar procedure could be used for a Minneapolis Duct Blaster by referring to Appendix B Flow Conversion Tables of the Duct Blaster manual. The Energy Conservatory article on this Duct Blaster correction is located here. For auditors performing blower door testing with Retrotec equipment you can follow a similar procedure found in the Retrotec Blower Door Manual by referring to Appendix B Table 8, beginning on page 60. We are told that Retrotech is in the process of developing a procedure to perform this type of calculation via a software link on their website.

Have a tricky question you can't answer or a problem that keeps coming up on your projects? Ask our QC Team! Email us with any questions you would like to see addressed in future newsletters. 

November and December Training Opportunities Inside!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Welcome to our Training Update! As an Energy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade Participating Contractor in the Southern California Edison (SCE) and SoCalGas® service territories, a wide variety of training courses are available to you and your staff. You are encouraged to take advantage of these opportunities and enroll in as many courses as you'd like. Please read below for additional details and feel free to contact us anytime if you have questions! 

December 2015 Program Training Opportunities 

Consultative Sales Training

The Southern California Edison (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 us for this special event targeted toward energy efficiency, HVAC and home performance contractors, led by industry experts Judy Rachel and Jay Gentry.  

Specific topics include:

  • Getting the most out of a home performance audit- NEW!
  • Translating audit information for your sales presentation- NEW!
  • Consultative selling process Pre-call preparation
  • Getting off on the right foot Strategic questioning
  • Need-based presentations
  • Handling questions and objections
  • Gaining agreement
  • Building rapport and credibility 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Time: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Location: TBD

Space is limited--Register now to reserve your spot!    

Fifth Annual Contractor Appreciation Night

Join us for a night of fun, food, prizes and more as we celebrate your achievements and accomplishments during 2015! We look forward to seeing you all and celebrating your success!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Time: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Location: Embassy Suites Anaheim, 11767 Harbor Blvd., Garden Grove, CA, 92840

Upcoming Industry Events and Training Opportunities

Green Homes Sell Faster and For More: What Every Real Estate Professional Needs to Know

November 18, 2015 

9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Anaheim, CA

Attend this SoCalGas funded complimentary training for up-to-the-minute information from Real Estate and Home Energy professionals on how the home energy industry is impacting the real estate industry-and how to turn this opportunity into result.

Drought Response: Plumbing Code Changes & Greywater, Rainwater, Recycled Water

November 20, 2015 

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This new five-hour seminar from Green Technology will offer an in-depth look at the code specifications and help building, design and construction professionals successfully navigate the design, permitting and inspection process.

Fifth Annual Contractor Appreciation Night

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Join Us For Our Fifth Annual Contractor Appreciation Night!

Dear Contractors,

Please join us for a night of fun, food, drinks, prizes and more as we celebrate your achievements and accomplishments in 2015! We appreciate and recognize all of your hard work and look forward to celebrating your success with you!

Date: Thursday, December 17, 2015

Time: 5:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Location: Embassy Suites Anaheim, 11767 Harbor Blvd., Garden Grove, CA, 92840

Should you prefer to stay the night at the hotel where the event will be held, our team worked with the Embassy Suites to reserve a discounted block of rooms. Room rates: $99 for King and $119 for Double. Please follow this link to learn more.  

 

November Training Opportunities Inside!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Welcome to our Training Update! As an Energy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade Participating Contractor in the Southern California Edison (SCE) and SoCalGas® service territories, a wide variety of training courses are available to you and your staff. You are encouraged to take advantage of these opportunities and enroll in as many courses as you'd like. Please read below for additional details and feel free to contact us anytime if you have questions! 

November 2015 Program Training Opportunities

Project Processing Training

Join us for an INTERACTIVE in-person training on Home Upgrade and Advanced Home Upgrade project processing coming up on

Thursday, November 52015. Space is limited, so register now and reserve your spot today!

  • Enjoy breakfast and lunch on us!
  • Brush up on processing for Home Upgrade and Advanced Home Upgrade projects
  • Learn how to avoid common processing errors that create delays in payment
  • Troubleshoot specific issues

Bring your laptops if you have them, it will be hands-on and you'll be able to try out solving different issues when inputting project information.

Added bonus: If you have an existing project that you would like in-person assistance with, the processing team will be available to answer your specific questions!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Time: 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Location: SoCalGas ERC, 9240 Firestone Blvd., Downey, CA 90241

BPI BA Training - FULL

November 2, 3, and 9

Participating Contractors: Please note that the November BPI BA training course is FULL.  Please contact your Account Manager if you are interested in BPI BA training at a future date.  

 

BPI BA Re-Certification Written Exam

Energy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade -BPI Building Analyst Written Exam Re-Certification - November 2015

** Payment must be in the form of money order or cashiers check only**

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Time: 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Location: SoCalGas ERC, 9240 Firestone Blvd., Downey, CA 90241

BPI BA Re-Certification Field Exam

BPI BA Field Exam Re-Certification Energy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade - BPI Building Analyst Field Exam Re-Certification - November 2015

**Payment must be in the form of money order or cashier's check only. ** Additional days will be added as needed. A maximum of four (4) registrants will be taken.

Friday, November 20, 2015

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

Location: TBD

Upcoming Industry Events and Training Opportunities

Green Homes Sell Faster and For More: What Every Real Estate Professional Needs to Know

November 4, 2015 

10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Riverside, CA

Attend this SoCalGas funded complimentary training for up-to-the-minute information from Real Estate and Home Energy professionals on how the home energy industry is impacting the real estate industry-and how to turn this opportunity into result.

ACI California Regional Home Performance Conference, Sacramento CA

November 9 - 10, 2015

Meet with Home Performance professionals around the region and attend informative sessions to help you grow your business!

SCE and SoCalGas have limited scholarships to attend ACI available. Contact your Account Manager for more information. 

Green Homes Sell Faster and For More: What Every Real Estate Professional Needs to Know

November 18, 2015 

9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Anaheim, CA

Attend this SoCalGas funded complimentary training for up-to-the-minute information from Real Estate and Home Energy professionals on how the home energy industry is impacting the real estate industry-and how to turn this opportunity into result.

Drought Response: Plumbing Code Changes & Greywater, Rainwater, Recycled Water

November 20, 2015 

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This new five-hour seminar from Green Technology will offer an in-depth look at the code specifications and help building, design and construction professionals successfully navigate the design, permitting and inspection process.

Fifth Annual Contractor Appreciation Night

Join us for a night of fun, food, prizes and more as we celebrate your achievements and accomplishments during 2015! We look forward to seeing you all and celebrating your success!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Time: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Location: Embassy Suites Anaheim, 11767 Harbor Blvd., Garden Grove, CA, 92840

Program Updates, Upcoming Training and QC Reminders

Friday, October 16, 2015

Greetings to all our Participating Contractors from Southern California Edison (SCE) and SoCalGas®! We enjoyed seeing so many of you at the training workshop last month. Please send your account manager any comments or feedback you have about the event. Our goal is to make all program workshops and events useful and enjoyable for Participating Contractors. Make sure to mark your calendars for our fifth annual Contractor Appreciation Night coming up on December 17 in Anaheim! 

The Program Newsletter covers the below topics:

Joint Program Participation and Reminders

Fuel Switching

Home Upgrade Customer Touch Points

SoCalGas Program Participation Updates and Reminders

Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® is here!

SoCalGas Program Top Performers: Customer Satisfaction

Marketing Tip: Elevator Speech

The work you do is impactful and really cool - but may seem complex or even confusing to people who don't understand the importance of a blower door test! It is important to have a quick elevator speech handy to explain how your work helps improve homes and life for homeowners. 
Your elevator speech should be brief, unique, and persuasive and spark interest about your company and the work you do. You never know when social settings or networking events will introduce you to the next person ready to learn more about improving their home.        
 
Upcoming Training Events and Opportunities            
 
Home Performance Sales Training
 
Certified Aquatic Equipment Installer (CAEI)
 
Project Processing Training
 
ACI California Regional Home Performance Conference
 
Green Homes Sell Faster and For More: What Every Real Estate Professional Needs to Know
 
QC Corner
 
Red Work Zone
 
All About CF3Rs
 
Building Permits
 
The PACM Work Order - Program Recommendation
 
Top Appeal/Pending Contractor Action Issues
 
 
To view the complete newsletter, click here.
 
 
         

October Training Opportunities

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Welcome to our Training Update! As an Energy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade Participating Contractor in the Southern California Edison (SCE) and SoCalGas® service territories, a wide variety of training courses are available to you and your staff. You are encouraged to take advantage of these opportunities and enroll in as many courses as you'd like. Please read below for additional details and feel free to contact us anytime if you have questions!

October 2015 Program Training Opportunities

Hands - On Training: Combustion Safety

Join the Home Upgrade team to learn how to perform Combustion Safety Testing. Classes are limited to ten attendees--reserve your spot today! The address for the class will be provided after successful registration for the event.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Time: 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Register here for the AM session

Register here for PM session

Project Processing Training

Please join us for an in-person workshop on Home Upgrade and Advanced Home Upgrade project processing and enjoy breakfast and lunch on us!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Time: 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Location: SoCalGas Energy Resource Center, 9240 Firestone Blvd., Downey, CA 90251

Home Performance Sales Training

Join us for a full-day session where you will learn critical sales skills and tools that will help you sell HVAC and home performance improvements to homeowners! 

Topics will include:

  • Communicating building science to consumers 
  • Foundations of successful sales
  • Messaging and calls-to-action 
  • A consultative sales approach for energy efficiency
  • Consumer decision-making 
  • Presenting proposals 
  • Handling objections

Earn up to 2.75 BPI CEUs!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

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

Location: Holiday Inn Express & Suites Pasadena, 3500 East Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91107

Upcoming Industry Events and Training Opportunities

Drought Response: Plumbing Code Changes & Greywater, Rainwater, Recycled Water

Attend this seminar from Green Technology to learn more about the code specifications and help building, design and construction professionals successfully navigate the design, permitting and inspection process.

Seating is limited--register today!

Date: Friday, October 9, 2015
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

ACI California Regional Home Performance Conference, Sacramento CA

Meet with Home Performance professionals around the region and attend informative sessions to help you grow your business!

  • Full Conference Registration: $375 (Ends on Oct. 6)
  • Late Registration: $475 (Begins on Oct. 7)

September Training Opportunities Inside!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Welcome to our Training Update! As an Energy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade Participating Contractor in the Southern California Edison (SCE) and SoCalGas® service territories, a wide variety of training courses are available to you and your staff. You are encouraged to take advantage of these opportunities and enroll in as many courses as you'd like. Please read below for additional details and feel free to contact us anytime if you have questions! 

September 2015 Program Training Opportunities

SCE/SoCalGas Program September Technical Training - REQUIRED

September 29, 2015

8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. 

SoCalGas Energy Resource Center

9240 Firestone Blvd

Downey, CA 90241

Please make plans to send a representative from your company to our September Technical Training workshop. We will cover a variety of important program updates, and provide an opportunity for Participating Contractors to ask the program team questions. Marketing materials will be distributed to all Participating Contractors in attendance!

Home Performance Sales Training

Join us for a full-day session where you will learn critical sales skills and tools that will help you sell HVAC and home performance improvements to homeowners! 

Topics will include:

  • Communicating building science to consumers 
  • Foundations of successful sales
  • Messaging and calls-to-action 
  • A consultative sales approach for energy efficiency
  • Consumer decision-making 
  • Presenting proposals 
  • Handling objections

Earn up to 2.75 BPI CEUs!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

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

Location: Holiday Inn Express & Suites Pasadena

3500 East Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91107

Green Homes Sell Faster and For More: What Every Real Estate Professional Needs to Know

Join trainer George Kopf from the SoCalGas funded Home Energy Advising program  for a session about the seamless integration of the Home Energy and Real Estate industries.  Attend this session to gain:

  • Actionable information to help your partners in the Real Estate industry sell more houses for higher prices faster.
  • Up-to-the-minute info from Real Estate and Home Energy professionals on how the home energy industry is impacting the real estate industry - and how to turn this opportunity into results.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Time: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Location: West San Gabriel Valley Association of REALTORS® 

1039 E Valley Blvd #205B, San Gabriel, CA 91776

Upcoming Industry Events and Training Opportunities

Webinar: FAST Track to Estimating for Energy Saving Solutions

Sharpen your estimating and contract writing skills with this one-of-a-kind training program. If you are looking to generate more business, faster estimates, and better your contract writing language, then this webinar is for you and your company. 

  • Basics, including the use of forms and developing a system
  • Reading the energy audit
  • Reviewing jobs - gathering energy audit information
  • Using energy audit software to expedite the estimating process
  • Working with subs and suppliers to compile the estimate
  • Problem areas in compiling an energy audit estimate
  • Writing contract language to separate you from your competition

Date: September 22, 2015
Time: 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

ACI California Regional Home Performance Conference, Sacramento, CA

November 9 - 10, 2015

Meet with Home Performance professionals around the region and attend informative sessions to help you grow your business!

  • Full Conference Registration: $375 (Ends on Oct. 6)
  • Late Registration: $475 (Begins on Oct. 7)

September Training Opportunities Inside!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Welcome to our Training Update! As an Energy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade Participating Contractor in the Southern California Edison (SCE) and SoCalGas® service territories, a wide variety of training courses are available to you and your staff. You are encouraged to take advantage of these opportunities and enroll in as many courses as you'd like. Please read below for additional details and feel free to contact us anytime if you have questions! 

September 2015 Program Training Opportunities

SCE/SoCalGas Program September Techincal Training - REQUIRED

Please make plans to send a representative from your company to our September Technical Training workshop. We will cover a variety of important program updates, and provide an opportunity for Participating Contractors to ask the program team questions. Marketing materials will be distributed to all Participating Contractors in attendance!

Home Performance Sales Training

Join us for a full-day session where you will learn critical sales skills and tools that will help you sell HVAC and home performance improvements to homeowners! 

Topics will include:

  • Communicating building science to consumers 
  • Foundations of successful sales
  • Messaging and calls-to-action 
  • A consultative sales approach for energy efficiency
  • Consumer decision-making 
  • Presenting proposals 
  • Handling objections

Earn up to 2.75 BPI CEUs!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

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

Location: Holiday Inn Express & Suites Pasadena

3500 East Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91107

Green Homes Sell Faster and For More: What Every Real Estate Professional Needs to Know

Join trainer George Kopf from the SoCalGas funded Home Energy Advising program  for a session about the seamless integration of the Home Energy and Real Estate industries.  Attend this session to gain:

  • Actionable information to help your partners in the Real Estate industry sell more houses for higher prices faster.
  • Up-to-the-minute info from Real Estate and Home Energy professionals on how the home energy industry is impacting the real estate industry - and how to turn this opportunity into results.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Time: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Location: West San Gabriel Valley Association of REALTORS® 

1039 E Valley Blvd #205B, San Gabriel, CA 91776

Upcoming Industry Events and Training Opportunities

Drought Response: Plumbing Code Changes & Greywater, Rainwater, Recycled Water

Recent changes in the California Plumbing code have opened the door to new opportunities for reducing potable water use, establishing standards and guidelines for greywater systems, on-site water recycling and rainwater catchment systems. This new five-hour seminar from Green Technology will offer an in-depth look at the code specifications and help building, design and construction professionals successfully navigate the design, permitting and inspection process. This session offers 5 AIA continuing education credits.

Date: September 11, 2015
Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Webinar: FAST Track to Estimating for Energy Saving Solutions

Sharpen your estimating and contract writing skills with this one-of-a-kind training program. If you are looking to generate more business, faster estimates, and better your contract writing language, then this webinar is for you and your company. 

  • Basics, including the use of forms and developing a system
  • Reading the energy audit
  • Reviewing jobs - gathering energy audit information
  • Using energy audit software to expedite the estimating process
  • Working with subs and suppliers to compile the estimate
  • Problem areas in compiling an energy audit estimate
  • Writing contract language to separate you from your competition

Date: September 22, 2015
Time: 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

ACI California Regional Home Performance Conference, Sacramento, CA

November 9 - 10, 2015

Meet with Home Performance professionals around the region and attend informative sessions to help you grow your business!

  • Full Conference Registration: $375 (Ends on Oct. 6)
  • Late Registration: $475 (Begins on Oct. 7)

Program Update: New Documents, Marketing Updates and QC Guidance!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Greetings to all our Participating Contractors from Southern California Edison (SCE) and SoCalGas®! We're happy to announce that we are seeing growth in project numbers for 2015. We want to thank each and every one of you for all your hard work as the program continues to expand and we hear from more and more happy customers. As always, we appreciate your work, and are here to help you as you grow your business with Energy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade!

Program Participation Updates and Reminders

Recent Program Document Updates

We've recently updated several Reference, Project Processing and Marketing documents for Participating Contractor use. Please make sure you are using the latest versions of these documents, available for download in the Program Resources section of the Participating Contractor websitePlease note that all projects require the new V8.5 Incentive Application Forms effective September 1, 2015.

  • Incentive Application Forms: Please note that some minor updates have been made to the Incentive Application Forms. 
    • SCE/SoCalGas: Version 8.5 - updated language in Cool Roof measure section, updated SoCalGas company name
    • SoCalGas Only and SoCalGas/LADWP: Version 8.5 - updated language in Cool Roof measure section, updated SoCalGas company name
  • Home Upgrade Calculators V5: Please use the updated V5 Home Upgrade calculators to calculate duct and building leakage and Advanced Home Upgrade incentive amounts. 
  • Home Upgrade Info Sheets: We have updated the Home Upgrade Info Sheets to be more customer-friendly. The new Home Upgrade Info Sheets are available for download; limited printed supplies are also available. Ask your Account Manager for more information.
  • Project Checklist for Top QC Issues: Read more about this helpful checklist below in the QC Corner.

Program Trifold Brochures, Infographic Rack Cards and Lawn Signs: Your Account Manager has printed versions available. Quantities are limited, so be sure to reach out soon. Print-ready files are available for download in the Marketing Resources section of the program website.

Program Trifold Brochures, Infographic Rack Cards and Lawn Signs: Your Account Manager has printed versions available. Quantities are limited, so be sure to reach out soon. Print-ready files are available for download in the Marketing Resources section of the program website.

Home Upgrade Assessment Vouchers

Participating Contractors are eligible for $300 back after completing a Comprehensive Energy Assessment that leads to a Home Upgrade project. Assessment Vouchers, offered by The Energy Network, help contractors offer a $300 discount on a Comprehensive Energy Assessment that leads to an Energy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade project. To learn more, visit The Energy Network's Assessment Vouchers Page.

Permit Streamlining Survey

The Home Upgrade Team is interested in gathering input from contractors regarding permit streamlining.  Please take the survey, developed by the statewide Home Upgrade team, rating each solution on a scale of 1 to 5 stars.  The survey should take fewer than 10 minutes to complete.  Thank you for your feedback!

Blower Door Test Reminder

All Joint SCE/SoCalGas projects and all SoCalGas Advanced Home Upgrade projects require a post-retrofit blower door test for mechanical ventilation purposes.  Contact your Account Manager with any questions on this requirement. 

Marketing Updates

Find a Contractor Page Information

All Participating Contractors in good standing are listed on the Find a Contractor page. Since January 2015, we have had more than 24,000 visits to this page from 17,992 unique visitors - bolstered in recent months by marketing efforts from the sponsoring utilities (described below). Both the SCE and SoCalGas websites direct their customers to this page to search for a Participating Contractor. Make sure your information is up to date, and that the contact information listed is for the appropriate person in your company to handle customer calls. Any time you'd like to update this information, just let your Account Manager know!

SCE and SoCalGas Marketing Activities

SCE and SoCalGas want to help drive customers to you! Below is a snapshot of recent and upcoming marketing activities:

  • April - Home Upgrade SCE residential bill onsert message
  • May - Home Upgrade email message sent to 2 million SoCalGas customers
  • June - Launch of SoCalGas Energy Hero campaign including TV, radio, print, out of home (e.g., billboards) and digital advertising that directs customers to visit the Energy Hero landing page on socalgas.com. The Energy Hero campaign promotes three energy efficiency programs available to residential customers, including Home Upgrade.
  • July - SCE (co-branded with SoCalGas and Home Upgrade) direct mail to 100,000 customers and direct email to nearly 340,000 customers. In addition, the SoCalGas Energy Hero campaign continued through July.
  • August - SoCalGas Energy Hero campaign, Home Upgrade SCE residential bill onsert message
  • September - Home Upgrade collateral presence in SCE booth at LA County Fair, SoCalGas direct mail postcard to customers in targeted municipal utility areas
  • October - Home Upgrade collateral presence at the 2015 Solar Decathlon in Irvine

Marketing Tip: Co-Branding

In this newsletter, we'd like to take a focused look at co-branding and the development of co-branded collateral and advertisements - an important topic that pertains to all Participating Contractors!

Co-branding with Energy Upgrade California Home Upgrade helps customers associate your company with a statewide brand being promoted in a variety of mass media. We are here to help make sure your co-branded materials are in compliance with statewide guidelines. 

Please keep a few key points in mind as you develop co-branded marketing materials, advertisements and Web pages:

Co-Branding with Home Upgrade

  • Participating Contractors and Raters have access to Home Upgrade logos for their materials, but must have a signed Brand Sublicense Agreement on file. Visit the Energy Upgrade California Partners Login page to download a variety of logos. If you don't have a username and password, you can request one using the Request Access form on this page.
  • Partner companies, including realtors, retail outlets and other commercial organizations, may use the brand only with permission from the statewide team.
  • All co-branded material must adhere to color, size and clear space guidelines as outlined in the Energy Upgrade California Home Upgrade Brand Usage and Graphic Standards Guide, and must include the program disclaimer.
  • If you have questions about whether your co-branded material meets these guidelines, please ask your Account Manager, and he or she will review your materials for compliance.
  • All co-branded materials must be signed off by the Home Upgrade brand manager, Jeff Blanton, prior to production. You may send materials directly to the statewide team, or work through your Account Manager who can help coordinate review and approval for you. 

Co-Branding with SCE and SoCalGas

Please note that co-branding with SCE and SoCalGas is NOT approved for Participating Contractors or partners such as lead generation firms. Collateral materials have been developed by SCE and SoCalGas that feature co-branding with Home Upgrade. These materials have been reviewed and approved by SCE, SoCalGas and the Home Upgrade brand manager, and are available for use by Participating Contractors. Please ask your Account Manager for more details. 

Marketing Materials

Currently, your Account Manager has limited quantities of the following items for your use. In addition, all items are available for download on the Marketing Resources page.

PLEASE NOTE: The Home Energy Digest is currently being revised. We will update Participating Contractors when the updated PDF and limited print quantities become available.

  • SCE/SoCalGas Program Trifold Brochure
  • SCE/SoCalGas Program Infographic Rack Card
  • SCE/SoCalGas Program Lawn Sign
  • SoCalGas Program Trifold Brochure
  • SoCalGas Program Trifold Brochure (Spanish)
  • SoCalGas Program Lawn Sign

Upcoming Events and Training Opportunities

BPI Recertification Field Exam

September 11 - 8:00 a.m.

Register now to ensure your spot for the exam. Location TBD. 

Home Performance Sales Training

September 16, 2015 

8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 

Learn critical sales skills that will help you sell HVAC and home performance improvements to homeowners.

Learn more about the course

Earn up to 2.75 BPI CEUs

REQUIRED: September Technical Training

September 29, 2015

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

Please make plans to send a representative from your company to our September Technical Training workshop. We will cover a variety of important program updates, and provide an opportunity for Participating Contractors to ask the program team questions. 

Current Promotions

Free LED Lighting Products: Up to $300 in select LED lighting products are available for SCE/SoCalGas Home Upgrade jobs of 150 points or more through the SCE Lighting Innovation Program. 

Just enter American Lighting or WaltersLighting in the promo code area, and be sure to have your customer sign the Program Agreement. Customers are also required to fill out a five-question survey as part of the Program Agreement. Upload the Program Agreement with your pre-retrofit project reservation in the WebApp. Contact your Account Manager with any questions.

Distributor Discounts:

Visit the Distributor Discounts Page for more information on the numerous discounts available from our distributor partners. Please note: you must be logged in to the contractor website to view this page.

QC Corner

Quality Control is an important aspect of overall customer service provided by the program's sponsors. QC is also a service to you, the Participating Contractor, as it helps ensure that your customers are totally satisfied with the work performed in their homes. The QC team recently developed a Project Checklist for Top QC Issues to help you prepare for the inspection - check it out and talk to your Account Manager with any questions. Below, the team discusses reminders on safely dealing with gas leaks discovered in customer homes.

Gas Leak Reminders from the QC Team

If any gas leak is identified, the homeowner must be informed to call SoCalGas immediately.

Non-Hazardous Gas Leaks

A non-hazardous gas leak is defined as a minor leak that is non-threatening and unconfined (located outdoors). With use of a micro leak detection solution, if bubbles are small and grow slowly, and gas odor is slight or non-existent, it is considered a minor leak. This category is for a leak that may be repaired within a scheduled time period or has been evaluated by a SoCalGas Gas Field Technician and is deemed non-hazardous and scheduled for repair within a specific time.

Below is the program policy and procedure for non-hazardous gas leaks:

  • When a SoCalGas Field Technician has deemed a leak non-hazardous and scheduled for repair at a later time, this will not delay the processing of the project. If there are no other issues that require correction, the incentive payment shall be issued.
  • When a non-hazardous minor gas leak is downstream of the last T-fitting of SoCalGas' side of the meter, a cost may be incurred by the homeowner if the Field Technician makes the repair. If the leak is minor and does not pose an immediate hazard, it can be repaired at a later time. Prior to project close-out, the homeowner's C-20 contractor or a licensed C-20 subcontractor to the project general contractor must repair the leak and submit supporting documentation to the program for review before the incentive payment is issued.
  • Both the QC vendor and the Participating Contractor will be required to record an image of the leak and upload it to the WebApp or VisionDSM.

Hazardous Gas Leaks

  • During gas leak testing at any location with use of a micro leak detection solution, if bubbles form rapidly and/or pop, and gas odor is strong, this is considered a hazardous gas leak.
  • A minor gas leak (as described above) in any confined space is also considered a hazardous gas leak.
  •  All hazardous gas leaks must be either repaired, or made safe in accordance with SoCalGas policy.
  • The Participating Contractor will be required to record an image of the leak and upload it to the WebApp or VisionDSM.

Ask the QC Team!

Have a tricky question you can't answer or a problem that keeps coming up on your projects? Ask our QC Team! Email us with any questions you would like to see addressed in future newsletters.

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