SCEIP Contractor Newsletter - Summer 2021
Events are Back!
We are so excited to finally be reaching that light at the end of the tunnel. With the COVID numbers coming down, vaccine numbers going up and safety protocols in place, there was no better way to celebrate than with a Contractor mixer.
One of our long-time participating contractors, John Sutter, owner of Applied Building Science (ABS), offered up their outdoor space and all the beverages 60 guests could consume. Our office provided the food, and thanks to Christine and Patricia, served up 140 tacos and a lot of chips and salsa. Eliott and Carol handed out BayREN bags so the contractors could load up on swag and free marketing materials. Dori was amidst the crowd talking about our workshops and presentations, and wrangling up contractors to present and play the role of “Ask the Expert” for our upcoming educational workshop series. Terri was encouraging individuals to sign up to be Participating Contractors, and taking photos of the event. Pilar graciously stayed and kept our office open for business. Jane, ESD Division Manager, and Erick Roeser, the SCEIP Program Administrator and elected Sonoma County Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector, both enjoyed hearing how our Program has helped individuals grow their businesses, how helpful our staff is to the contractors, their staff, and the property owners, and how determined our contractors are in spreading the word and knowledge of the financing for their customers. Our raffle prizes for two gift cards went to a couple of lucky contractors - Josh from ABS and Gary of Pool Solutions Group.
Contractors mingled, caught up with old friends and made new acquaintances - there was plenty of shop talk going on and discussions of future joint projects. If you didn’t join us for this event, we have another one in the planning stages. If you are interested in hosting or attending, contact us so we can send you an invite!
New Energy and Sustainability Training Room Now Open
Long before COVID, the Energy and Sustainability Division had a vision for creating a training center to host community workshops, workforce development trainings, and other events. That vision has now become reality. The new center can host seated, auditorium, and standing-room only events.
We will also be using the space to record our “Ask the Expert” virtual series featuring our participating contractor speaking on short topics on specific improvements or technologies. Interested in presenting? Contact Dori Estrella at (707) 565-6478 or email to Dori.Estrella@sonoma-county.org to learn more about the opportunity.
Title Fee Change
Effective July 1, 2021, the title search fee increased to $140 for financing requests that are $5,000 or greater. The title fee for projects under $5,000 remains $50.00. The property valuation fee ($12) and the recording fee ($41) remain unchanged.
With a maximum total of $193.00, SCEIP fees are the lowest in the industry when compared to other PACE providers such as Ygrene and CaliforniaFirst.
Financing Water Conservation Measures to Combat Drought
With many of the jurisdictions in Sonoma County enacting mandatory water restrictions, now is the time to promote water conservation improvements to your clients. From high efficiency toilets and fixtures to permanent water catchment, property owners can finance many water saving improvements through SCEIP. Contact us today to learn more.
Welcome to our newest SCEIP Participating Contractors
We would like to welcome two new participating contractors to the Sonoma County Energy Independence Program.
Permaculture Artisans, in Sebastopol - specializing in Water Conservation, water saving Outdoor Irrigation and Controllers and Wildfire Safety (Construction Hardening).
Coast Building Products, in Santa Rosa - specializing in Weather Stripping, Air Sealing and Insulation.
Not a Participating Contractor…
In addition to great newsletter 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 .
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 (BayREN) 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.
Sonoma Clean Power’s Advanced Energy Center Open Now! Obtain Free Customer Leads and Requests for Bids!
Contractors looking to…
- Receive pre-qualified customer leads with no acquisition costs?
- Offer lower cost equipment?
- Become a certified installer for free?
- Increase their scope of work?
The Advanced Energy Center is open to the public now – walk-in or book a free tour! The Advanced Energy Center located at 741 4th Street in downtown Santa Rosa offers discounts on a wide range of energy efficiency equipment. Customers come to the center to learn and select equipment they want in their homes or businesses. The Advanced Energy Center wants you to join our Contractor Network and receive customers’ requests for bids. Small and large projects are available, and we welcome all contractor companies to sign up here – requirements are simple: hold a valid CSLB license and name SCP as additionally insured.
Advanced Energy Center products include…
- Induction cooktops
- Heat pump mini splits
- Heat pump water heaters
- EV Chargers
- Battery Storage
- …and more!
Customers and their contractors can increase the scope of their projects by taking advantage of 0% financing - paid back on the utility bill! Financing of up to $10,000 for 10 years is available. Contractors can offer pre-qualified customers financing by watching our 1-hour On-Bill Financing Contractor Certification Course.
Ready to grow your business and receive free co-branding, marketing, and pre-qualified leads? Sign up here!
July 20th 1-2pm (in person) Contractor Certification Course: Air-to-Water Heat Pump – Email us to RSVP
Questions? Contact Angel Garza at (707)324-3223 or email AdvancedEnergyCenter@SonomaCleanPower.org
Free Contractor Trainings July - September 2021
BayREN Live Online Trainings
Title 24 Energy Code
2019 Title 24, Part 6 Residential Energy Standards - Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU)
Date: Wednesday, July 14, 2021
Time: 9:00 am – 10:00 am
Description: This hour-long course covers the Prescriptive requirements that apply to new ADU, and discusses both minimum requirements and design options for compliance.
Target Audience: Designers, Architects, Energy Consultants, Contractors, Building Departments and HERS Raters
CEUs Available: ICC: 0.1; AIA: 1.0
Acceptance Testing Enforcement: Lighting Controls and Mechanical Systems in Nonresidential Buildings
Date: Wednesday, August 11, 2021
Time: 9:00 am – 10:15 am
Description: This course is an introduction to the Acceptance Test Technician Certification Provider (ATTCP) program and the certified Acceptance Test Technician (ATT) requirements for lighting controls and mechanical systems. Acceptance testing has been an Energy Code requirement since the 2008 code cycle, but the ATTCP program is the first time that both compliance and enforcement can be systematically performed, documented, and verified. Topics covered include: why acceptance testing is required in the Energy Code, what role the ATTCP program plays, recent actions by the California Energy Commission that make mechanical ATT certification mandatory, and how contractors and inspectors can use the program to their best advantage.
Target Audience: Builders, Contractors, Acceptance Testing Technicians, Building Inspectors
PG&E Live Online Trainings
Retrofitting Crawlspaces: Insulation Systems for Stem Walls
Date: Thursday, July 15, 2021
Time: 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Description: This four-hour class assumes that you have made the decision to align your air and thermal boundary at the exterior crawlspace stem walls and grade (rather than the subfloor). For most existing homes this is a realignment of the air barrier and insulation systems. In this class we will discuss some of the energy and non-energy benefits to this approach and practical installation techniques. We will cover how to create an air barrier at the exterior stem walls and grade. Instructor Gavin Healy of Balance Point Home Performance will review the necessary steps to eliminate existing foundation vents and present on the high-performance insulation systems appropriate for wood frame stem walls, concrete stem walls and grade insulation.
Air Sealing with Low VOC Materials
Date: Tuesday, July 20, 2021
Time: 9:00 am – 10:30 am
Description: As air sealing is a critical component to a Zero Net Energy home, the air sealing products used to achieve high performing results can also have adverse impacts on the occupant’s indoor air quality. This class looks at the toxicity of volatile organic compounds (VOC) in air sealing products and presents low VOC air sealing options to promote healthier homes while also maintaining durability for a long-lasting air sealing barrier. Instructor Terry Nordbye will show how you can plan by reading material data sheets and provide strategies for using low VOC air sealing products in the correct application by showcasing real-world examples of successful ZNE projects.
Retrofitting Crawlspaces: Updating Foundation Vents for Efficiency, Rodent Control, and Wildfire Safety
Date: Tuesday, July 21, 2021
Time: 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Description: Vented crawlspaces have been a standard practice for raised floor homes, frequently designed and built off habit and common practice. This course explores the faults with conventional crawlspace venting and the problems that stem from it. Some owners will choose to keep their crawlspace vented but want to make the vent more resistant to wildfire embers and rodent intrusion. Others will choose to seal crawl space. In this two-hour course, Gavin Healy of Balance Point Home Performance will dive into the tradeoffs for these assemblies and provide real-world examples of updates to, and elimination of, foundation vents in existing homes. There many good reasons why you might reconsider conventional venting from improve weather proofing, rodent control and wildfire resistance to efficiency gains associated with managing the energy loss from systems located in the crawlspace.
Optimizing Residential Forced-Air HVAC Systems: Low-Loss Duct Systems
Date: Tuesday, July 27, 2021
Time: 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Description: This course offers best practices for installing and commissioning low-loss duct systems. Using real-world examples from his Home Performance contracting business, instructor Dan Perunko will demonstrate typical duct leakage in CA systems, outline fixes for reducing duct conduction losses and highlight performance targets for low-leakage duct systems.
Retrofitting Homes for Electrification and Decarbonization
Date: Tuesday, July 27, 2021
OR Tuesday September, 28 2021
Time: 12:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Description: From alignment with California’s decarbonization goals and local ordinances prohibiting new gas installs, Dan Perunko of Balance Point Home Performance 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.
Emerging topics included in this webinar are electrification, heat pump, and induction.
Air Sealing and Insulating Existing Homes: Attic Ventilation for Efficiency, Access, and Wildfire Safety
Date: Tuesday, July 28, 2021
Time: 9:00 am-11:00 am
Description: This two-hour course is designed to help participants evaluate options for improved efficiency and durability outcomes for attic ventilation in existing homes. Instructor Gavin Healy will review strategies to maintain thermal performance, improve attic access and reduce risks from wildfire related to attic vents.
Retrofitting Crawlspaces: Prepping Crawlspaces for Moisture Management and Efficiency
Date: Thursday, August 4, 2021
Time: 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
Description: Many existing crawlspaces are too wet to safely proceed with other air sealing measures in the house, including attic air sealing. Prior to proceeding with other measures, it is critical to the durability of the house to address the sources of moisture that impact the crawlspace, and as a result, the rest of the building. Instructor Gavin Healy of Balance Point Home Performance will provide a real-world overview for addressing the sources of moisture in a crawlspace.
Electric Heat Pumps for Space Heating and Cooling
Date: Tuesday, August 24, 2021
Time: 12:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Description: As our electricity supply becomes cleaner due to increased use of renewable's for generation along with a growing number of local ordinances prohibiting installs in new homes, electricity becomes an attractive fuel source to designers and builders interested in reducing residential greenhouse gas emissions and creating zero net energy buildings. Dan Perunko of Balance Point Home Performance will present on efficiency gains and emissions reductions from electric heat pumps in new and existing buildings and will cover the advantages and limitations of these systems, the available technology and refrigerant types. Discussion will touch on interactions with indoor air quality issues and building enclosure considerations.
Cost-Effective Approaches for Energy Efficient Remodels
Date: Tuesday, August 31, 2021
Time: 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Description: There are 82 million detached single-family homes in the US, and according to the US Energy Information Administration, there are 6.8 million in California. The average cost of energy in US households is about $2,060 per year according to Energy Star.Gov. Nearly half of that money going to heating and cooling. The average home also adds 7.5 tons of greenhouse gasses each year. In this class, Steve Easley uses pictures from his real-world experience to illustrate the most cost-effective, best practices measures to reduce energy use in the home. Steve prioritizes the energy saving decisions and explains the best products and practices for insulation, windows, water heating, lighting and HVAC system.
Commercial & Multifamily Heat Pump Water Heating Engineering Design Deep Dive (Two-part Training)
Date: Wednesday, September 1, 2021 & Tuesday, September 2, 2021
Time: 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Description: In contrast to the residential sector, heat pump water heating products for the multifamily and commercial sector are relatively new in the US marketplace and designers, contractors, and owners have had little exposure to these systems. This session is geared to introduce the range of available products, present the fundamental concepts related to how they work and interact with other systems in the building, explain the key design challenges associated with incorporation of this technology, and show the way forward for ease of integration of this new hot water solution.
Air Sealing and Insulating Existing Homes: Interpreting and Prioritizing Infrared and Blower Door Results
Date: Thursday, September 9, 2021
Time: 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Description: Testing your work is imperative to meet or exceed performance targets and to ensure a feedback loop is in place for continual process improvements. Instructor Gavin Healy of Balance Point Home Performance will highlight two key home performance diagnostic tools, the blower door and infrared camera. The two hour session unpacks important testing metrics and ways to address opportunities that have positive interactive effects on the home's performance and occupant comfort
Selling Heat Pumps for HVAC Retrofit System Efficiencies, Costs and Why They’re Ideal for California
Date: Tuesday, September 14, 2021
Time: 9:00 am – 10:30 am
Description: In comparing conventional HVAC systems, this course explores the value proposition for heat pumps in HVAC retrofits in progression with California’s clean energy goals. We’ll examine heat pump HVAC retrofits through the lens of first costs, operating costs, and how those costs can be minimized through the additional integration of PG&E time-of-Use rate plans along with smart thermostat technology. Finally, we’ll help your customer-facing staff anticipate questions and concerns from homeowners who need to replace their existing systems, and we’ll offer tools and strategies for making the heat pump sale.
Overcoming Installation Challenges for Heat Pumps in HVAC Retrofits
Date: Wednesday, September 15, 2021
Time: 9:00 am – 10:30 am
Description: This course addresses the key economic and technical barriers to the installation of heat pumps in HVAC retrofits. Instructors Nick Brown and Bobby Hahn will provide targeted discussion of primary installation issues – such as ductwork and static pressure considerations, system selection, zoning, cold weather performance, load calculations, and system sizing, and electrical panel constraints - along with solutions for overcoming those challenges when replacing an existing system with a new HVAC heat pump.
ACCA Manual D Duct Design (Part 1)
Date Part 1: Wednesday, September 15, 2021
Time: 9:00 am – 4:30 pm
Description: This full day webinar focuses on the principles involved in designing residential duct work. A practice session is included where attendees sketch a duct design based on the floor plan from the Manual J/S developed in the first session, ACCA Dry Climate Manual J and S, with Wrightsoft. The material is designed for HVAC contractors, designers, energy consultants and anyone interested in determining building loads.
During the day long session, duct design concepts such as location of registers, the effect of supplies and returns on each other, along with a discussion and explanation of terms like Coanda effect, terminal velocity, throw, spread and NC (Noise Criteria). ACCA Manual T principles that impact California Code and customer comfort are reviewed.
Other terms that are covered and explained; external static pressure, blower static pressure/flow tables, total equivalent length, total effective length, and friction rate. The plan and equipment selected in day one will be used as a basis for sketches, showing a sample layout and fitting selection prepared by attendees in a practice session.
Appendices from ACCA Manual D will be used as the source for determining equivalent lengths of ductwork. Also reviewed and discussed will be register placement and selection. A catalog from a register manufacturer is used as the various design elements of throw, terminal velocity, and spread are explained and demonstrated as part of the design.
Implementing Heat Pump Water Heaters in Replacement Scenarios: Why They Make Sense
Date: Tuesday, September 21, 2021
Time: 9:00 am – 10:30 am
Description: This course explores the value proposition of heat pump water heaters as replacements in retrofit situations. We’ll examine heat pump water heater retrofits through the lens of first costs, operating costs, as well as how operational costs can be minimized through the additional integration of heat pump water heater load shifting and PG&E time-of-Use rate plans. The discussion will center around identifying prime customer candidates for HPWHs, as well as identifying key locations for their installation in the home. Finally, we’ll address common misperceptions, concerns, and objections that homeowners and contractors may have about this technology.
Air Sealing and Insulating Existing Homes: Developing a Work Scope for Attic Efficiency Upgrades
Date: Thursday, September 23, 2021
Time: 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Description: Work scopes help us and our customers to achieve specific high-performance outcomes. Contractors who would like to do more comprehensive energy upgrade often state that they would if they could sell the jobs. Sometimes when the job is done customers express that they might have made a different choice now that they are living with the outcome from the project. While consumers often ask for inexpensive, they are typically trying to accomplish a goal when they have a job to be done. The work scope is the bridge to selling more comprehensive upgrades based on meeting specific outcomes. Instructor Gavin Healy of Balance Point Home Performance will cover how to develop an outcome based work scope that involves the customer so they understand tradeoffs between their budget goals and what they would like to accomplish.