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Energy and Sustainability Division

Contractor Newsletter - January 2021

SCEIP Financing News: Happy New Year!

I’m sure you’ll agree that 2020 was a year of big change for all of us.  As unprecedented a year as it was, we saw our contractors and staff rise to meet the challenge and great results came from it.  Here are a few highlights:

  • 1107 Inquiries!  This is a 24% increase over 2019.
  • 102 Financing Applications Processed!  This is a 38% increase over 2019.
  • Program expansion to include financing for wildfire safety and seismic strengthening.  This brings our list of eligible improvements to over 100!
  • Interest rate reduction to 5.99%!  This was a big one.  Since the start of the Program the interest rate has been 7%.   

We encourage you to visit the website at www.sonomacountyenergy.org/financing for detailed information about the Program.  In addition to general information about financing, you can also access online tools such as: viewing eligible improvements, searching for a contractor, pre-qualification or submitting an electronic application.  Please note:  For those that provide clients with a paper application to apply for financing, it has been revised.  Effective immediately, all paper applications must use the new form.  The revised application can be downloaded at https://files.sonoma-county.org/link/0CO4im_gtlw/.

On-demand Video Workshops - Call for Presenters

Attention Participating Contractors!  In 2020, we kicked off a new webinar educational series for homeowners and found it very popular with over 600 people registering across the variety of topics.  The topics range from solar and batteries, home energy, wildfire safety, and seismic strengthening.

We are looking to expand the series and build an online library of on-demand content.  The format will be short, specific content on a variety of topics.  Interested in presenting?  Do you have a topic or specialty that you’d like to talk about?  Presentations should be around 20-25 minutes and focused on a specific topic or improvement.  For consistency and as a government agency, we remain impartial and cannot provide contractor referrals. We ask that there be no-active selling but you are able to provide your contact information as the ‘Expert’.  Participating contractor status must be current and presentations must be submitted for review and approval prior to the workshop. 

For additional details or questions, please contact Dori Estrella at (707) 565-6478 or email to dori.estrella@sonoma-county.org.  We are scheduled to begin building the content in early February. Contact us ASAP to reserve your spot. 

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. Please 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

Resources for Contractors: Contractor Opportunities at the Advanced Energy Center

Attention contractors serving Sonoma Clean Power customers! SCP is launching the brand-new Advanced Energy Center website early 2021. Become a participating contractor to show your customers how you lead locally!

Through the Advanced Energy Center website, you can provide SCP residential and commercial customers with significant discounts for advanced electric appliances and energy efficiency equipment. You can use the website to submit bids to potential clients, secure bids and claims to SCP discount vouchers, communicate with customers and SCP staff, and submit project close out documents. You can also use the website to manage your profile, co-brand your services with SCP, and expand service offerings as more products become available in the Advanced Energy Center.

Once the Advanced Energy Center opens in early 2021, contractors can use the storefront in downtown Santa Rosa to meet with customers, test equipment, and plan projects. But don’t wait for the official opening – contractors signing up now will be the first listed on the Advanced Energy Center website when it launches.

Ready to grow your business?

Please contact Angel Garza at (707)324-3223 or email AdvancedEnergyCenter@SonomaCleanPower.org to sign up!

      Upcoming No-Cost Contractor Trainings: January/February 2021

      BayREN Live Online Trainings

      Heat Pump Water Heaters for Contractors BayREN On-Line Training

      Location: Webinar

      Date: Thursday, January 21, 2021  

      Time: 3:00-4:15 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

      Register:Webinar Registration - Zoom

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

      Location: Webinar

      Date:  Thursday, February 4, 2021

      Time:  10:00-11:00 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.

      The webinar helps:

      • Designers and architects create projects that meet QII

      • Energy consultants clarify the minimum requirements and schedule of inspections when the Certificate of Compliance form (CF1R) calls for QII

      • Contractors coordinate with HERS Raters and subcontractors on inspection dates and other QII requirements

      • Building departments support QII projects at plan check and inspection to ensure the QII process goes smoothly

      • HERS Raters communicate with the construction team on how to prepare a project to meet QII requirements during HERS inspections

      Training developed and offered in partnership with Energy Code Ace.   

      Target Audience:  Building Department Staff, Contractors, and Building Professionals

      CEUs Available: ICC: 0.1, AIA: 1.0

      Webinar Registration - Adobe Connect

      Sonoma Clean Power – Advanced Energy Center

      Attention contractors serving Sonoma Clean Power customers! SCP is launching the brand-new Advanced Energy Center website in early 2021. Become a participating contractor and get listed on the new Advanced Energy Center website. Through the Advanced Energy Center website, you can provide SCP residential and commercial customers with significant discounts for advanced electric appliances and energy efficiency equipment. Click on the link below for information on how to become a qualified Advanced Energy Center Lead Locally contractor:

      Sonoma Clean Power Advanced Energy Center

      PG&E Online Trainings

      Basics of Photovoltaic (PV) & Energy Storage Systems (ESS) for Grid-Tied Applications

      Location: Webinar

      Date: Monday, February 8, 2021 & Tuesday, February 9, 2021

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

      Description: This class is a high-level overview of the basic concepts of grid-tied solar electric systems. It is ideal for people who are new to solar, those who are familiar but want to broaden their scope, and homeowners who are considering going solar. Topics include technology, policy, net metering, utility rates, and basic financing. NABCEP Continuing Education Credits are available.

      Register to attend online

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

      Location: Webinar

      Date: Monday, March 8 & 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

      ACCA Manual Four-Part Series

      Selection & Sizing, Duct Design and Residential Heat Pump, Design and Installation 

      ACCA Manual J and S, Equipment Selection & Sizing

      Location: Webinar

      Date: Tuesday, February 16, 2021

      Time: 9:00 am-4:30 pm

      Description: This full day webinar focuses on the unique residential loads and energy code encountered in the Dry Climate of California. The material covers the basic science behind ACCA Manual J load calculations and Manual S equipment selection. Please download a copy of Wrightsoft (Demo Version) prior to the webinar.

      The material is designed for HVAC Contractors, Designers, Energy consultants and anyone interested in determining building loads and determining the correct size of heating and cooling equipment. This process will reduce peak loads in the state of California and improve efficiency and comfort.

      Register to attend online

      ACCA Manual D Part 1, Duct Design

      Location: Webinar

      Date: Wednesday, February 17, 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.

      Register to attend online

      ACCA Manual D Part 2, Duct Design with Wrightsoft

      Location: Webinar

      Date: Thursday, February 18, 2021

      Time: 9:00 am-4:30 pm

      Description This full day webinar reviews the basic principles involved in designing residential duct work. The Wrightsoft floor plan developed on day one in Wrightsoft is used in this duct design session. The set-up of Wrightsoft to match best practices is covered and a portion of the presentation is a practical session demonstrating the process of selecting registers. A sample register schedule is reviewed and explained.

      The material is designed for HVAC contractors, Designers, building departments, plans examiners and energy consultants and anyone interested in determining building loads.

      Register to attend online

      ACCA Manual H, Residential Heat Pump, Design and Installation

      Location: Webinar

      Date: Friday, February 19, 2021

      Time: 9:00 am-4:30 pm

      Description: As California moves to reduce the effect of burning carbon-based products on air quality and global warming, heat pumps and all electric homes will become enlarge their share of the market. The purpose of this training is to assist in that transformation and help installers select correctly sized equipment.

      Register to attend online

      Energy Auditing Techniques for Small & Medium Commercial Facilities (3-Day Class)

      Location: Webinar

      Date: Wednesday, February 17, 2021 through Friday, February 19, 2021

      Time: 8:00 am-5:00 pm

      Description: The intention of this three-day workshop is to develop the energy auditing skills of individuals associated with small-and medium-sized (under 500 kW) commercial facilities. We will provide an overview of building technologies with an emphasis on distinguishing older, inefficient equipment from newer efficient systems. In-class exercises and mock-audit activities will allow the attendees to immediately apply what they have learned. Though geared to the non-experts, attendees should have a fundamental understanding of building components and energy concepts. The class will begin with a discussion of energy and building terms and be followed by a module on utility rates and billing data analysis. The overview of building technologies and efficiencies will include modules on demand response, lighting, mechanical systems, motors, refrigeration, natural gas equipment, envelope systems, kitchen equipment and miscellaneous loads. Because identifying retrofit opportunities is the focus of this training, instructors will illustrate optimal equipment choices though samples, images of real installations, and performance data. Measurement tools that auditors use to identify equipment efficiencies or to test system performance will be demonstrated with each topic. All training modules will include a section on calculating energy savings for specific retrofit applications.

      Register to attend online

      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.