News and Updates

SCG Only - May 1 Program Update

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

May 1 Program Update

Greetings to all Participating Contractors in the SoCalGas® (SCG) Energy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade Program. Taking effect now, SoCalGas will have its own special monthly newsletter and will contain updates specific to the SoCalGas Only territory. It will help guide you to exciting upcoming trainings/events and prepare you for any new updates. Also note, with the weather starting to heat up, it's important to stay updated and prepared for the busy season. Please reach out to your account management teams for any questions or if you are in need of a sales refresher!

SoCalGas Program Updates

Budget Update

As of now, 74% of the SoCalGas Only program incentive budget is remaining. Budget updates are scheduled to go out bi-monthly unless stated otherwise. Please contact your account managers to see how you can take advantage of the remaining incentive budget.  

Important Reminder: Reserve Projects Before Construction

It is extremely important to reserve and receive confirmation for your projects before you begin construction. Not only does this help ensure that your customer's project qualifies for incentives, it also protects your company from liability and maintains your good reputation with your customers. Participating Contractors will receive bi-weekly budget updates from account managers to help with your planning.

New Measures

Please take note of the following new measures added to the SoCalGas Only Territory:

  • Smart Thermostats - Participating contractors may now add smart thermostats as a stand-alone measure to all projects! This means, the measure will not contribute to the minimum number of measures or the 10% minimum energy savings requirement but will add to the overall incentive. Customers are eligible to receive $100 for the following qualifying smart thermostats: Nest Thermostats (all models), ecobee (Smart Si, ecobee3 and ecobee3 lite, ecobee4), Honeywell LyricTM Wi-Fi Thermostats (Lyric Round - 2nd generation, Lyric T5, Lyric T6).
  • Pool Heater - This energy efficiency measure is the installation of gas-fired pool water heaters having two tier options for the Thermal Efficiency of 84%-89% and 90% or higher. This will be available in both the Advanced Home Upgrade and Home upgrade pathways. It will be considered a stand-alone measure meaning, the measure will not contribute to the minimum number of measures or the 10% minimum energy savings requirement but, will add to the overall incentive. Customers are eligible to receive up to $750 depending on the thermal efficiency.
  • Auto Diverting Tub Spout with TSV - This measure is also available as a stand-alone measure in both project pathways and will be worth $30. Please note this technology cannot be combined with a tankless water heater.

New Contactor Participation Agreement

SoCalGas' latest updated Contractor Participation Agreement is now available on the contractor website and can also be found here. This document must be signed and returned to account managers in order to remain active in the program. Please ask your account management if you have any questions about any changes. 

QC Corner

Get the Most from the Pocket Reference Guide

At the Technical Training on June 6, 2017 copies of the new Pocket Reference Guide (PRG) were distributed to those in attendance. If you have not had a chance to review the PRG, reviewing it will give you valuable insight and information. If you do not have a copy of the PRG, there are two ways to obtain the guide: by contacting your ICF Account Manager for a hard copy of the guide, or by logging into the contractors' website and downloading an electronic PDF version you can store on your phone, tablet or computer.

The PRG is packed with useful information designed to help contractors and auditors easily navigate their way through onsite inspections. Much of the information within the PRG will also be useful to people in your company responsible for submitting documents and information to the Program.

The hard copy is designed to withstand tough use in the field. It is printed on a waterproof stock with a spiral wound binding. All these features make it easy to slip in your pocket, drop in your tool box, or stash in the glove box of your truck.

The PRG was created to follow the order and procedure of an actual onsite inspection. This is helpful for those who do not have a lot of experience with Home Upgrade requirements. In addition to the inspection procedure, highlights of the PRG include:

OptiMiser Energy-Modeling Software User's Guide

The Energy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade Program has two approved energy-modeling software products authorized for use in the Advanced Home Upgrade path: OptiMiser® and Snugg Pro. Many of you are familiar with Snugg Pro and the related user's guide produced by the Program. For those of you using OptiMiser, or contemplating its use, we are pleased to announce we will be releasing the OptiMiser Energy Modeling Guide very shortly. The guide will be available in time for the technical training scheduled for May 16. Once complete, the OptiMiser Energy Modeling Guide will be available for download in the energy modeling resources section of the contractor resources website.

The OptiMiser Energy Modeling Guide is designed to help contractors and auditors navigate the software while using Program-approved values within their energy-models. The guide includes direction for modeling default path projects, custom projects and custom projects with utility bill calibration. In addition, there are useful tables, formulas, and default value tables.

If you have not had a chance to use OptiMiser, or are interested in what it can do for your business, OptiMiser offers 30-day free trials. Once you sign-up you will be able to build energy-models from simple to complex, calculate energy-savings information, utilize the report functions, and much more.

For more information go to https://optimiserenergy.com/ and click on the GET OPTIMISER link near the top-right side of the page.

 

QC Tools Make Capturing and Calculating Audit Data a Breeze

When it comes to creating precise energy models nothing beats obtaining fast, accurate and repeatable results. That's why the Program created and made available to contractors an Excel document titled "QC Tools." The document was created for use during an audit (either test-in or test-out) and gives the auditor the ability to record project information.

The QC Tools has many built-in functions and formulas that make quick work out of complex calculations. The document is comprised of the following seven tabs, each with its own purpose:

  • Introduction
  • Combustion Safety
  • Dimensions
  • Duct Leakage Calculator
  • Air Leakage and MV Calculator
  • Intermittent MV Hours-Per-Day
  • Intermittent MV Minutes-Per-Hour

Once back at the office, the values from the QC Tools can be quickly and easily plugged into the energy-modeling software of your choice. For contractors not using energy-modeling software, the QC Tool is an indispensable tool to help you get the most for your customer.

The Introduction Tab gives a detailed description of each of the other six tabs, specific examples of their use, and informs the reader if that tab is required by the Program to be completed.

The Combustion Safety Tab is the form used by the RHA's Energy Field Technicians. Use it to document CAS/CAZ details for attended and un-attended appliances. Color-coding red and green results easily identify pass and fail criteria. A simple click of a button resets the form allowing it to be used repeatedly.

The Dimensions Tab lets you easily calculate conditioned floor area, volume, average ceiling height, wall and window area by orientation, and window area as a percentage of wall area. These calculations are performed by entering a minimal number of dimensions.

Duct Leakage Calculator Tab: By entering just three values, the duct leakage calculator calculates system airflow, duct leakage percentage, and whether the system meets the 10% maximum leakage requirement. This tab can calculate two separate duct systems at once and calculates system airflow based on cooling tonnage or heating output, whichever is greater.

Air Leakage and MV Calculator Tab: There are two calculations that take place on this form. First, values are entered in the white cells on step 1 to determine if mechanical ventilation is required, recommended, or is not an issue. If mechanical ventilation is required or recommended in step 1, enter values in the white cells in step 2. The calculator will determine the amount of minimum continuous mechanical ventilation airflow required or recommended.

Intermittent MV Hours-Per-Day Tab: If mechanical ventilation is required, you can set up the MV fan to run for a specific number of hours per day as opposed to running 24/7. By using the MV airflow required and entering the desired number of hours of operation, one can easily determine the correct fan airflow for intermittent use.

Intermittent Minutes-Per-Hr. Tab: Just as with the Hours-Per-Day above, you can set up the MV fan to run for a specific number of minutes per hour as opposed to running continuously every hour. By using the MV airflow required and entering the desired number of minutes per hour of operation, one can easily determine the correct fan airflow for intermittent use.

 

Financing Updates from CHEEF/REEL

Lead with the value of energy efficient equipment

Do your team members start by offering standard equipment, then "upsell" with a pitch for more energy efficient models that qualify for Home Upgrade? There may be a better way. Why not lead with the value of energy efficient models? By starting with equipment that saves more energy or qualifies for utility incentives like Home Upgrade, your team can build customer trust in efficient models. And with financing from the state-sponsored Residential Energy Efficiency Loan (REEL) program, your customers can finance single-measures, whole house upgrades, and even use up to 30% of the loan amount to finance other related home improvements alongside efficiency measures. 

Want to offer REEL to your customers? Sign up today.

Become a REEL Participating Contractor by visiting www.thecheef.com/contractors, or learn more by contacting the REEL Contractor Support team at 1-800-484-0109 or REEL@frontierenergy.com.

Coming Soon: GoGreen Financing Resources and New Lenders

As a result of continued success with customer participation, the REEL program is growing. The program just launched a new GoGreen Financing brand and a revamped homeowner-facing website, with summer 2018 advertising and contractor resources coming next month. Plus, the program is adding two new local lenders - stay tuned for more details.

BPI Training

Tuesday, May 8 - Friday, May 11
Irvine, CA (Exact Location TBA)

Register Here!

Are you or a member of your staff looking to become BPI BA certified? Participating Contractors with a BPI BA contractor on staff are eligible to offer Advanced Home Upgrade projects to their customers for larger incentives and higher energy savings.

This year, our BPI certifying partner is offering a blended learning experience meaning, less time in the classroom! This home energy auditor course introduces building science principles and offers hands-on blower door training. Includes a 16-hour webinar, field training with equipment (in person), practice questions, and written field certification exams. Don't forget to contact your Account Manager to receive your discount code to instantly receive $150 off the retail price. More details to come via email to registrants.

 

Technical Training

Wednesday, May 16
8:30 AM - 1:30 PM

Energy Resource Center
9240 Firestone Blvd.
Downey, CA 90241

Join us for Technical Training! Breakfast and lunch will be provided to attendees. Click here to Register.

Specific topics that will be covered include:

  • Energy Modeling Updates - Optimizer Handbook
  • Updated Mechanical Ventilation Guidelines
  • Documentation Reminders for Projects and Contractors
  • Water Heaters and Uniform Energy Factors
  • Many More!

 

Southern California Electric (SCE)/SoCalGas - May 1 Program Update

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

May 1 Program Update

Greetings to all Participating Contractors in the Southern California Edison (SCE) Energy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade Program. In this newsletter, you will find updates only for the joint SCE/SoCalGas® Territory. Please take note of all the upcoming trainings and reach out to your account management team for any questions.

Southern California Electric (SCE)/SoCalGas Program Updates

Budget Update

As of now, 54% of the SCE program incentive budget is remaining. Budget updates are scheduled to go out bi-weekly unless stated otherwise. Please contact your account managers to see how you can take advantage of the remaining incentive budget.

Important Reminder: Reserve Projects Before Construction
Due to the limited incentive funds for 2018, it is extremely important to reserve and receive confirmation for your projects before you begin construction. Not only does this help ensure that your customer's project qualifies for incentives, it also protects your company from liability and maintains your good reputation with your customers. Participating Contractors will receive bi-weekly budget updates from account managers to help with your planning.

Important Reminder: BOM Remediation Program Change

Previously, when black organic matter (BOM) was identified in a household, the program required remediation of the BOM. The Building Performance Institute (BPI) the program has determined this process will no longer be required.

When a contractor, auditor or Energy Field Technician identifies BOM, a Notice of Unsatisfactory Conditions (NOUC) must be completed. The comments section of the NOUC should be used to describe the BOM, its location, and a recommendation that it be inspected and remediated. The completed NOUC must be signed by the homeowner or the "Customer refused to sign" box shall be checked. One copy of the form is to be left with the homeowner, one copy is for the contractor or auditor's files and one copy must be submitted to the program. A blank copy of the Notice of Unsatisfactory Condition can be found on the contractor website here.

New Contractor Participation Agreements

The latest updated Contractor Participation Agreement for SCE/SoCalGas is now available on the contractor website and can also be found here. This document must be signed and returned to account managers in order to remain active in the program. Please ask your account management if you have any questions about any changes.

QC Corner

Get the Most from the Pocket Reference Guide

At the Technical Training on June 6, 2017, copies of the new Pocket Reference Guide (PRG) were distributed to those in attendance. If you have not had a chance to review the PRG, reviewing it will give you valuable insight and information. If you do not have a copy of the PRG, there are two ways to obtain the guide: by contacting your ICF Account Manager for a hard copy of the guide, or by logging into the contractors' website and downloading an electronic PDF version you can store on your phone, tablet or computer.

The PRG is packed with useful information designed to help contractors and auditors easily navigate their way through onsite inspections. Much of the information within the PRG will also be useful to people in your company responsible for submitting documents and information to the Program.

The hard copy is designed to withstand tough use in the field. It is printed on a waterproof stock with a spiral wound binding. All these features make it easy to slip in your pocket, drop in your tool box or stash in the glove box of your truck.

The PRG was created to follow the order and procedure of an actual onsite inspection. This is helpful for those who do not have a lot of experience with Home Upgrade requirements. In addition to the inspection procedure, highlights of the PRG include:

 

OptiMiser Energy-Modeling Software User's Guide

The Energy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade Program has two approved energy-modeling software products authorized for use in the Advanced Home Upgrade path: OptiMiser® and Snugg Pro. Many of you are familiar with Snugg Pro and the related user's guide produced by the Program. For those of you using OptiMiser, or contemplating its use, we are pleased to announce we will be releasing the OptiMiser Energy Modeling Guide very shortly. The guide will be available in time for the technical training scheduled for May 16. Once complete, the OptiMiser Energy Modeling Guide will be available for download in the energy modeling resources section of the contractor resources website.

The OptiMiser Energy Modeling Guide is designed to help contractors and auditors navigate the software while using Program-approved values within their energy-models. The guide includes direction for modeling default path projects, custom projects and custom projects with utility bill calibration. In addition, there are useful tables, formulas, and default value tables.

If you have not had a chance to use OptiMiser, or are interested in what it can do for your business, OptiMiser offers 30-day free trials. Once you sign-up you will be able to build energy-models from simple to complex, calculate energy-savings information, utilize the report functions, and much more.

For more information go to https://optimiserenergy.com/ and click on the GET OPTIMISER link near the top-right side of the page.

 

QC Tools Make Capturing and Calculating Audit Data a Breeze

When it comes to creating precise energy models nothing beats obtaining fast, accurate and repeatable results. That's why the Program created and made available to contractors an Excel document titled "QC Tools." The document was created for use during an audit (either test-in or test-out) and gives the auditor the ability to record project information.

The QC Tools has many built-in functions and formulas that make quick work out of complex calculations. The document is comprised of the following seven tabs, each with its own purpose:

  • Introduction
  • Combustion Safety
  • Dimensions
  • Duct Leakage Calculator
  • Air Leakage and MV Calculator
  • Intermittent MV Hours-Per-Day
  • Intermittent MV Minutes-Per-Hour

Once back at the office, the values from the QC Tools can be quickly and easily plugged into the energy-modeling software of your choice. For contractors not using energy-modeling software, the QC Tools is an indispensable tool to help you get the most for your customer.

The Introduction Tab

gives a detailed description of each of the other six tabs, specific examples of their use, and informs the reader if that tab is required by the Program to be completed.

The Combustion Safety Tab

is the form used by the RHA's Energy Field Technicians. Use it to document CAS/CAZ details for attended and un-attended appliances. Color-coding red and green results easily identify pass and fail criteria. A simple click of a button resets the form allowing it to be used repeatedly.

The Dimensions Tab

lets you easily calculate conditioned floor area, volume, average ceiling height, wall and window area by orientation, and window area as a percentage of wall area. These calculations are performed by entering a minimal number of dimensions.

Duct Leakage Calculator Tab:

By entering just three values, the duct leakage calculator calculates system airflow, duct leakage percentage, and whether the system meets the 10% maximum leakage requirement. This tab can calculate two separate duct systems at once and calculates system airflow based on cooling tonnage or heating output, whichever is greater.

Air Leakage and MV Calculator Tab: There are two calculations that take place on this form. First, values are entered in the white cells on step 1 to determine if mechanical ventilation is required, recommended, or is not an issue. If mechanical ventilation is required or recommended in step 1, enter values in the white cells in step 2. The calculator will determine the amount of minimum continuous mechanical ventilation airflow required or recommended.

Intermittent MV Hours-Per-Day Tab:

If mechanical ventilation is required, you can set up the MV fan to run for a specific number of hours per day as opposed to running 24/7. By using the MV airflow required and entering the desired number of hours of operation, one can easily determine the correct fan airflow for intermittent use.

Intermittent Minutes-Per-Hr. Tab: Just as with the Hours-Per-Day above, you can set up the MV fan to run for a specific number of minutes per hour as opposed to running continuously every hour. By using the MV airflow required and entering the desired number of minutes per hour of operation, one can easily determine the correct fan airflow for intermittent use.

Financing Updates from CHEEF/REEL

Lead with the value of energy efficient equipment

Do your team members start by offering standard equipment, then "upsell" with a pitch for more energy efficient models that qualify for Home Upgrade? There may be a better way. Why not lead with the value of energy efficient models? By starting with equipment that saves more energy or qualifies for utility incentives like Home Upgrade, your team can build customer trust in efficient models. And with financing from the state-sponsored Residential Energy Efficiency Loan (REEL) program, your customers can finance single-measures, whole house upgrades, and even use up to 30% of the loan amount to finance other related home improvements alongside efficiency measures. 

Want to offer REEL to your customers? Sign up today.

Become a REEL Participating Contractor by visiting www.thecheef.com/contractors, or learn more by contacting the REEL Contractor Support team at 1-800-484-0109 or REEL@frontierenergy.com.

Coming Soon: GoGreen Financing Resources and New Lenders

As a result of continued success with customer participation, the REEL program is growing. The program just launched a new GoGreen Financing brand and a revamped homeowner-facing website, with summer 2018 advertising and contractor resources coming next month. Plus, the program is adding two new local lenders - stay tuned for more details.

 

BPI Training

Tuesday, May 8 - Friday, May 11
Irvine, CA (Exact Location TBA)

Register Here!

Are you or a member of your staff looking to become BPI BA certified? Participating Contractors with a BPI BA contractor on staff are eligible to offer Advanced Home Upgrade projects to their customers for larger incentives and higher energy savings.

This year, our BPI certifying partner is offering a blended learning experience meaning, less time in the classroom! This home energy auditor course introduces building science principles and offers hands-on blower door training. Includes a 16-hour webinar, field training with equipment (in person), practice questions, and written field certification exams. Don't forget to contact your Account Manager to receive your discount code to instantly receive $150 off the retail price. More details to come via email to registrants.

 

Technical Training

Wednesday, May 16
8:30 AM - 1:30 PM

Energy Resource Center
9240 Firestone Blvd.
Downey, CA 90241

Join us for Technical Training! Breakfast and lunch will be provided to attendees. Click here to Register.

Specific topics that will be covered include:

  • Energy Modeling Updates - Optimizer Handbook
  • Updated Mechanical Ventilation Guidelines
  • Documentation Reminders for Projects and Contractors
  • Water Heaters and Uniform Energy Factors
  • Many More!

 

April 3 Program Update

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

April 3 Program Update

Greetings to all Participating Contractors in the Southern California Edison (SCE) and SoCalGas® Energy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade Program. With spring already here, we are happy to inform you of the program updates to keep you ready for the season. Thank you to all contractors who have been actively inquiring about the Program and are eager to give their customers energy savings and comfort. Please note important updates below and as always, reach out to your account management team with any questions.

SoCalGas Program Updates

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

Southern California Electric (SCE)/SoCalGas Program Updates

Mold Remediation

Previously, when black organic matter (BOM) was identified in a household, the program required remediation of the BOM. Contractors were required to submit an abatement letter from a qualified abatement company describing the type of matter that was found, the location, and how it was remediated prior to the project moving forward. After an in-depth consultation with the Building Performance Institute (BPI) the program has determined this process will no longer be required.

The program still strongly recommends in cases where BOM is discovered, that the BOM be inspected and remediated by a qualified abatement company.

When the contractor, auditor or Energy Field Technician identifies BOM, a Notice of Unsatisfactory Conditions (NOUC) must be completed. The comments section of the NOUC should be used to describe the BOM, its location, and a recommendation that it be inspected and remediated. The completed NOUC must be signed by the homeowner or the "Customer refused to sign" box shall be checked. One copy of the form is to be left with the homeowner, one copy is for the contractor or auditor's files and one copy must be submitted to the program. A blank copy of the Notice of Unsatisfactory Condition can be found on the contractor website here.

New Efficiency Rating for Water Heaters

In June 2017, the Department of Energy (DOE) instituted new rules that regulate the testing and rating of water heaters. In the past, water heaters were rated by Energy Factor (EF). Until recently, EF was the only rating method used to determine water heating efficiency. New test methods and labeling requirements now in effect utilize Uniform Energy Factor (UEF) as a measure of efficiency.

Effective immediately, the following policy regarding water heater efficiency will replace the current program policy:

  • ENERGY STAR® has minimum specifications for water heaters rated in both EF and UEF. Any water heater submitted to the Program rated in UEF which meets the current minimum ENERGY STAR UEF standard shall be approved by the program.
  • Any water heater that is rated in EF and meets the current program minimum EF standard shall continue to be approved by the program. UEF criteria will only be used when an EF rating is not available.
  • When a water heater is installed in an Advanced Home Upgrade Path project and it is rated in UEF, the auditor shall enter the actual UEF value of the water heater into the energy modeling software program if it meets the current ENERGY STAR minimum UEF value.
  • When a water heater is installed in an Advanced Home Upgrade project and it is rated in EF, the auditor shall enter the actual EF value of the water heater into the energy modeling software program if it meets the current program minimum EF value.
  • When a water heater is installed in a Home Upgrade project and it is rated in UEF, the homeowner or contractor will be eligible to receive an incentive if it meets the current ENERGY STAR minimum UEF value. The incentive value will be based on the lowest dollar value for water heating equipment (of the same type) paid by the program.
  • When a water heater is installed in a Home Upgrade project and it is rated in EF, the homeowner or contractor will be eligible to receive an incentive based on the current incentive value for the type and efficiency rating of the water heater installed.

Energy Modeling and Uniform Energy Factor

For quite some time, the DOE has been working on a change to the way water heaters are tested and rated. Effective June 2017, DOE instituted their new procedures. Since then, software developers and programmers have been hard at work integrating the DOE's new rating system into various energy modeling software programs.

The behind-the-scenes professionals at Snugg Pro and OptiMiser have been making subtle but important changes to their software. Both software programs now accept water heater efficiency with the traditional EF rating or the new UEF rating.

Depending on when a water heater was produced, its efficiency may be rated in either EF or UEF. No matter how the unit is rated, Snugg Pro and OptiMiser can model the equipment appropriately. For instance, if the existing water heater is rated in EF and the new water is rated in UEF either software can convert and still make the correct calculations. Just be sure to accurately record the efficiency of the water heaters (both existing and new) using the proper rating and the software will be able to do the rest.

In the two examples below the existing storage tank water heater has an EF rating of .52, and the new tankless water heater has a UEF of .87:

OptiMiser DHW (water heater) section:

Snugg Pro (water heater) section:

SnuggPro

Snugg Pro has launched the new DOE UEF for water heating equipment. The new UEF rating will show on the Snugg Pro app along with the old EF rating to keep use simple for contractors. While using the app you don't need to convert the old EF to the new UEF, just use the toggle buttons to indicate which factor that you are using. Then, enter the EF from the old water heater on the base and leave the improved UEF blank if you have not chosen a new model and wish to use the new rating. 

In addition, efficiency and performance for ENERGY STAR certified water heating equipment may be evaluated using two different methods. A water heater can be certified as ENERGY STAR by meeting EF, Standby Loss, and/or Thermal Efficiency criteria or by meeting UEF criteria. Although these performance metrics are different, certification as ENERGY STAR by either method requires equivalent efficiency. Consumers should not directly compare EF values to UEF values.

Updated Calculators

Updated Incentive Calculators are available on the contractor website to reflect the latest updates for 2018. Please make sure you are implementing the latest calculators with your sales/processing staff to ensure accuracy.

Reminder: 90-Day Cancellation Policy

To ensure that ineligible projects do not tie up reserved incentive funds, the program is now instituting a 90-day project cancellation policy. If a project has not been completed within 90 days from the project reservation date, the project is subject to cancellation by the program. Participating Contractors at risk of getting their projects cancelled will be notified well ahead of time so that they are able to take action to prevent this. Please contact your Account Manager if you have any questions or concerns about any at-risk projects.

SoCalREN is Now Open

The County of Los Angeles/Southern California Regional Energy Network (SoCalREN) Energy Upgrade CaliforniaHome Upgrade Program Contractor Portal is now open for you to create new project reservations. This is for customers in LA County who receive service from both SCE and SoCalGas. Updated program documents are available for download on the Program Resources page.

Financing Updates from CHEEF/REEL

Incorporate Monthly Payment Options with REEL Financing

Help avoid sticker shock with estimated monthly payment options. Did you know 75% of energy efficiency projects over $10,000 are completed with some type of financing? Just like a mortgage or car payment, financed monthly payment options help bigger purchases seem more accessible.

With state-sponsored Residential Energy Efficiency Loan (REEL) financing, customers can finance 100% of their project costs. This enables contractors to provide lower estimated monthly payment options. REEL lenders provide estimated online payment calculators and 24-hour credit approval, enabling projects to get started quickly.

Want to offer REEL to your customers? Sign up today.

Become a REEL Participating Contractor by visiting www.thecheef.com/contractors, or learn more by contacting the REEL Contractor Support team at 1-800-484-0109 or REEL@frontierenergy.com.

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

Energy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade provides assistance and incentives for home improvement projects that can reduce energy use and make homes more comfortable. This statewide program is managed locally by utilities and regional energy networks and directed by the California Public Utilities Commission in collaboration with the California Energy Commission. Funding comes from utility customers under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission. Incentives are offered on a first-come, first-served basis and are effective until the funding is expended or the program is discontinued. Terms and conditions apply. See program rules for details. Programs may be modified or terminated without prior notice. ©2018 Trademarks used with permission and are property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.

 

 

March 1 Program Update

Thursday, March 1, 2018

March 1 Program Update

Greetings to all Participating Contractors in the Southern California Edison (SCE) and SoCalGas® Energy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade Program. As the busy spring season approaches, Account Managers are here to help support all Participating Contractors with project volume and targeting strategies. Below are important reminders and tips to get everybody fully prepared for more project submittals. Contact your Account Manager if you have questions about any of the topics. 

SoCalGas Program Updates

Important Reminder: Project Eligibility-Energy Savings

For all Advanced Home Upgrade projects, both therm savings and electric savings must be achieved in order for the project to be eligible for 100% of the final incentive. In SoCalGas/LADWP territories, customers are eligible for 65% of the final incentive for Advanced Home Upgrade projects that only produce electric savings and 35% of the final incentive for projects that only produce gas savings. In SoCalGas/municipal electric provider territories, customers are not eligible for incentives for Advanced Home Upgrade projects that only produce electric savings.

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

Southern California Electric (SCE)/SoCalGas® Program Updates

Important Reminder: Reserve Projects Before Construction
Due to the limited incentive funds for 2018, it is extremely important to reserve and receive confirmation for your projects before you begin construction. Not only does this help ensure that your customer's project qualifies for incentives, it also protects your company from liability and maintains your good reputation with your customers. Participating Contractors will receive bi-weekly budget updates from account managers to help plans.

2018 Contractor Participation Agreements

An updated and fully signed 2018 SCE/SoCalGas Contractor Participation Agreement (CPA) must be on file for every Participating Contractor in order to submit projects. Account Managers will reach out to those who need to still need the updated documents on file. You may also contact your Account Manager if you have any questions.  

Reminder: 90-Day Cancellation Policy

In order to ensure that ineligible projects do not tie up reserved incentive funds, the program is now instituting a 90-day project cancellation policy. If a project has not been completed within 90 days from the project reservation date, the project is subject to cancellation by the program. Participating Contractors at risk of getting their projects cancelled will be notified well ahead of time so that they are able to take action to prevent this. Please contact your Account Manager if you have any questions or concerns about any at-risk projects.

Reminder: OptiMiser

If you plan on using OptiMiser for energy modeling, please contact your Account Manager for further assistance.

REEL Section

REEL can now finance even more. See what's new!

New measures are eligible for financing through the Residential Energy Efficiency Loan (REEL) Program. REEL has always been a financing option for Home Upgrade projects and other eligible measures, but it's now even more flexible. As of March 5, you can offer REEL for Home Upgrade projects and the following new measures:

  • Whole house fan
  • Energy Star clothes dryer, dishwasher, and freezer
  • Pool pump motor
  • Air cleaner/purifier

Check out the updated, searchable eligible measures list online.

As always, you can continue using REEL to finance popular Home Upgrade measures, such as insulation, air conditioning, duct work, furnaces, water heaters, and windows. 

Become a REEL Participating Contractor today by visiting www.thecheef.com/contractors, or learn more by contacting Frontier Energy at 

1-800-484-0109 or Email.

QC Corner

SoCalGas Program Reviews

As of January 1, 2018, Richard Heath & Associates Inc. (RHA) was given the responsibility of reviewing projects submitted to the SoCalGas® Program. For more than six years, RHA has been performing reviews for projects submitted to the SCE/SoCalGas service territories giving them valuable experience that will transfer to the SoCalGas Program. Most contactors will notice very little change when it comes to the desktop review portion of their projects.

From time to time, RHA's review team may reach out to a contractor or an auditor when a question or an issue arises on a project. Depending on the issue(s), you may receive an email or a phone call from one of the reviewers to discuss the situation as part of our Collaborative QC Process (CQC). RHA has been utilizing the CQC process in the SCE/SoCalGas program since January of 2015. This process has been quite helpful in communicating detailed information so contractors can easily understand what is needed in order for them to perform the work or provide whatever information or documentation is required to move a project forward. 

If you have any questions regarding the review process or the CQC process, please feel free to contact

  • Daniel Galvez, Home Upgrade QA/QC Program Manager: Email

Speed Up Incentive Processing

To better serve our contractors, the program creates detailed reports complied from data on each project submitted to the Home Upgrade program. This data provides valuable information that is used to identify areas that we, as a program, need to focus on when it comes to Technical Training and contractor communications. One of the more useful aspects of the data collected is a list of items that cause a project to go to Appeal or Pending Contractor Action status. We have created two documents that act as reminders for particular issues a contractor should be on the lookout for. These documents are located on the contractor's website and are updated on a regular basis.

We have completed our review for calendar year 2017. Below we have included the top three field-identified issues, and the top three QA/QC review issues from 2017. A more comprehensive list can be found within the following documents: 

Top Three Field Issues for 2017:

  • Mechanical Ventilation
  • Gas Leaks and
  • PACM/Asbestos

Top Three Review Issues for 2017:

  • Energy Modeling Issues
  • Missing Documentation and
  • Missing Vision Data

As the contractor makes their last trip to the home, special care should be taken to ensure that the Top 10 Field-Identified QC Issues have all been addressed prior to leaving the site. When the project is Post Retrofit submitted, take a few extra moments to be certain all the items listed on the Top QA/QC Review Issues That May Delay Incentive Payment have been addressed. By following these simple steps on all your projects, there is a good chance you can reduce return trips to the home and expedite incentive payment to your customer.

Supercharge Your Building's Air Sealing

One of the first principles taught in Building Science is the importance of air sealing. Controlling the infiltration or exfiltration of a building can increase energy efficiency by allowing the HVAC system to work more effectively while at the same time improving indoor air quality. Maintaining a tight building envelope is essential in the world of true whole home performance.

Over time, the process of air sealing has remained the same; caulk windows and doors, add weather stripping, close-off soffits and open building cavities, seal recessed lighting and electrical boxes, as well as pipe and wiring penetrations. For the most part, contractors have performed these jobs the same way for decades. While the sealing products have changed over time, the process itself has remained the same - that is, until now.

The folks at AeroBarrier have revolutionized how to air seal a building. Their process is quite simple and might cause you to ask yourself, "why didn't I think of that?" Keep in mind that the AeroBarrier process (sometimes referred to as AeroSeal) is designed for new construction and gut renovations, not occupied homes. If you find yourself working on a project where a major renovation is taking place and the occupant's belongings have been removed, you might consider offering this product to your client.

The AeroBarrier process is designed to seal gaps as large as ½-inch down to gaps the size of a human hair. The way it works is quite simple. A series of spray nozzles are arranged throughout the home and an exterior door is fit with a standard blower door. Before beginning the process, a baseline blower door reading is taken. The home is then pressurized with the blower door and the spray nozzles are turned on and emit a fine mist of AeroBarrier's sealant. With a higher pressure inside the home than outdoors, the mist is forced from the home's interior through gaps left by the construction process.

By pressurizing the home, the sealant flows through all gaps (many not identified or addressed by conventional air sealing methods). As the mist passes through the gaps, it deposits itself there and begins to close off the opening. The more the sealant flows through the opening, the smaller the gap becomes until it is completely sealed off. While the process is taking place, technicians monitor the data from the blower door and chart the tightening of the home in real time, giving the contractor measured results in very impressive ACH values. AeroBarrier estimates a typical single-family home might take four hours to complete the process from start to finish. By performing this process, contractors will no longer have to crawl through attics and crawlspaces to identify and seal each gap on an individual basis while still obtaining questionable results.

This process has been in development and improved over a number of years. Multiple case studies are available, as AeroBarrier has worked in conjunction with U.S. Department of Energy, Western Cooling Efficiency Center at U.C. Davis, Alliance for Residential Building Innovation, Habitat for Humanity and others to develop and fine-tune this process. For more information visit the AeroBarrier website.  

NOTE:  This is not an endorsement nor an advertisement for AeroBarrier, their products, or process. The content herein this section is meant for informational purposes only. The Energy Upgrade California Home Upgrade Program, sponsored by SCE and SoCalGas, attempts to keep participating contractors and auditors informed about the latest advances in emerging technologies and products related to whole home energy efficiency.

 

 

February 1 Program Update

Thursday, February 1, 2018

 
 

 

February 1 Program Update

 

Thank you to all of the Participating Contractors who attended the 2018 Program Year Kick-Off on January 16! We hope you gained valuable knowledge about all of the incentives available for 2018. Please visit the Program Resources: Past Training Presentations of the Contractor Website to find copies of the presentation slides. 

 

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

Southern California Electric (SCE)/SoCalGas® Program Updates

Award Winners

Last year the Program witnessed many great accomplishments by contractors who made energy efficiency, customer satisfaction and quality the cornerstones of their business. We're pleased to announce the 2017 Contractor Appreciation Award winners!

The 2017 award winners in the 

Southern California Edison (SCE)/SoCalGas® Joint Program are:

Program Documentation Update

The following documents have been updated on the Contractor Website and are to be used in 2018:

  • Program Changes Quick Reference Guide
  • Energy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade and Advanced Home Upgrade Info Sheets
  • 2018 Incentive Applications

The Contractor Participation Agreements and Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® Addendum have been updated for 2018. These documents must be initialed and signed by a representative of your company in order to participate.

90-Day Cancellation Policy

In order to ensure that ineligible projects do not tie up reserved incentive funds, the Program is now instituting a 90-day project cancellation policy. If a project has not been completed within 90 days from the project reservation date, the project is subject to cancellation by the Program. Participating Contractors at risk of getting their projects canceled will be notified well ahead of time so that they are able to take action to prevent this. Please contact your Account Manager if you have any questions or concerns about any at-risk projects.

Heat Pump Changes and Requirements

Contractors can no longer claim heat pumps in the Home Upgrade Pathway for 2018. However, heat pumps are available in the Advanced Home Upgrade Default and Custom paths. Heat pump pre-retrofit photos will now be required on all projects. Please contact your Account Manager if you have any questions about pre-retrofit photos for Advanced Home Upgrade projects.

New: Snugg Pro Guide

An updated Snugg Pro Modeling Guide is now available on the Contractor Website.

The revised version has been extended to 39 pages and contains an expanded section for Advanced Custom Path projects. The guide includes more screenshots for clarity and additional information on utility bill calibration. Please remember to use the following values in 2018:

Clothes Washer

All Advanced Default path projects that do not submit utility bill data shall use a default energy factor of 

1.29. All Advanced Custom projects that submit utility bill data shall submit the actual energy factor supplied by the clothes washer manufacturer. If the energy factor is not available, the default value of 

1.29 shall be used. This energy factor is based on the Database for Energy Efficiency Resource (DEER) values.

Refrigerators

All Advanced Default path projects that do not submit utility bill data shall use 

691 kWh/year. All Advanced Custom projects that submit utility bill data shall use the actual energy in kWh/year supplied by the refrigerator manufacturer. If the kWh/year is not available, the default value of 

691 kWh/year shall be used. This energy factor is based on DEER values.

Dishwashers

All Advanced Default path projects that do not submit utility bill data shall use a default energy factor of 

0.62. All Advanced Custom projects that submit utility bill data shall submit the actual energy factor supplied by the dishwasher manufacturer. If the energy factor is not available, the default value of 

0.62 shall be used. This energy factor is based on DEER values.                                  

OptiMiser

If you plan on using OptiMiser to model your Advanced Home Upgrade projects, please contact your Account Manager for further assistance.

Reminder: Accurate Account Holder Info

If the SCE or SoCalGas account holder is deceased, please have the current homeowner request to have the service account name changed prior to the post-retrofit submission of the project. If an account holder name is found to be fraudulent in any way, the Program will not pay the incentive. Please provide the following numbers to your customers if the account holder information needs to be changed: 

  • SCE Call Center number: 800-736-4777
  • SoCalGas Call Center number: 909-307-7070

SoCalGas Program Updates

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

Award Winners 

The 2017 award winners in the SoCalGas Program are:

Reminder: Project Eligibility-Energy Savings

For all Advanced Home Upgrade projects, both therm savings and electric savings must be achieved in order for the project to be eligible for 100% of the final incentive. In SoCalGas/LADWP territories, customers are eligible for 65% of the final incentive for Advanced Home Upgrade projects that only produce electric savings and 35% of the final incentive for projects that only produce gas savings. In SoCalGas/municipal electric provider territories, customers are not eligible for incentives for Advanced Home Upgrade projects that only produce electric savings.

REEL Section

REEL: What Measures Can Be Financed?

You heard about the latest Residential Energy Efficiency Loan (REEL) program updates at the January Technical Meeting-but what measures can be financed? 

EEL can finance all Energy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade measures, as well as additional Eligible Energy Efficiency Measures (EEEMs). The full list includes air sealing, appliances, cool roofs, duct sealing, HVAC, insulation, lighting, pool pumps, water heating, windows and more. The updated searchable list and downloadable PDF include measure specifications. REEL pairs with Home Upgrade by giving homeowners the flexibility to add measures without adding up-front cost. 

To learn more about REEL, visit https://www.thecheef.com/contractors

 

 

January 4 Program Update

Thursday, January 4, 2018

January 4 Program Update

Happy New Year! Thank you to all of our Participating Contractors for making last year so successful by providing homeowners with energy efficiency improvements and more comfortable homes. Your active participation has made for the great success of the Energy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade program in the Southern California Edison (SCE) and SoCalGas® service territories. We can't wait to see what we can all accomplish in 2018. Below are program updates to get things started!  

SCE/SoCalGas Program Updates

Program Changes Reminder: Thank you to everyone who joined our Program Changes webinar on December 13 to learn about and discuss the new program requirements. Please refer to the Program Changes Quick Reference Guide for a detailed description of the new program requirements.

Updated 2018 Documentation

The SCE/SoCalGas program is currently updating all program documentation for 2018. Further information about new documentation will be shared at the Mandatory Program Kick-Off Event on January 16 (more information below).

Accurate Account Holder Info

If the SCE or SoCalGas account holder is deceased, please have the current homeowner request to have the service account name changed prior to the post-retrofit submission of the project. If an account holder name is found to be fraudulent in any way, the program will not pay the incentive. Please provide the following numbers to your customers if the account holder information needs to be changed: 

  • SCE Call Center number: (800) 736-4777
  • SoCalGas Call Center number: (909) 307-7070

Efficiency First and BPI Benefits

The Efficiency First (EF) program with Home Depot has been significantly enhanced with the addition of benefits from the Building Performance Institute (BPI). BPI is now offering a credit for all BPI products and services for EF members who register for the program and spend at least $10,000 at Home Depot during the year. Register now and get credit for all the purchases on the associated account dating back to January 1, 2017.

Here are the benefits that you can earn through the program:

1. All EF members who purchased at least $10,000 at Home Depot during 2017 using the associated account will earn a credit for all BPI products and services worth 1% of their purchases. 

2. All EF members with at least $30,000 in qualifying Home Depot purchases during 2017 will earn free EF membership for a year AND a credit for BPI products worth 1% of their purchases, so at least $300. 

3. All EF members with at least $100,000 in qualifying Home Depot purchases during 2017 will earn free Efficiency First membership for a year, free registration at the HPC National or Regional conference of their choice, AND a credit for BPI products worth one percent of their purchases, so at least $1,000. 

After registering, Home Depot will track purchases for the year using the credit card that associated with the EF code. At the end of the year, Home Depot will compile all purchases using the EF code and provide the association with rebate funds. Register now and get credit for all purchases on the associated card dating back to January 1, 2017. Please register today Here!

SoCalGas Program Updates

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

QC Corner

Chimney-Top Dampers

When performing diagnostic testing on homes with fireplaces, it is important to visually inspect the chimney damper. Over the years, there have been many different types of chimney dampers used. One thing that most of these dampers had in common was that they were in the top of the fire box and closed off the chimney from the bottom. These typical dampers are normally just a flat piece of steel attached to a pair of pivots that allow the damper to open and close.

As simple as they are, dampers are still prone to damage. Depending on the fire, flue temperatures in the vicinity of the damper can be more than 500°F. Over time, intense heat can take its toll on the damper, rendering it useless to the point where it may be damaged or stuck in a particular position.

Recently, QC inspectors have seen a handful of chimney-top dampers. These new-style dampers differ greatly from traditional dampers in the fact that they mount to the top exterior of the chimney. Most of these dampers were installed when the original damper was damaged, stuck in the open position, or removed. Chimney-top dampers have the advantage of ease of installation since mounting them on a variety of chimney configurations is quick and simple.

Program guidelines dictate a gas fireplace must have a minimum ½-inch opening between the damper and the fireplace when the damper is in the closed position. This requirement is applicable in the case of a chimney-top damper and there are various ways to achieve this. Depending on the configuration of the unit, a clamp or a bolt may be used at the chimney-top to keep the chimney-top damper from closing completely. Another method to keep the damper open would be to adjust the cables (that open and close the chimney-top damper) hanging in the firebox so they leave the chimney-top damper open at least ½-inch.

Next time you run across a gas fireplace with a damaged or missing damper, be sure to check the top of the chimney to see if a chimney-top damper has been installed. If a chimney-top damper has been installed, verify that it can be blocked open at least ½-inch. If it is not in the required fixed position when it is shut, modifications must be made to meet the Program requirement. 

Proper Measurements for Home Upgrade Projects

When it comes to energy-savings calculations and health and safety matters, precise measurements are key. Without taking the time to verify proper measurements, it's hard to know if your results are accurate.

Two measurements that have a direct bearing on mechanical ventilation (MV) requirements are conditioned floor area (CFA) and average ceiling height. When either of these two measurements are incorrect, the need for a MV recommendation or requirement may not be called out in a situation where it should be. For this reason, the Program has instituted a change regarding CFA and ceiling height measurements for Home Upgrade projects (Advanced Home Upgrade projects are not affected by this change).

In the past, when a Home Upgrade project was chosen for on-site post-verification, the Energy Field Technician would use the contractor's measurements for CFA and average ceiling height. After inspecting numerous projects, it has become apparent that either CFA or average ceiling height have been measured incorrectly in a portion of the projects. For that reason, a new policy has been instituted that requires the measurement of CFA and average ceiling height when the contractor's measurements are questionable during the post-verification.

To assure the most accurate measurements possible, make sure you are measuring the home based on Chapter 12 of the Inspection Guidelines v7.0, measure wall linear dimensions and ceiling heights for each ceiling configuration. Do not rely on websites such as Zillow or Redfin for conditioned floor area and use the dimensions tab of the QC Tools Calculator located on the Program website to determine average ceiling height.

Marketing Updates

Marketing materials are now being handled by the statewide Energy Upgrade California® brand team. Currently, no new program marketing materials are available. Please continue to use existing program materials, as well as the materials provided by Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® when selling the program to your customers. We will update you with additional information on this topic as it becomes available. 

SCG Energy Resource Center  

9240 Firestone Blvd. Downey, CA 90241

2018 Mandatory Program Year Kick-off Event

Tuesday, January 16, 2017
8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Please register for our upcoming mandatory kick-off event at the Energy Resource Center. The kick-off event will cover the future of the Energy Upgrade California Home Upgrade Program for 2018 and celebrate contractor achievements and accomplishments from 2017! We appreciate and recognize all of your hard work and look forward to celebrating your success with you.

Register Here!

 

December 1 Program Update

Friday, December 1, 2017

December 1 Program Update

Greetings to all Participating Contractors in the Southern California Edison (SCE) and SoCalGas® Energy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade Program. Thank you to all contractors who have been actively inquiring about the Program and staying up to date with their account management teams. Below are important updates regarding 2018 Program incentives. As always, reach out to your account management team with any questions.

SCE/SoCalGas Program Updates

Important Joint 2018 Program Announcement

The Home Upgrade/Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® joint program between SCE and SoCalGas will begin accepting reservations again on January 1, 2018, on a first-come, first-served basis for a short period of time (due to limited budget). Incentives will be offered on approved projects where measures are purchased and completely installed after January 1, 2018.

SCE will monitor incentive reservations closely and will communicate with Participating Contractors on an ongoing basis. Once the funds have been reserved, it is anticipated that the Program will stop accepting new applications through the end of 2018.

Updated Duct Leakage Measure for Home Upgrade Pathway

A code change has impacted the minimum specification requirements for the duct leakage measure. In order to claim duct leakage as a measure in the Home Upgrade Pathway in 2018, contractors must seal to ≤ 10% (duct leakage to outside) OR seal to ≤ 5% (duct leakage to outside). A CF3R, CFM25 result or a date stamped photo of a CFM25 result may be submitted to meet the duct leakage requirement. If a CF3R is submitted, quality control duct testing will be streamlined if the project is chosen for inspection. Please note that this update listed for the SCE/SoCalGas Program above also applies to the SoCalGas-only Program.

Heat Pumps

Contractors can no longer claim heat pumps in the Home Upgrade Pathway for 2018. Choose the Advanced Home Upgrade Pathway if you would like to claim the heat pump measure.

More Slots Added

Additional document upload slots have been added in all of the statuses for contractors!

Please note that this update listed for the SCE/SoCalGas Program above also applies to the SoCalGas-only Program.

SnuggPro Changes

Beginning in 2018, you must use the following new values:

Clothes Washer

All Advanced Default path projects that do not submit utility bill data shall use a default energy factor of 1.29. All Advanced Custom projects that submit utility bill data shall submit the actual energy factor supplied by the clothes washer manufacturer. If the energy factor is not available, the default value of 1.29 shall be used. This energy factor is based on the Database for Energy Efficiency Resource (DEER) values.

Refrigerators

All Advanced Default path projects that do not submit utility bill data shall use 691 kWh/year. All Advanced Custom projects that submit utility bill data shall use the actual energy in kWh/year supplied by the refrigerator manufacturer. If the kWh/year is not available, the default value of 691 kWh/year shall be used. This energy factor is based on DEER values.

Dishwashers

All Advanced Default path projects that do not submit utility bill data shall use a default energy factor of 0.62. All Advanced Custom projects that submit utility bill data shall submit the actual energy factor supplied by the dishwasher manufacturer. If the energy factor is not available, the default value of 0.62 shall be used. This energy factor is based on DEER values.

Please note that this update listed for the SCE/SoCalGas Program above also applies to the SoCalGas-only Program.

Energy Modeling Best Practice

Contractors should refresh all models at post-retrofit submission to ensure the energy savings are accurate and to avoid potential appeal issues. Please note that this update listed for the SCE/SoCalGas Program above also applies to the SoCalGas-only Program. 

SoCalGas Program Updates

SoCalGas would like to confirm that the Home Upgrade/Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Program will continue to be offered in 2018. The Program will begin accepting reservations again on January 1, 2018, and will offer incentives on approved projects where measures are purchased and completely installed between January 1 and December 31, 2018.

The Program will remain open through December 31, 2018 or until incentive dollars are exhausted-whichever comes first. SoCalGas will monitor incentives closely throughout 2018 and will communicate with Participating Contractors on an ongoing basis. Information will be distributed via email and posted to the Program website, in addition to updates sent directly from the Program Account Manager.

Home Upgrade and Advanced Home Upgrade projects can be offered to your customers who receive gas service from SoCalGas and electric service from one of the municipal electric providers listed below. Please note that projects in the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) service territory will continue to receive 100% of the calculated incentive as long as there are both gas and electric savings associated with the project. Projects served by a municipal utility other than LADWP will receive 30% of the calculated incentive for gas savings.

  • Anaheim Public Utilities
  • Anza Electric Cooperative
  • Azusa Light and Water
  • The Electric Department (Banning)
  • Burbank Water and Power
  • Colton Electric Utility
  • Glendale Water and Power
  • Imperial Irrigation District
  • Lompoc Public Utility
  • Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
  • Moreno Valley Electric Utility
  • Pasadena Water and Power
  • Riverside Public Utilities

Please contact your Account Manager for more information.

Heat Pumps

Contractors can no longer claim heat pumps in the Home Upgrade Pathway for 2018. Choose the Advanced Home Upgrade Pathway if you would like to claim the heat pump measure. If a Split or Packaged Central Heat Pump is replaced as a part of an Advanced Home Upgrade Default or Custom Project, an image of the existing dataplate and a photo of the new dataplate is required. 

Project Eligibility-Energy Savings

For all Advanced Home Upgrade projects, therm savings and electric savings must be achieved in order for the project to be eligible for 100% of the final incentive. In SoCalGas/LADWP territories, customers are eligible for 65% of the final incentive for Advanced Home Upgrade projects that only produce electric savings and 35% of the final incentive for projects that only produce gas savings. In SoCalGas/municipal electric provider territories, customers are not eligible for incentives for Advanced Home Upgrade projects that only produce electric savings.

Historic Building Energy Efficiency Program Update

Thank you for your participation in the Historic Building Energy Efficiency Program (HBEEP) throughout 2017! HBEEP projects will no longer receive 100% of incentive in SoCalGas/municipal electric territories. For questions about energy efficiency in historic homes, please contact your Account Manager. HBEEP marketing materials will still be available to assist you in selling to historic homeowners.

2018 Program Year Kick-off Event

Save the date of January 16,2018 for our upcoming mandatory kick-off event at the Energy Resource Center! Please be sure to attend the kick-off event to learn what the future of the Energy Upgrade California Home Upgrade Program holds.

More details to come soon. 

 

Important Message Regarding the SCE/SoCalGas Home Upgrade Program in 2018

Friday, November 17, 2017

Dear Participating Contractors:

In 2018, the Energy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade (Home Upgrade) energy efficiency joint program between Southern California Edison (SCE) and SoCalGas® will begin accepting reservations again on January 2, 2018, on a first-come, first-served basis for a short period of time due to limited budget.  

SCE will monitor incentive reservations closely and will communicate with Participating Contractors on an ongoing basis. Once the associated funds have been reserved, it is anticipated that the program will close to new applications through the end of 2018.

Please contact your Account Manager with any questions. 

 

Thank you,

The SCE/SoCalGas Home Upgrade Team

Important Message Regarding the SoCalGas Home Upgrade Program 2018

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Dear Participating Contractors:

SoCalGas® would like to confirm that the Energy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade/Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program will continue to be offered in 2018. The program will begin accepting reservations again on January 2, 2018, and will offer incentives on approved projects where measures are purchased and completely installed between January 1 and December 31, 2018.

The program will remain open through December 31, 2018 or until incentive dollars are exhausted, whichever comes first. SoCalGas will monitor incentives closely throughout 2018 and will communicate with Participating Contractors on an ongoing basis. Information will be distributed via email and posted to the program website, in addition to updates directly from the Program Account Manager.

Home Upgrade and Advanced Home Upgrade projects can be offered to your customers who receive gas service from SoCalGas and electric service from one of the municipal electric providers listed below. Please note that projects in the LADWP service territory will continue to receive 100% of the calculated incentive as long as there are both gas and electric savings associated with the project, while projects served by a municipal utility other than LADWP will receive 30% of the calculated incentive for gas savings.

  • Anaheim Public Utilities
  • Anza Electric Cooperative
  • Azusa Light and Water
  • The Electric Department (Banning)
  • Burbank Water and Power
  • Colton Electric Utility
  • Glendale Water and Power
  • Imperial Irrigation District
  • Lompoc Public Utility
  • Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP)
  • Moreno Valley Electric Utility
  • Pasadena Water and Power
  • Riverside Public Utilities

In addition, SoCalGas offers the Home Upgrade program jointly with SDG&E and PG&E. Visit each program's page for additional details.

Watch your inbox for information on updated program materials and a 2018 Program Kick-Off Meeting to be held in January. We appreciate your continued support and dedication to bringing energy efficiency to homeowners throughout Southern California.

Contact the SoCalGas Program Account Manager with any questions.

Savi Bassa

619-787-0736

 

Thank you,

The SoCalGas Home Upgrade Team

November 1 Program Update

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

November 1 Program Update

Greetings to all Participating Contractors in the Southern California Edison (SCE) and SoCalGas® Energy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade Program. Thank you to all Participating Contractors who have made 2017 a very successful year through high participation and strong engagement at Program events! To close out a great 2017, summarized below are important deadlines and tips to make the transition into another successful year as smooth as possible. 

SCE/SoCalGas Program Updates

Reminder: Important Post-Retrofit Submission Deadline
All projects must be post-retrofit submitted, with all required documentation, by November 15, 2017 6:00 p.m. PST. Additionally, you must resolve all QA/QC issues and documentation issues by December 22, 2017 in order to receive a Notice of Incentive Approval (NOIA) and an incentive in 2017.

Reminder: Standalone Rebates Still Available
SCE and SoCalGas offer standalone rebates for various measures. Check the SCE website and the SoCalGas website for more information.

Reminder: SoCalREN Program Still Available
The Southern California Regional Energy Network (SoCalREN) Program, which covers the SCE/SoCalGas territory in Los Angeles County, will continue to offer incentives for Home Upgrade path projects until the end of the year. More information can be found at tenres.com.

Update for 2018
The Program will not accept any new reservations until January 2, 2018. For 2018 projects, the qualified energy efficiency measures must be sold to the customer, purchased, tested, and completely installed between January 1, 2018, and December 31, 2018, by a Participating Contractor. NO EXCEPTIONS. 

Tips on Post-Retrofit Submissions
Below are some tips and best practices to minimize any delays in project processing in order to receive an incentive sooner.

  • Schedule the city inspection for your project before the post-retrofit submission deadline of November 15, 2017.
  • Create a customized checklist of documents needed for each project. The best resource to create a customized checklist is the Incentive Application V10. All incentive applications indicate what is required or recommended based on the scope of work.
  • Name your files descriptively so that reviewers and processors know which document it is before opening it-this helps speed up the review. Including the customer's last name or address in the file name can help you avoid uploading the wrong customer's file.
  • Keep the energy model ID number in the file name when you download the HPXML file from the energy model. You may rename the file from the default file name, but please keep the model job number/ID number in your new file name.
  • Ensure all invoices are itemized and include all measures being claimed for projects submitted to the Home Upgrade Program. Invoices marked "paid in full" should show a zero balance owed. If your invoice also includes other measures/costs not eligible for incentives in the Program, please include a subtotal of the Home Upgrade-related costs on the invoice.
  • Check that the correct customer name, address, service account and dates are listed on the Incentive Application. To reduce any errors, have the utility bills handy to verify the correct information.
  • Include test-in date-stamped images of specific building components and appliances for all Custom Value Advanced path projects. The Advanced Home Upgrade Test-In Photo Documentation sheet here clearly summarizes what is required. 
  • Take advantage of workload management reports. Participating Contractors have access to workload management reports in which the project status, project number, premise contact first name and days in status of each project are displayed. To access these reports, log into the WebApp and select a utility provider. Select "Start Now" in the "View Project Reporting" option.Under "Select Report," choose the appropriate utility. Click "Generate Report" to display the report to easily access important information about your projects.

If you have any questions or need guidance on post-retrofit submissions, please contact your account management team.

Home Performance Coalition (HPC) Conference & Trade Show Coming Up!
The 2017 HPC Conference is taking place on November 14 and 15 in Long Beach at the Hilton! Click here to register and become a part of the home performance and weatherization conversation as we work together to strengthen the industry through education, networking and new ideas. For more information about the full conference agenda, please click here.

Thank you to all Participating Contractors who participated in the HPC Conference Ticket Raffle! Congratulations to our winners of the ticket raffle, Building Doctors and Add Insulation!

Residential Energy Efficiency Loan (REEL) Program
If you have customers who are hesitant about moving forward with a project due to cost concerns, then energy efficiency financing may offer an ideal solution. The California Hub for Energy Efficiency Financing (CHEEF) offers the Residential Energy Efficiency Loan (REEL) program. REEL aims to provide attractive financing options in order to help residential customers complete more energy efficiency home improvement projects.

You can help customers complete whole-house retrofits even without rebate dollars. Use the REEL program to help your customers secure affordable financing:

  • Up to $50,000 in unsecured financing-no liens.
  • Rates from 5.99% to 9.95% statewide. 
  • Customers can extend payments over 15 years. 
  • No origination or closing fees.  

Over $1MM of energy efficiency projects have already been completed through the REEL program.

For more information: 

  • Customers can view loan product options and apply here.
  • Contractors can find more information here

SoCalGas Program Updates

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

QC Corner

The Future of Pressure and Flow Measurement Is Here Now
One of the most useful tools for any building performance contractor, HERS rater or BPI Building Analyst is their trusty manometer. Few days go by when the device is not put into service measuring building leakage, duct leakage, worst case depressurization, pressure differentials, exhaust flow, or an array of other pressure and flow measurements needed to ensure that a home is operating efficiently and safely.

Just as smart phones have replaced older technology, the time has come for existing manometers to make way for new high-tech instruments. These instruments can perform not only pressure and flow measurements, but also include a variety of connectivity options and a host of other advanced features-making these new devices practically indispensable.

The two major manufactures of manometers used by the home performance industry (in no particular order) are The Energy Conservatory (TEC) and Retrotec. Both companies have introduced entirely new touch-screen manometer/flow meters: Retrotec's DM-32 and TEC's DG-1000. To make these devices even more powerful, each manufacturer offers an app that expands the instruments' capabilities while making operation a breeze. With these new introductions, Retrotec's DM-2 and TEC's DG-700 are no longer available from the manufacturers.

By no means is the Program advising you to buy these new pieces of equipment just for the sake of buying them. However, if you are in the market to purchase new equipment, these new tools are worth considering. Keep in mind that Retrotec's DM-32 works with Retrotec equipment and is also compatible with TEC blower doors and duct blasters as well as a host of other TEC equipment. Each company has quite a bit of information online pertaining to the new instruments. In addition, both manufacturers have numerous videos available online describing their new devices. The video links below give in-depth instruction regarding proper use of the pressure and flow gauges in a variety of applications. One of the best ways to stay abreast of upcoming trainings and webinars is to sign up for the company's newsletters (the second link listed under each company).

For more information, follow the links below:

The Energy Conservatory

http://energyconservatory.com

http://energyconservatory.com/subscribe

http://energyconservatory.com/products/product/dg1000/?categories=4

Retrotec

https://retrotec.com/home

https://retrotec.com/user/login?current=training

https://retrotec.com/videos-photos/why-dm32-smartest-gauge-market-oct-11-2016

An Excellent Holiday Gift for Your Customers

With the holidays rapidly approaching, it would be nice to have a few extra bucks in your pocket. You can do your part to see to it that your customers receive their incentives in time for holiday gifts, parties, home improvements or just to stash away for a rainy day.

ICF, RHA and Program management have been hard at work for the last few months assisting Participating Contractors with project completion. The Program has recently communicated the importance of having all projects post-retrofit submitted by November 15 for incentives to be paid prior to year-end. Once projects have been post-retrofit submitted, it's important that Participating Contractors complete their punch lists and address any issues brought up by the Program in a timely manner. Not doing so might keep projects from being processed, and the customer's incentive will be delayed.

Your help will go a long way in closing out projects. Our tech reviewers, Account Managers and coordinators have been and will continue to work closely with one another to keep Participating Contractors informed regarding documents, images or any other items that may be required to close out a project.

We realize that this will be a busy time for many Participating Contractors as you complete your final projects of the year. By taking the time to supply requested documentation, there is a better chance that all of your projects will close out in a timely manner. Doing so will allow your customers to receive their incentive in a timely manner, and that's a great holiday gift!

Pages