Contractor Newsletter - February 2021

Welcome to the Sonoma County Energy Independence Program Contractor Newsletter.  In this issue of our e-newsletter we have:

ESD Newsletter - SCEIP Logo Block

  • Get Ready to Celebrate with Us!
  • Comparative Advantage of SCEIP vs Third Party PACE
  • Contractors Make a Difference
  • Free Marketing Materials Available
  • Resources for Contractors

Published February 24, 2021

Get Ready to Celebrate with Us!

We have a birthday coming soon, and it’s a dozen…  Many thanks to all of our contractors that have participated in the Program through the years.  We listen to you and continually make improvements to the Program. 

Be on the lookout for information coming soon about our virtual celebration in late March.  We’ll supply the goodies to you and your staff, all we ask is for you to submit your favorite things about the Sonoma County Energy Independence Program.  The logistics are being worked out and more information is coming soon.

Comparative Advantage of SCEIP vs Third Party PACE Providers

We know you and your customers have PACE financing options available in Sonoma County, we are often asked how the programs vary and why should contractors offer one over the others.

  • Our interest rate of 5.99% is fixed for the entirety of the assessment life – no matter what amount your client’s request with 10 or 20-year terms available.
  • Our maximum application fee is $178 – no matter if we are funding residential of commercial improvement projects.
  • Our financing minimum is as low as $2500.
  • We do not charge a pre-payment penalty for early payoffs and we offer property owners a one-time paydown option to lower their monthly payments.
  • We can get your clients all the way through application initiation to signing financing contracts in less than one week.
  • Our financing choice can be used anywhere in the County and we can fund for energy efficiency, water conservation, renewable generation, electric vehicle charging stations, seismic and wildfire safety improvements.

    Keep in mind, there are many advantages to PACE financing, and the Energy Independence Program’s financing offers your customers the best option.

    Contractors Make a Difference

    We hear stories about our Participating Contractors all the time, and this month seems like the appropriate time to share a few heartfelt moments!

    A window contractor was on site taking measurements to prepare a bid, when he noticed that homeowner had locked herself out of the house. Our “participating contractor” simply removed a window, crawled into the house, opened the front door, let the homeowner in, replaced the window, finished his bid and when he knocked on the front door to deliver the bid the homeowner already had a pen in hand to sign it.

    Another contractor was in an attic space looking around when he heard something trying to dig through the attic floor, when he went to investigate he found the homeowner’s dog digging through insulation.  The homeowner was down below calling for the dog, who had apparently climbed up the ladder into the attic…so the contractor simply carried the dog back down the ladder and proceeded to help the homeowner bathe the dog.

    A roofing contractor had a large crew on top of a house when the homeowner’s car pulled up, some of the crew noticed the car was full of groceries.  While the homeowner went to unlock the front door, the crew got off the roof and proceeded to each grab a couple of grocery bags, which they carried to the front porch – trying to save the homeowner from making multiple trips.

    Quick thinking, treating others the way you wish to be treated, and random acts of kindness can go a long way towards building trust.

    Keep being the best of yourselves, and we, here in Energy and Sustainability, will keep being available to help you find solutions, answers questions, and do our best to help your business thrive.  Have a story or project that you’d like to share?  We will be launching a homeowner newsletter in Spring 2021 and would like to feature YOU.  Contact our office and let us know if you have a submission. 

    Free Marketing Materials Available for our Participating Contractors

    Did you know that as a participating contractor you have access to free marketing materials?  We want to help your customers fund their projects so you can get paid and keep up with the demand for your work. Reach out to us if you are low on SCEIP marketing materials in your office for your potential customers. We can mail you fresh new marketing materials so if you have customers looking for financing options, you can provide them with trusted resources to process their financing request.  We also have electronic versions available.  You can request additional marketing materials by contacting your contractor manager, or emailing our office directly at SCEIP@sonoma-county.org.  Want to learn more about being a participating contractor with SCEIP?  Contact (707) 565-6470 today.

    Resources for Contractors

    Are Your Clients Missing Out on Rebates?

    Looking to grow your business and offer rebates for work that you may already be doing?  We are pleased to inform you that licensed contractors in Sonoma County (including all incorporated cities and towns) are eligible to participate in the Bay Area Regional Energy Network residential energy efficiency rebate programs. These programs are administered by a local government collaboration and is funded by the California Public Utilities Commission using Public Purpose funds.

    These programs include

    • Home+ Program – Up to $5,000 in rebates for insulation, duct replacement, furnaces and water heaters.
    • Home Energy Score - $200 rebate to conduct US Department of Energy assessment. 

    To become an assessor, visit http://homescoreca.org/join-the-team

    No Cost Contractor Trainings February/March 2021

    BayREN Live Online Trainings 

    Zero Net Energy Homes

    Location: Webinar

    Date: Wednesday, February 24, 2021

    Time: 10:00-11:00 am

    Description: This course will introduce the fundamentals and practices of Zero Net Energy (ZNE) residential projects, including features of ZNE homes, renewable energy, and storage. Topics Covered: What is ZNE, how ZNE impacts energy use, home performance with ZNE, how to meet remaining energy needs of a building.

    Target Audience: Building professionals in the private and public sectors.

    Webinar Registration

    BayREN and Energy Code Ace On-Line Training: HERS-Verified Quality Insulation Installation (QII)

    Adobe Connect Webinar

    Date:  Thursday, March 4, 2021

    Time:  10:00 am – 11:00 am

    Description:  This hour-long course focuses on prescriptive quality insulation installation (QII) requirements in the 2019 Energy Code for new low-rise Residential buildings of any size and additions greater than 700 ft². To avoid costly problems at the end of a project, QII needs to be considered throughout the process starting with the design drawings.  This training provides an overview of QII requirements, discusses how to keep a project on track to meet the requirements, and provides additional reference resources.

    Training developed and offered in partnership with Energy Code Ace.   

    Target Audience:  Building Department Staff, Designers, Contractors, Energy Consultants, HERS Raters

    CEUs Available: ICC: 0.1, AIA: 1.0

    Webinar Registration - Adobe Connect

    Heat Pump Water Heaters for Contractors BayREN On-Line Training

    Location: Webinar

    Date: Wednesday, March 24, 2021

    Time: 12:00-1:15 pm

    Description: Heat pump water heaters (HPWHs) are an increasingly popular technology that are a highly efficient means of providing hot water to houses. Heat pumps are proven, on-the-shelf technology for water heating and space heating with electricity. Since electricity in California is much cleaner than natural gas, heat pumps are a great way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This training will be geared toward contractors and will describe HPWHs, when HPWHs are allowed under the 2019 Code, code requirements for installation, and how to complete compliance forms.

    Target Audience: Contractors

    Webinar Registration

    Sonoma Clean Power – Advanced Energy Center

    Advanced Energy Center Contractor Orientation

    Location: Webinar

    Date: Wednesday, March 8, 2021

    Time: 12:00-12:30 pm

    Description: In this webinar for contractors, learn more about the Advanced Energy Center and how you can get connected with Sonoma Clean Power customers by being listed as a participating installing contractor. This orientation will cover steps to get listed on the program website, available incentives, project submittal guidelines, and more.

    Speakers: Chad Asay, Program Manager, SCP and Chris Bradt, Manager, Frontier Energy

    Webinar Registration

    Contractor Certification Course: On-Bill Financing

    Location: Webinar

    Date: Wednesday, March 9, 2021

    Time: 7:30 -8:30 am

    Description: SCP is pleased to provide courses for contractors participating in our Advanced Energy Center. This course is required for contractors to offer SCP’s On-Bill Financing to SCP single-family residential customers through the Advanced Energy Center. Learn how customers can use On-Bill Financing to install approved Advanced Energy Center products and equipment with no up-front costs. SCP will pre-qualify approved customers for On-Bill Financing loans up to $10,000, with 0% interest and payment terms up to 10 years. After completing this course, contractors will know how to work with those pre-approved customers to submit bids, install approved products listed in the customer’s On-Bill Financing Agreement, and complete program close out documents to receive payment from SCP.

    Speakers: Chad Asay, Program Manager, SCP; Chris Bradt, Manager, Frontier Energy; Angel Garza, Senior Program Coordinator, Frontier Energy

    Webinar Registration

    Contractor Certification Course: Grid-Interactive Heat Pump Water Heaters 

    Location: Webinar

    Date: Wednesday, March 10, 2021

    Time: 12:00 -1:00 pm

    Description: SCP is pleased to provide courses for contractors participating in our Advanced Energy Center. This course is required for contractors to install residential grid-interactive heat pump water heaters featured through the Advanced Energy Center. Learn how to install and activate grid-interactive modules for A.O. Smith and Rheem water heaters. Learn what makes a water heater grid interactive and how you can provide additional cost savings to your customers as an Advanced Energy Center and BayREN Home+ Contractor.

    Heat pump water heaters are two or three times more energy efficient than conventional gas or electric resistance water heaters and save customers money on their utility bill while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

    After completing this course, contractors will be better able to install grid activity modules for Rheem and A.O. Smith water heaters, connect the water heater to the local Wi-Fi, and understand the importance of load shifting.

    Speakers: Chad Asay, Program Manager; Frontier Energy, Angel Garza, Senior Program Coordinator; Frontier Energy and Edward Ruan, Engineer

    Webinar Registration

    PG&E Live Online and On-Demand

    Title 24 Proper Procedures for Charging Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps

    Location: Webinar 

    Date: Tuesday, February 23, 2021

    Time: 9:00 am-4:30 pm

    Description: In this one-day class the instructor will review the basics of the refrigeration cycle, and discuss in detail the three methods of charging systems; charging by superheat with fixed orifice metering devices, charging by sub-cooling with thermostatic expansion valve metering devices, and weighing in the charge. Practicing HVAC technicians will gain valuable information which will improve system performance for their customers!

    Register to attend online

    Retrofitting Homes for Electrification and Decarbonization

    Location: Webinar 

    Date: Thursday, March 4, 2021

    Time: 9:00 am-1:00 pm

    From alignment with California’s decarbonization goals and local ordinances prohibiting new gas installs, Dan Perunko will outline the necessary steps to electrify an existing single-family home and how to manage whole house strategies for successful electrification retrofits. Case studies demonstrating successful electrification projects will highlight the opportunities to overcome challenges presented by existing infrastructure and planning for backup power during PSPS events.

    Register to attend online

    Photovoltaic (PV) Site & Energy Storage Systems (ESS) Analysis and System Sizing

    Location: Webinar 

    Date: Monday, March 8 and Wednesday, March 10, 2021

    Time: 9:00 am-12:30 pm each day

    Description: This is an intermediate class for anyone interested in understanding the specific issues associated with photovoltaic (PV) site analysis and system sizing. We will cover technical feasibility of a potential PV project including solar resource, system orientation, module tilt angles, planning for shade, and evaluating space requirements. We will introduce participants to tools available for solar site analysis (Solar pathfinder, Solmetric SunEye) through hands-on demonstrations, field exercises, and project examples. NABCEP Continuing Education Credits are available.

    Register to attend online

    Heat Pump Series

    Selling Heat Pumps for HVAC Retrofits: System Efficiencies, Costs, and Why They’re Ideal for California

    Location: Webinar

    Date: Tue March 16, 2020 

    Time: 9:00 am - 10:30 am

    Description: Learn cost-effective solutions to retrofit your next HVAC project as we compare electric heat pumps to conventional dual fuel systems through cost, sizing, and replacement considerations. This class offers strategies for your customer-facing staff to overcome client concerns in need of HVAC replacement so your team can make the next heat pump sale.

    Register to attend online

    Overcoming Installation Challenges for Heat Pumps in HVAC Retrofits

    Location: Webinar

    Date: Tue March 18, 2020 

    Time: 9:00 am - 10:30 am

    Description: Seize this opportunity to provide cost-effective heat pump solutions to your clients in need of HVAC replacement. From fuel switching to align with California’s decarbonization goals to system sizing and operating considerations, heat pumps present a unique business opportunity for contractors and builders to lead in electrification retrofits.

    Register to attend online

    Implementing Heat Pumps Water Heaters in Replacement Scenarios: Why They Make Sense

    Location: Webinar

    Date: Thu March 23, 2020 

    Time: 9:00 am - 10:30 am

    Description: Gain crucial insights in retrofitting your next project with a heat pump water heater. This class explores the cost comparisons, system efficiencies, and installation considerations when replacing gas water heaters with electric heat pump water heaters.

    Register to attend online

    Overcoming Installation Challenges for Heat Pump Water Heater Retrofits

    Location: Webinar

    Date: Thu March 25, 2020 

    Time: 9:00 am - 10:30 am

    Description: Retrofitting for heat pump water heaters can pose many challenges and we have solutions for your team. From system location and sizing to meet hot water demand, the class will cover how demand-flexible heat pump water heaters and PG&E residential rate plans are leveraged to increase cost-effectiveness of fuel-switching to electric heat pump technology.

    Register to attend online

    Heat Pump Technologies for Space Conditioning and Water Heating

    Location: Online On-Demand

    Description: New to heat pumps? This training will bring you up to speed. Learn at your own pace as instructor Steve Easley covers electric heat pumps for both space and water heating. This introductory course provides an overview of heat pump technologies and operation, efficiency and metrics, as well as optimal installation factors.

    Register for this on demand class

    Not a Participating Contractor?

    In addition to great content, participating contractors have access to training, marketing materials, and website listing at no-cost.  To learn how you can take advantage of these benefits, contact our office at (707) 565-6470.

    Contact Information

    Jane Elias

    Division Manager

    Energy and Sustainability Division

    General Services Department

    Business Hours
    Monday – Friday
    8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Contact us by Phone
    Address
    La Plaza A
    2300 County Center Drive
    Suite A105
    Santa Rosa, CA 95403
    38.46242, -122.725426