News and Updates

July 3 Program Update

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Summer is Here, Maximize Your Incentives!

In this issue you can expect to see:

  • Higher Incentives, Window Venting selecting "Yes" No Longer Required
  • Removal of BPI On-Staff Requirement
  • SoCalGas Budget Update: 70% Remaining, Sell and Reserve!
  • New Home Upgrade and Advanced Home Upgrade Incentive Calculators

Important Reminders:

  • Sign the New Contractor Participation Agreement Here!
  • Review the 90-Day Cancellation Policy

Budget Update

As of now, 70% of the SoCalGas Only program incentive budget is remaining. Budget updates are scheduled to go out twice a month unless stated otherwise. Please contact your account manager to see how you can take advantage of the remaining incentive budget.

Removal of BPI On-Staff Requirement for Advanced Home Upgrade 

For access to greater incentives through Advanced Home Upgrade, contractors are no longer required to have BPI Building Analysts (BA) on-staff to offer the Advanced Home Upgrade Pathway, effective immediately.   

Participating Contractors can now work with any third-party BPI BAs in the marketplace to perform diagnostic testing for Advanced Home Upgrade and offer customers this pathway with a BPI BA on-team rather than on-staff.

If you would like more information on submitting Advanced Home Upgrade projects, please contact your account management team.

Mentoring No Longer Required

Newly trained BPI BAs will no longer need mentoring in order to perform testing for projects.

This also applies to new contractors joining the program. Although mentoring is not required, it is highly recommended. To schedule a mentoring session, please contact your account manager.

Reversal of Window Venting Decision: SnuggPro/Optimizer

Are Your Windows Open or Closed?

In mid-February of 2017, Snugg Pro released V5.5 of their energy-modeling software. Contained within the update was an option which allow modelers to choose “Yes” or “No” for “Window Venting.” At the time, window venting was a new energy modeling concept affecting the operation of a home’s HVAC system. The window venting choice made by the modeler had a direct impact on the modeled energy-savings for the project. Around the same time as the Snugg Pro revision, the folks at OptiMiser added a window venting option to their software as well.

The purpose of the window venting option is to more accurately model the home’s energy use. If “Yes” is selected for window venting, the software assumes the homeowner opens the windows and doors based on the temperature difference between the indoors and the outdoors to take advantage of free heating and cooling. This opening of the windows and doors supplements the HVAC system allowing it to run less, therefore using fewer kWh for cooling and fewer therms for heating. If “No” is selected for window venting, the software assumes the homeowner does not open the windows or doors to supplement the HVAC system, thereby relying solely on the HVAC system for all of the home’s heating and cooling needs.

Shortly after the release of V5.5 Program Management made a decision that dictated when modelers should select “Yes” or “No” for window venting. The following was included in the May 1, 2017 decision as to when “Yes” or “No” should be selected:

All Advanced Default path projects, and Advanced Custom path projects that do not submit utility bill data shall check “Yes” for the Window Venting option, on both the base and improved screens. Advanced Custom path projects that submit utility bill data should check “Yes” or “No” for the Window Venting option depending on how the home is operated.

After much consideration a decision has been made to modify the previously stated guideline in an attempt to increase participation in the Program. Effective June 13, 2018 the following policy went into effect:

For Advanced Default path projects and Advanced Custom path projects that do not submit utility bill data, contractors/auditors are no longer required to select “Yes” for window venting. When building energy models in Snugg Pro or OptiMiser contractors/auditors shall be allowed to select either “Yes” or “No” regarding window venting. This determination should be made based on how the home is actually operated. If the homeowner opens the windows to take advantage of the temperature difference between indoors and outdoors to supplement the HVAC system, the contractor/auditor shall select “Yes” for window venting. If the homeowner relies solely on the HVAC system for all the home’s heating and cooling needs, the contractor/auditor shall select “No” for window venting.

No matter what condition the contractor/auditor selects for window venting, the same condition (either “Yes” or “No”) must be selected in the energy model for both the baseline and the improved conditions.

To reiterate, contractor’s and auditors will no longer be required to select “Yes” for window venting on Advanced Default path projects and Advanced Custom path projects that do not submit utility bill data. Instead they should select “Yes” or “No” based on the way the home is actually operated.

New Home Upgrade and Advanced Home Upgrade Incentive Calculators

To accommodate new measures recently added to the Gas Only program, new incentive calculators are now available on the contractor website. As a reminder the three new measures are:

  • Smart Thermostats
  • Auto- Diverting Tub Spouts
  • Pool Heaters 

These measures contribute to the minimum 10% energy savings requirement in Advanced Home Upgrade.

Reminder: New Contactor Participation Agreement

The Contractor Participation Agreement that was updated in 2018 to be more contractor-friendly is now available on the contractor website here. This document must be signed and returned to your account manager to remain active in the program. Please ask your account management team if you have questions about any changes.

Reminder: 90-Day Cancellation Policy

To ensure that ineligible projects do not tie up reserved incentive funds, the program will continue 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 cancellation. Please contact your account manager if you have any questions or concerns about any at-risk projects.

QC Corner

SoCalGas Energy Upgrade California Home Upgrade is Open for Business as Usual

With the SCE/SoCalGas Joint Program winding down before the end of the year, we wanted to be sure contractors and auditors working in (or thinking about working in) the SoCalGas territories understand that the SoCalGas Program is open and will remain open for business. In addition, the Program has added new measures including smart thermostats, auto diverting tub spouts and pool heaters to help entice prospective customers. For specific dates regarding the SCE/SoCalGas Energy Upgrade California Home Upgrade Joint program closing, please see the QC Corner article in the July 1, 2018 SCE/SoCalGas Joint Program newsletter, or contact your account manager.

The SoCalGas program is scheduled to operate unchanged through 2018 and into 2019. In 2019, the program will be revamped and run by a third-party implementer. At this point in time, the design of the new program has not been established by a non-utility implementer.

The SoCalGas territory covers a large geographical area served by a variety of municipal electric suppliers allowing contractors the ability to work in many different regions. Key areas include LADWP territory and the city of Riverside — due to larger incentives offered when working in these areas. If LADWP and the city of Riverside are out of your normal service territory there are still many other opportunities for you to bring more homeowners into the program.

For specifics regarding a particular territory or any of the new energy-efficiency measures contact your account manager for details.

Financing Updates from CHEEF/REEL

Top 3 Ways to Introduce Your Customers to REEL Financing

Your customers have a choice when it comes to finding the REEL lender that’s right for them when completing a Home Upgrade project or other energy efficiency improvement. And you have the resources you need to connect your customers to those lenders. Here are a few tips to help you make that connection.

  1. Explain that REEL offers lenders you can trust. REEL financing is promoted by the state of California, with the support of SCE and SoCalGas.
  2. If your customer is a technology user, direct them to GoGreenFinancing.com, where they’ll find everything they need to learn more about REEL—including finding the lender who’s right for them.
  3. If your customer prefers paper, give them a copy of the REEL Lenders Chart (which contains general information about all lenders) or share a copy of the appropriate REEL Lender profiles (which provide detailed information about specific lenders).

Visit GoGreenFinancing.com to fill out an application and complete the 1-hour program training online, anytime. Or, contact the REEL Contractor Support team at 1-800-484-0109 or Email.

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.

 

SCE - July 3 Program Update

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

 

 

Attention All:

Joint Program Closing August 31 or When Funds are Depleted!

In this issue you can expect to see:

  • Sell and Reserve Projects!
  • Budget Remaining 38%

Important Reminders:

  • Sign the New Contractor Participation Agreement Here!
  • Review the 90-Day Cancellation Policy

Budget Update

As of now, 38% of the Southern California Edison (SCE) program incentive budget is remaining. Budget updates are scheduled to go out twice a month unless stated otherwise. Please contact your account managers to see how you can take advantage of the remaining incentives.

SCE/SoCalGas® Home Upgrade Program Sunset Date

The last day to reserve projects in the SCE/SoCalGas territory will be August 31, 2018 by 6 p.m. PST unless program funds are exhausted before this date and time.

It is imperative that you reserve your projects, receive confirmation as soon as possible, and before construction begins to ensure you protect your company from liability. This will help maintain your good reputation with your customers. The last day to post-retrofit submit projects in this territory will be October 31, 2018 by 6 p.m. PST.

Deadlines: Program Reservations

To ensure deadlines are clear and concise, please keep in mind the following:

  • All reservations for projects in the SCE/SoCalGas service territory must be submitted by August 31, 2018 by 6 p.m. PST unless program funds are exhausted before this date and time.
  • In order to receive an incentive, all projects reserved by August 31, 2018 must be post-retrofit submitted with all required documentation by October 31, 2018.
  • Please note: these deadlines only apply to SCE/SoCalGas projects. No incentive checks will be issued in 2019.

Removal of BPI On-Staff Requirement for Advanced Home Upgrade

For access to greater incentives through Advanced Home Upgrade, contractors are no longer required to have BPI Building Analysts (BA) on-staff to offer the Advanced Home Upgrade Pathway, effective immediately.   

Participting Contractors can now work with any third-party BPI BAs in the marketplace toa perform diagnostic testing for Advanced Home Upgrade and offer customers this pathway with a BPI BA on-team rather than on-staff.

If you would like more information on submitting Advanced Home Upgrade projects, please contact your account management team.

Reversal of Window Venting Decision: SnuggPro/Optimizer

Are Your Windows Open or Closed?

In mid-February of 2017, Snugg Pro released V5.5 of their energy-modeling software. Contained within the update was an option which allow modelers to choose “Yes” or “No” for “Window Venting.” At the time, window venting was a new energy modeling concept affecting the operation of a home’s HVAC system. The window venting choice made by the modeler had a direct impact on the modeled energy-savings for the project. Around the same time as the Snugg Pro revision, the folks at OptiMiser added a window venting option to their software as well.

The purpose of the window venting option is to more accurately model the home’s energy use. If “Yes” is selected for window venting, the software assumes the homeowner opens the windows and doors based on the temperature difference between the indoors and the outdoors to take advantage of free heating and cooling. This opening of the windows and doors supplements the HVAC system allowing it to run less, therefore using fewer kWh for cooling and fewer therms for heating. If “No” is selected for window venting, the software assumes the homeowner does not open the windows or doors to supplement the HVAC system, thereby relying solely on the HVAC system for all of the home’s heating and cooling needs.

Shortly after the release of V5.5 Program Management made a decision that dictated when modelers should select “Yes” or “No” for window venting. The following was included in the May 1, 2017 decision as to when “Yes” or “No” should be selected:

All Advanced Default path projects, and Advanced Custom path projects that do not submit utility bill data shall check “Yes” for the Window Venting option, on both the base and improved screens. Advanced Custom path projects that submit utility bill data should check “Yes” or “No” for the Window Venting option depending on how the home is operated.

After much consideration, a decision has been made to modify the previously stated guideline in an attempt to increase participation in the Program. Effective June 13, 2018 the following policy went into effect:

For Advanced Default path projects and Advanced Custom path projects that do not submit utility bill data, contractors/auditors are no longer required to select “Yes” for window venting. When building energy models in Snugg Pro or OptiMiser contractors/auditors shall be allowed to select either “Yes” or “No” regarding window venting. This determination should be made based on how the home is actually operated. If the homeowner opens the windows to take advantage of the temperature difference between indoors and outdoors to supplement the HVAC system, the contractor/auditor shall select “Yes” for window venting. If the homeowner relies solely on the HVAC system for all the home’s heating and cooling needs, the contractor/auditor shall select “No” for window venting.

No matter what condition the contractor/auditor selects for window venting, the same condition (either “Yes” or “No”) must be selected in the energy model for both the baseline and the improved conditions.

To reiterate, contractor’s and auditors will no longer be required to select “Yes” for window venting on Advanced Default path projects and Advanced Custom path projects that do not submit utility bill data. Instead they should select “Yes” or “No” based on the way the home is actually operated.

Mentoring No Longer Required

Newly trained BPI BAs will no longer need mentoring in order to perform testing for projects. This also applies to new contractors joining the program.

Although mentoring is not required, it is highly recommended

Reminder: New Contractor Participation Agreement

The Contractor Participation Agreement that was updated in 2018 to be more contractor-friendly is now available on the contractor website here. This document must be signed and returned to account managers to remain active in the program. Please ask your account management team if you have questions about any changes.

Reminder: 90-Day Cancellation Policy

To ensure that ineligible projects do not tie up reserved incentive funds, the program will continue 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 cancellation. Please contact your account manager if you have any questions or concerns about any at-risk projects.

QC Corner

All Good Things Must Come to an End

It’s hard to believe we are approaching the end of the SCE/SoCalGas Joint Program’s lifecycle. Almost 12,000 homes have gone through the program since its inception. Considering the program’s modest beginning when very few home performance contractors or BPI analysts were in the area, we have all come a very long way helping homeowners save money on utility bills while adding comfort and increasing health and safety in their homes.

Contractors, auditors and their teams should be very proud of their contributions in terms of energy-savings and reduced emissions with the energy-saving measures they installed for their customers.

Since the Joint Utility Program’s inception participants have saved or will save an estimated:

  • 10.5 million kWh of electricity
  • 1 million therms of natural gas equating to reduced greenhouse gas emission from approximately:

           o  32 million miles driven by an average passenger vehicle

           o  Burning 1.5 million gallons of gasoline

Adding to that, the comfort, health, and safety aspects that were provided to homeowners, you all have a lot to feel good about.

Important Upcoming Dates:

August 31, 2018 will be the last day to create new projects and reserve incentive dollars, unless all remaining incentive funding has been exhausted prior to that date. If you miss the August 31 project creation date your project will not be accepted.

October 31, 2018 will be the last day projects may be Post Retrofit submitted to the Program. Based on budgeting and accounting procedures these dates are firm. If you met the August 31 project creation date but missed the October 31 Post Retrofit submission date, your project will not be processed and no incentive will be paid out.

Please take note of these dates and be sure your submissions are made prior to the deadlines to prevent any unsatisfied homeowners or contractors. We encourage all contractors and auditors to submit their projects in a timely manner.

Once projects have been Post Retrofit submitted they will work their way through the review process. If during the review it is determined a contractor/auditor needs to submit additional documentation or perform additional work, those project issues will be accommodated after October 31, but must be completed by November 30.

Program Management will be working alongside ICF and RHA to ensure that all projects are processed in a timely manner before the final deadline. We encourage all contractors and auditors to reach out to their account managers with any questions or concerns as soon as possible. This communication will go a long way in helping to ensure that we close out each and every project before November 30. We understand unexpected issues arise. Alerting your account manager or program manager at RHA will allow us to help you make sure small issues do not turn into big issues.

PLEASE TAKE NOTE: The SoCalGas program is scheduled to operate unchanged through the entirety of 2018 and into the second quarter of 2019. In 2019, the program will be revamped and run by a third-party implementer. At this point the design of the new program not been established.

Financing Updates from CHEEF/REEL

Top 3 Ways to Introduce Your Customers to REEL Financing

Your customers have a choice when it comes to finding the REEL lender that’s right for them when completing a Home Upgrade project or other energy efficiency improvement. And you have the resources you need to connect your customers to those lenders. Here are a few tips to help you make that connection.

  1. Explain that REEL offers lenders you can trust. REEL financing is promoted by the state of California, with the support of SCE and SoCalGas.
  2. If your customer is a technology user, direct them to GoGreenFinancing.com, where they’ll find everything they need to learn more about REEL—including finding the lender who’s right for them.
  3. If your customer prefers paper, give them a copy of the REEL Lenders Chart (which contains general information about all lenders) or share a copy of the appropriate REEL Lender profiles (which provide detailed information about specific lenders).

Visit GoGreenFinancing.com to fill out an application and complete the 1-hour program training online, anytime. Or, contact the REEL Contractor Support team at 1-800-484-0109 or Email.

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.