July 13 Program Updates

Program Requirement
Thursday, July 13, 2017


July 13 Program Updates

Notice: Important Notice: Incentive Funds are Rapidly Becoming Limited, please see the Important 2017 Program Changes email announcement for updated incentive and measure information.

Thank you to all the Participating Contractors who attended the Spring Technical Training event on June 6! We hope you found the information on the new  BPI Healthy Homes Evaluator certification, Healthy Homes Master Class, Community Choice Aggregators, Contractor Leadership Council, Residential Energy Efficiency Loan (REEL) program updates and QC updates useful as your business heats up this summer. If you were unable to attend, please visit the Past Training Presentations section of the Program Resources on the Contractor Website for a copy of the presentation slides.

Be sure to check out the new QC document updates below, and take note in particular of the updates made to the Inspection Guidelines and Processing Guidelines documents. As always, contact your Account Management team with any questions!

Zero Energy Earns Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® Century Club Award

Congratulations to Zero Energy Contracting, Inc. on receiving the 2017 Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Century Club Award! Zero Energy completed 159 HPwES projects in the SoCalGas program last year. The list of all the 2017 Century Club Award winners nationally is available on the ENERGY STAR® website. Participating Contractors in good standing who complete 100 or more HPwES projects in the previous calendar year are eligible for this award, we hope to see your company's name among the winners in 2018.

SCE/SoCalGas Program Updates

Important Notice: Incentive Funds are Rapidly Becoming Limited: Due to the overwhelming success of the program, the program is now limited in funds. To ensure your project qualifies for incentives, you must reserve your projects to ensure your customer's rebate. It is imperative that you reserve your projects and receive confirmation as soon as possible and before you begin construction to protect your company from liability and maintain your good reputation with your customers. The program will resume with new funds in 2018. Please see the email regarding 2017 program changes for full details.

Update on Multiple Projects: Multiple project reservations for the same residence (i.e. dual submission) will not be allowed for projects reserved on or after August 15, 2017. For residences seeking credit for multiple HVAC system upgrades, Participating Contractors should submit a single Advanced Home Upgrade project.

SoCalGas Program Updates

SoCalGas Program Requirements and Incentives Aligning with Joint Program

The SoCalGas Program requirements and incentives will be revised to align with the Joint SCE/SoCalGas Program for all projects reserved on or after August 15, 2017 and all projects post-retrofit submitted on or after October 1, 2017. Please see the email regarding 2017 program changes for full details.

New HBEEP Project Identifier in the SoCalGas Program WebApp

Historic Building Energy Efficiency Program (HBEEP) Participating Contractors can now identify qualifying HBEEP projects in the WebApp for the SoCalGas Program during pre-retrofit in the Customer Information section and post-retrofit submission in the Project Information section.

Projects participating in HBEEP will receive 100% of the final incentive in all municipal electric territories. For more information on how you can become a Participating Contractor in HBEEP, please contact your Account Manager.

Account Names

To help ensure account information accuracy, when submitting your project reservations and completing the incentive application for customers with LADWP, be sure to complete the LADWP account information section using the account name exactly as it appears on the LADWP bill.  Shortened or alternate versions of the name will no longer be accepted. For example, if the LADWP account name is Thomas Smith, please do not enter Tom Smith for the LADWP account name as it will not pass account verification and will delay your project. This is also strongly recommended for SoCalGas account names (and SCE account names in the Joint SCE/SoCalGas Program). As always, we strongly recommend that you upload a copy of both the electric and gas utility bills when submitting your project reservation to streamline the account verification process.

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

New Documents in Time for the Summer Cooling Season

Over the past few months, Richard Heath & Associates Inc. (RHA), the Program's QC Vendor, has been working diligently alongside ICF to develop the tools Participating Contractors need to be successful. This is the time of year we concentrate on updating major Program documentation that is critical to understanding program policies and requirements. Attendees of the June 6 Technical Training were given updated copies of several program documents. The updated documents included:  Quality Control Inspection Guidelines Version 7, Quality Assurance/Quality Control Processing Guidelines June 2017, and Version 1.0 of the new Pocket Reference Guide.

We are pleased to release these documents, and the Program hopes contractors, auditors, and modelers will find them easy to follow while still providing all the technical expertise needed to navigate the Program. The Inspection GuidelinesProcessing Guidelines, and Pocket Reference Guide are available on the Contractor Website. Please contact your Account Manager to receive printed copies of these documents.

Quality Control Inspection Guidelines Version 7 

During this round of revisions, the focus was to transform the existing document into one that more closely follows the steps of an actual inspection in the order the steps are performed. Much of the information has been edited to create a clearer, more concise document designed to be easier to follow. 

Major changes have been made to the following sections/topics:

  • Gas Leak Testing
  • Red Work Zone
  • Communication Between Return and Combustion Air
  • Determining WCD
  • CAS/CAZ Testing Sequence

These and all other changes to the Inspection Guidelines may be viewed in the detailed document Inspection Guidelines Changes for 2017 V7, available on the Contractor Website.

Quality Assurance/Quality Control Processing Guidelines June 2017  

The Processing Guidelines document narrates Program rules that Participating Contractors must follow. The Processing Guidelines indicate how a project is processed when a particular issue is encountered during the inspection or the review of a project. This document contains sections including: application phase processing, appeals, pass with recommendation issues, remediation required issues, fail issues and more.

The pass with recommendation issues and remediation required issue sections are important since they tie into existing and potential health and safety issues. Those sections contain specific conditions commonly encountered in the field that may require further attention.

Example:  You are participating in a Witness QC and the Energy Field Technician informs you that the fireplace with the gas log set does not have a damper clamp installed. What do you do? Open the Processing Guidelines and look in the Remediation section, on Page 7 you will see Item 6, "Gas-fueled fireplace does not have a damper clamp installed." In the beginning of the Remediation Required - (Withhold Payment) section on Page 7, contained within the first paragraph is the following statement: "to qualify for payment, non-conforming condition(s) must be remediated." Therefore, you must install a damper clamp and provide a date-stamped image to the Program to confirm it was installed. 

Pocket Reference Guide Version 1.0 2017
The Pocket Reference Guide, or PRG as we call it, is brand new to the program. After hearing many requests from contractors and auditors looking for a quick reference guide of the most common issues addressed by the Inspection Guidelines, the Program developed this document as a resource that can easily be stashed in a shirt pocket or tool box. Contained within its 54 pages is an abundance of easy to find procedures, guidelines, tables and formulas. If you have a question while on the job, there's a good chance you'll find an answer in the PRG. It was printed on heavy synthetic stock to ensure the document was durable and built to last in the field. Please remember the Pocket Reference Guide is not designed as a replacement to the Inspection Guidelines; it is meant to be used in conjunction with other program documents. 

Please Note: During RHA's presentation at the Technical Training workshop at the ERC, a statement was made regarding Condition Code Reference #1 on the Notice of Field Identified Recommendations (NFIR) form. The presenter pointed out that the building air leakage value of 0.35 ACH was incorrect and should be changed to 0.35 ACH. It was also pointed out that this value was incorrect in the Inspection Guidelines; page 86, section B., #1, a., and the Processing Guidelines; page 5, section G., #1. After further review, it was determined that the original value of ≥0.35 was correct in all of these documents. If you made a note to change these values on any of the documents, please be sure the original value of ≥0.35 is being used on all the documents. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused. 

Marketing Updates

Statewide Energy Upgrade California Rebrand Soft Launch

The Energy Upgrade California programs are rebranding with a new logo, campaign and statewide website. We will notify you when Home Upgrade will be incorporated into the new website. The current Home Upgrade logo featuring the leaf/house is approved for use by individual programs and Participating Contractors through the end of 2017 - please continue to use current program marketing materials and continue to share any co-branded items with your Account Management team for approval. Please hold off on any large investments such as car wraps that feature the Home Upgrade brand. The new circle logo is not yet approved for use by programs or Participating Contractors until a new brand sublicense agreement is in place. We will keep you updated as more information on the rebranding effort becomes available.

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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. ©2017 Trademarks used with permission and are property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.