Efficiency First California
Ori Skloot, President
Efficiency First California
Board of Directors
Basic Path Replacement to Be Called “Home Upgrade”
by Conrad Aper, Executive Director
The new basic path replacement program, to be called the “Home Upgrade” program, is currently undergoing final review and approval by the California Public Utilities Commission (Commission). Because program partners collaborated closely to produce a consistent programmatic approach across the state, the program partners are hoping for a timely program launch.
The final phase of the replacement program development commenced on April 2, when the four Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs) and two Regional Energy Networks (RENs) submitted a joint Advice Letter on the Basic Path Replacement program design; click this link to read the Advice Letter: http://www.pge.com/nots/rates/tariffs/tm2/pdf/ELEC_4207-E.pdf.
EF California reviewed and commented on the Advice Letter. While the Advice Letter did provide a consistent statewide program design for a menu-based, low incentive approach to whole-house services, it did not fully address two key features in the original CPUC scope: emergency change-out protocols and high performance (that is, fast track) contractor protocols. EF California’s comments focused on these remaining issues and the process for resolving them.
High Performance Contractors
We recommended the Commission direct the IOUs to work within the Energy Upgrade California™ Statewide Working Group, which includes all key stakeholders in program implementation, to establish a statewide definition of the term High Performing Contractor to be adopted by IOUs and RENs across the state as the basis for the establishment of the statewide aligned and streamlined High Performance Contractor program; we also provided a set of threshold recommendations.
Alignment of Quality Assurance Sampling Rates with National Protocols
We recommended the Commission direct all IOUs and RENs to align their QA program sampling rates with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Home Performance with Energy Star (HPwES) QA suggestions for a tiered sampling system (for example, HPwES Tier 3 high performing contractor sampling rate is 5 percent [1 in every 20 jobs]) as a foundation for a statewide aligned and streamlined High Performing Contractors sampling rate. This approach would ensure a consistent and equitable process throughout the state and across market territories, give contractors the ability to understand and respond to QA status determinations by implementing agencies, and allow more program stakeholders to participate in the ongoing process of aligning and streamlining program protocols as we move forward
Consistent Statewide Combustion Appliance Safety Protocols
In the interests of streamlining program procedures, we recommended the BPI CAS testing protocols be adopted by all program partners as the singular CAS method, while long-term criteria are investigated, to ensure a level playing field across program territories, and that a set of evaluation criteria be developed with stakeholders to guide the process of investigating alternate CAS certifications and standards.
Ability to Schedule Quality Assurance Inspections at Project Test-Out
We supported and advised the adoption of the industry best practice to inform contractors of the inspection rate and allow the opportunity to schedule QA inspections at the time of project test-out to minimize customer inconvenience and maximize mentoring opportunities.
Timely Schedule for Emergency Replacement and High Performing Contractor Protocols
We recommended that the Commission direct the IOUs and RENs to submit a subsequent Tier 2 Advice Letter as a mechanism to provide a timeline and deadline for the establishment of statewide aligned and streamlined protocols for emergency replacement and high performing contractor protocols among the program partners.
Pushing for Clear Website Message
EF California submitted proposed changes to the current EUC Website following a discussion at the EUC Statewide Working Group. Those comments, which center on the confusing Contractor/Rater page, were submitted to the IOU leaders for consideration. In the meantime, the Statewide MEO and Program Brand Coordination committee discussed short-term improvements to the current Website and long-term features for the new Website set to launch in November. They also discussed the Contractor Directory and adding more data fields so companies can distinguish themselves. EF California also submitted a proposal for updating the website to the MEO/Program Branding team.
Home energy upgrade overview for Energy Upgrade California
City of Clairmont honored for successful
Training & Workforce Development
PG&E Home Upgrade & HVAC Contractor Rountable Wednesday, June 26, 9:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., Fresno, CA
Learn more about the Home Upgrade Program (formerly Basic Path): Learn about new PG&E E marketing strategies for the Central Valley, includes open forum discussion about PG&E support in the program and what is working for other contractors. Guest speakers Joanne Panchana and Nicola Forster of PG&E.
Click here for more information and to register
Advanced Level BPI Certification Training Level I-IV: Coming in 2013. Check back for up to date registration information.
NEW! BPI Certification Renewal Policy: Check out BPI's NEW recertificatioin policy! Do you qualify under the new criteia? The new policy eliminated field exam requirements in certain circumstances according to verified work experience. Click here to find out more.
CBPCA HERS Training to become a Home Energy Rater: Click here to find out more about how CBPCA's HERS program and how we can help you become a Home Energy Rater
NEW! Click image to read our May 2013 Newsletter
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Efficiency First California Members News
“Industry Advocacy in California – What We Have Been Doing"
by Conrad Asper, Executive Director
Technical innovations, emerging best practices, peer-to-peer mentoring, and evolving policies and programs are key features of our dynamic fast-paced home performance industry. Staying informed is essential to maintaining a competitive edge in the marketplace.
For over 25 years, Home Energy Magazine has been the leading industry publication providing “objective and practical information on residential energy efficiency, performance, comfort, and affordability [using the] only approach that really works, systems engineering.” The magazine submits all articles to a rigorous four-month review by a series of editors to ensure accuracy, clarity, up-to-date advice, pertinent data, and best practices vetted by industry leaders — making the magazine the “go to” resource for home performance professionals.
As an EF California member, you are eligible to receive a $20 discount on a Home Energy Magazine subscription, making it easy and affordable to stay current on topics such as HVAC, software, tools of the trade, BPI standards, green building, sick house syndrome, appliances and plug loads, renewable energy, and diagnostics as well as business best practices, financing, quality assurance, sales and marketing, and training. Check out the Home Energy Magazine Website at:http://www.homeenergy.org/ .
The Home Energy Magazine member discount is available for the print-only and print/online subscription options. Smartphone and tablet users with a print/online subscription can access over one year of digital editions, including PDF versions of the magazine that can be downloaded to your mobile or iBooks device for easy offline access.
One- and two-year subscriptions are available for individuals/small businesses and nonprofits (less than 50 employees), large businesses (more than 50 employees), and government and educational institutions. To access your Home Energy Magazine discount: Click here to continue.
EF California Plays Leadership Role at ACI
Road maps to local markets and a national chapter network were at the top of the EF California agenda for the 2013 ACI National Home Performance Conference held in Denver, Colorado, in early May.
Home Energy Leadership Summit: The ACI Home Energy Leadership Summit is an executive level event designed to bring together the key leaders from the public and private sector who are working to drive residential energy efficiency into the mainstream. The goal of the Summit is to look out towards our ideal future and a possible road map to get there. We need to inspire innovation and collaboration in the marketplace, particularly focusing on government, utilities, finance, contractors, and homeowners.
The Current Road map: Align our interests. We've identified the key stakeholders, but we know their interests and movitations don't always align. Homeonwers want a comfortable and attractive house; utilities want to satisfy energy savings requirements; manufacturers and contractors want to grow their businesses and profits. We need everyone at the table to work on solutions that align interests, and this year's Leadership Summit will bring more individuals together to discuss how to accomplish this.
Gather important data. Our industry excels at collecting data. We measure how tight a house is and model potential energy savings, and researchers are collecting mountains of data from project homes. Data is critical to our success, and we need to gather important data on a national scale that will move our entire industry forward. Join us in this year's discussion about which benchmarks are the most critical, and what an industry scorecard should look like.
Build a successful workforce. We've raised the bar with standards and certifications, and now, momentum is growing in building science education and training. We need to attract the best and brightest to the industry, and we need a variety of successful business models to reach the mass market. Listen to and learn from successful leaders in our sister industries of HVAC, remodeling, and solar about how we can bridge the divide and stimulate industry growth.
We must ask ourselves: What are the key benchmarks as we measure success on the current road map? Click here to read more.
Left to right, front row: Damian Hodkinson/EF New York, Coby Rudolph/EF National, Chris Cone/EF California, Julie Tolliver/EF Cincinnati; back row: Will Schweiger/EF New York, Conrad Asper/EF California, Jamie Clark/EF Kentucky, Don MacOdrum/Home Performance Guild of Oregon; Rob Jones and Mark Rixson/EF Kansas City. Additional attendees included Donna Sanders/EF Kansas City, Dan Kartzman/EF New York, Allison Weston/EF National, and Peter Van Buren/EF Maryland.
NEW! Be Ready for CALGreen and Access Code Changes! Click here to read
NEW! Habitat X Conference July 30-August 2 in Helena, Montana. Group discounts available and BPI approved for 16 CEU credits. Click here for details.
NEW! BPI: Your House is a system. Click here to read
NEW! System Performance vs. Home Performance. Click here to read.
NEW! Valuable Seminar Schedule about the 2013 amendments to CALGreen and California's building code that bring it into alignment with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilties Act. These changes take place in January 2014. Click here for seminar locations and dates.
NEW! Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Philadelphia November 20-22, 2013. Hillary Rodham Clinton is Key Note Speaker. Click for more information
Home energy improvements pay off at tax time. Click here to read how!
BPI Announces New Certification Renewal Policies. Click here for press release.
City of Claremont CHERP
You Tube Video: Home Performance with Energy Star Program Report
Click here to watch the highlights
Homeowner & Contractor Articles of Interest
New! Energy Advise for Owners of Older and Historic Homes: Published by EPA
New! DOE Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Program Building America Best Practices Series: Vol. 14: Energy Renovations HVAC - A Guide for Contractors to Share with Homeowners. Prepared by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
New! DOE Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Program Building America Best Practices Series: Vol. 13: Energy Performance Techniques and Technologies-Preserving Historic Homes. Prepared by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Kaufman Heritage Conservation.
Homeowners have Energy Upgrade financing options
Energy Efficient Mortgage Loans now widely available
by Brentt Taylor
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