News and Updates

August 15 Program Updates

Monday, August 15, 2016

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

SCE/SoCalGas Program Updates

What's in a Value?

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

Types of Base Values

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

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

Improved Values

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

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

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

Length and Width Inputs in Snugg Pro

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

August Training Opportunities

Getting Started with Contractor Co-Op Webinar

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

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

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

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

August 1 Program Updates

Monday, August 1, 2016

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

 

SCE/SoCalGas Program Updates

Credit for Buried Ducts:

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

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

Snugg Pro

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

CakeSystems

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

OptiMiser

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

Energy Pro

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

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

Updated Snugg Pro Documents Now Available! 

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

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

New Program Requirements and Software Vendors

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

Calculators FYI!

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

WebApp Changes Launching August 1 for Projects Reserved after August 1

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

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

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

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

New Incentive Applications and Marketing Materials

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

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

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

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

Getting Started with Contractor Co-Op Webinar

August 22, 8:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. 

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

This webinar will cover:

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

SoCalGas Program

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SoCalGas-only Home Upgrade:

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