Contractor Newsletter - August 2020

SCEIP Financing News: Lower Interest Rate for SCEIP!

We are pleased to announce that the Sonoma County Energy Independence Program (SCEIP) has been approved for an interest rate reduction from 7% to 5.99%!

It’s been a big year for SCEIP. In addition to the rate change, the Program expanded earlier this year and now includes a resiliency component for property owners to make improvements that will make their buildings resistant to wildfire and earthquake damage. There has never been a better time to offer a local alternative to traditional financing.

Don’t Miss an Opportunity to be Found

We’ve bumped up our marketing efforts and will be starting a homeowner workshop series in September. This means LEADS from potential clients! Don’t miss an opportunity to be found on our website, https://sonomacountyenergy.force.com/financing/s/find-a-contractor.

The contractor search tool can be filtered by services offered or sort by locally operated companies. There is even a feature to email contractors directly. Make sure that you aren’t missing out on leads. Check out the search and confirm your information is listed correctly. To make changes, contact your account manager or email SCEIP@sonoma-county.org.

New Online Homeowner Workshop Series

Beginning in September, the Energy and Sustainability Division office will be hosting a series of one-hour, online workshops geared for homeowners on a variety of topics including one on Funding Your Projects - Incentives, Financing, and Rebates. We encourage you to invite your potential clients or staff to learn more about the financing or resources that are available to get their project done.

You can view the entire workshop schedule at: 
http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/General-Services/Energy-and-Sustainability/News/2020-Online-Workshop-Series/

To RSVP, click the date that you are interested attending and complete the Zoom registration form. Hope to see you or your clients online!

Financing a Project Can be Complicated…or NOT!

Let’s think about the different ways Property Owners pay for YOUR services:

  • Cash – Hmmm probably not. During this pandemic and uncertainty in the economy, most people are in a “Save it for a Rainy Day” mode.

  • Home Equity Line of Credit – Many banks are freezing or tightening HELOC’s at this time – according to American Banker. https://www.americanbanker.com/articles/banks-tighten-lending-to-nervous-homeowners-hoping-to-tap-equity.

  • Refinancing an Existing Mortgage – Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac are implementing an adverse fee for the privilege of refinancing mortgages. https://www.fhfa.gov/AboutUs/Reports/Pages/Foreclosure-Prevention-Refinance-and-FPM-Report_May-2020.aspx

  • Personal Loan – Seriously? The average interest rate is 11.88% as of 8/5/2020.

  • Credit Cards – Who amongst you wants to borrow at 16.03%?

  • Sonoma County Property Improvement Financing – NOW that’s the ticket! No income verification, home equity based qualification, Participating Contractor list at Property Owners finger tips, payments not due until 11/1/2021 tax bill, almost a full year of benefits including increased comfort-air quality improvement-lower utilities-additional value to your property, and wait for it…5.99% set interest rate for the full 10/20 year payback period.

Got questions? Want our office to work directly with your clients? We are here to help you and your clients get their projects going faster.

Resources for Contractors

Sonoma Clean Power Advanced Energy Center – Become a Lead Locally Qualified Contractor

Lead Innovation while connecting with 500,000 new customers

Coming later in 2020, the Advanced Energy Center will be a way for certified contractors to connect directly with Sonoma Clean Power customers. Learn about cutting-edge technologies and get certified to provide installation services through the Advanced Energy Center. Learn about available incentives, become eligible to install: induction cooktops, mini-split heat pump systems, building envelope enhancements, grid-integrated water heaters and more. 

Contact Sonoma Clean Power’s Lead Locally Team to get started: 


ESD Tool Lending Library Accepting Reservations for Curbside Pick UP/Drop Off

COVID-19 Update: For the health and safety of our staff and our borrowers, the County of Sonoma Energy and Sustainability Office is currently not open to the public at this time. Tool pick up and drop off will be available through pre-scheduled curbside pick-up. Tool requests must be submitted by email a minimum of two full business days prior to the requested pick up date. Borrowers must wear a mask and respect social distancing protocols at all times during pick up and drop off.

Upcoming Training Opportunities

BayREN and Energy and Sustainability Division No-Cost Online Training

Heat Pump Water Heaters – Brownbag Lunch/Live Webinar

When: Wednesday, 8/26/2020 12:00PM – 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. This training will describe HPWHs, when HPWHs are allowed under the 2019 Code, code requirements for installation, and how to complete compliance forms. Information about Incentives available for HPWHs in Sonoma County will be included.

Topics Covered: Overview of water heater technologies and trends, identifying HPWHs in the field, Energy Code requirements for HPWH installations and replacements, Energy Code compliance forms, and requirements specific to HPWHs. New incentives for Heat Pump Water Heaters in Sonoma County from the BayREN Home+ Program and Sonoma Clean Power.

Download a copy of the  Heat Pump Water Heater 2019 Energy Code Assistance Sheet here.

Target Audience: Permit technicians, plan checkers, and field inspectors. Information is also very valuable for contractors and building industry professionals.

Each registrant will receive 0.1 ICC CEUs upon completion

Registration link: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_tvjkq3foRziZXEOuevLJCg

After registering, registered attendees will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.


BayREN Home+ Introduction for Contractors

When: August 24th at noon and August 28th at 3 pm

Bay Area Regional Energy Network (BayREN) is the nine-county collaborative that administers energy efficiency funds in the Bay Area. BayREN offers several rebate programs to provide homeowners resources to make energy efficiency improvements. These programs offer HERS Raters the opportunity to offer additional services to contractor clients making residential energy efficiency improvements in the Bay Area.

BayREN is holding 1-hour webinars to discuss the following: 

  • Home Energy Score - HERS Raters can become a Home Energy Score Assessor and help homeowners understand their home and potential for energy efficiency improvements. This may allow Raters to access $400 in rebates by collecting some additional data points on top of the HERS inspection.

  • Home+ - HERS Raters who are BPI certified can partner with Participating Contractors to simultaneously perform a HERS test and a BPI CAS test-out for these projects.

  • Other BayREN programs – Other energy efficiency program offerings for multifamily and water heater electrification.

Register to attend a 1-hour informational webinar by going to: https://bayrenintro.eventbrite.com


BayREN Online and On-Demand Trainings

Keep up-to-date on what the inspectors are looking for…The BayREN Codes & Standards Program offers online short course trainings that engage building department staff and the building professionals they serve to increase understanding of developments in the Energy Code and promote best practices for compliance and enforcement. 

For more information and to register: https://www.bayrencodes.org/events/


PG&E Energy Training Center Classes

Free classes on a range of energy-related content. In-person classes have been canceled, but classes are continuing to be offered as webinars. 

HVAC ACCA Series is Now Online!


ACCA (Air Conditioning Contractors of America) Residential Quality Installation Series

  • On Demand: Launch Anytime!
  • The ACCA (Air Conditioning Contractors of America) On-Demand Residential Quality Installation Series consists of 12 modules designed as a whole to provide the student with an introduction and orientation to designing high quality residential HVAC systems. It is highly recommended that students take all twelve modules prior to attending the PG&E 3 day computer based training program (ACCA Manual J, ACCA Manual D and Advanced ACCA Manual D).

ACCA Manual J - Equipment Sizing and Selection

  • Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Are you a square foot per ton kind of person when it comes to sizing HVAC systems? Heating and Cooling systems should be sized to the loads they are serving. Learn how to use the ACCA approved Wrightsoft software program to more accurately match HVAC systems to the loads in residential buildings.

ACCA Manual D - Duct Design

  • Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Ever been out on a service call and witnessed one twelve inch return duct for a three ton air conditioner? We bet that installation was not designed using ACCA Manual D Duct Design principles. After taking the ACCA Manual J course, make sure to sign up for this informative class.

Advanced ACCA Manual D

  • Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Practice, Practice, Practice! After taking the ACCA Manual J, and ACCA Manual D classes, make sure to sign up for this training as well. This class puts it all together with a computer lab.

Residential Heat Pumps: Quality Design and Installation

  • Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • If you want to understand more about the advantages of a properly designed and installed residential heat pump, don't miss this class! The instructor will cover proper design and sizing using the ACCA approved Wrightsoft software. A computer lab is included.

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 or download the  Contractor Standards and Guidelines.

Contact Information

Jane Elias

Division Manager

Energy and Sustainability Division

General Services Department

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