News and Updates

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.

August and September Training Opportunities Inside!

Monday, August 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!

August and September 2015 Program Training Opportunities

Financing Town Hall - Tomorrow!

CLOSE THE DEAL FASTER!

Join us to learn about the various financing options available to fund your Home Upgrade projects. At this Town Hall, you will:

  • Hear from numerous financing product speakers
  • Participate in discussions about how to integrate financing into your home performance sales pitch
  • Compare options to see which fits your business model and customers best
  • View marketing materials and a comparison chart
  • Enjoy breakfast on us!

Date: August 18, 2015

Time: 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

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


 

Home Performance Sales Training

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

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

SCE/SoCalGas Program September Technical Training - REQUIRED

September 29, 2015

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. 

 

Upcoming Industry Events and Training Opportunities

Webinar: "Stop Marketing Energy Efficiency. Start Marketing Better."

Tune in to learn how to:

  •  Understand the market perception realities that must be addressed to sell more energy efficient homes and home improvements
  • Understand how's and why's of applying compelling messaging and tactics in your marketing effort
  • Define a "better" home in the way homeowners define it

Earn up to 1.5 BPI CEUs

Date: August 19, 2015
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

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 Savings 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

August Training Opportunities Inside!

Monday, August 3, 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! 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has developed a new rule to protect workers in confined spaces, including residential attics and crawl spaces, that will impact the work of home performance and weatherization professionals. Is your company prepared for the changes effective today, August 3, 2015? Read more. 

August 2015 Program Training Opportunities

BPI BA Re-certification Written Exam

ICF International is conducting a Building Performance Institute (BPI) Building Analyst (BA) re-certification written exam. This exam is offered to all Participating Contractors who are currently certified professionals. SCE and SoCalGas are partially subsidizing the cost of these exams for Participating Contractors; the outstanding balance of $199.00 may be paid by money order or cashier's check, payable to ICF International. 

Registration is required. 

Date: Tuesday, August 11, 2015

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

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

Energy Modeling 101: EnergyPro v5

Please join us for this informative and interactive energy modeling webinar to learn how to start a new EnergyPro v5 model from field inspection details! A tutorial will be provided, and there will be time for troubleshooting and a Q&A session. 

Date: August 14, 2015

Time: 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Financing Town Hall

CLOSE THE DEAL FASTER!

Join us to learn about the various financing options available to fund your Home Upgrade projects. At this Town Hall, you will:

  • Hear from numerous financing product speakers
  • Participate in discussions about how to integrate financing into your home performance sales pitch
  • Compare options to see which fits your business model and customers best
  • View marketing materials and a comparison chart
  • Enjoy breakfast on us!

Date: August 18, 2015

Time: 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

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

Upcoming Program Events and Training Opportunities

SCE/SoCalGas Program September Technical Training  

September 29, 2015

Upcoming Industry Events and Training Opportunities

Webinar: How to Win the Job Without Leaving Your Profits on the Table

We need to be seen as a wizard on our first visit to the house and understand how to inform our prospects so that they make the right choice of contractor-we all know who that is!

What will we explore?

  • Why price is not the most important consideration when your prospect selects a contractor.
  • How to educate prospects about what they need to know to choose a contractor wisely.
  • Why having a higher priced proposal than your competitor's gives you the advantage of more choices when the client asks for a lower price.

Earn up to 1.5 BPI CEUs

Date: August 6, 2015
Time: 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Webinar: Creating the High-Trust, Blame Free Company

By attending this session, you will

  • Identify factors that lead to better employee performance, personal satisfaction & loyalty
  • Learn how to develop employees to be intrinsically motivated
  • Understand where to focus blame
  • Learn when an employee should be blamed

Earn up to 1.5 BPI CEUs

Date: August 18, 2015
Time: 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Webinar: Is Your Website Converting Traffic to Leads? Simple, Objective Ways to Evaluate

One website metric matters more than almost any other: Conversion Rate. Peter Troast (CEO and Founder of Energy Circle) will discuss proven ways that home performance and HVAC websites can capture more leads, measure and track those leads, and improve their conversion rate. Participants will be eligible to earn 1 BPI CEU. 

Date: August 13, 2015
Time: 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

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. We will cover the basics, as follows:

ESTIMATING THE ENERGY AUDIT

  • 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