News and Updates

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, 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.