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General Services

Energy and Sustainability Division

Contractor Newsletter - Spring 2021

SCEIP Storefront is Open to the Public Beginning April 19th

We are pleased to announce that the Energy and Sustainability Office will be open to the public, beginning Monday, April 19th.  Our open, walk-in hours will be Monday through Friday, 10am – 2pm.  Enhanced safety protocols include; the requirement of proper facial coverings, screening upon arrival, and social distancing. 

Need assistance outside of those hours?  Energy and Sustainability staff are still available Monday-Friday, from 8am – 5pm by phone or appointment.  Just give our front desk a call at (707)565-6470 and someone will be able to help them on the spot. We pride ourselves on being able to continue our services for you and your clients through the year of changes.

Public Safety Power Shutdowns are Coming.  Are Your Customers Ready?

Many are aware that Battery Backup Systems are rapidly growing in popularity. With the potential for more fires in the coming years and the annual number of Public Safety Power Shutdowns on the same trajectory, it makes sense that your customers would be interested in backup power for their home or business. Our office has seen an increase in applications coming through to finance battery backup systems, we want to ensure that you are fully informed on our process and your customers’ ability to borrow.

As with any improvement that SCEIP finances, we pay close attention to the effective useful lifespan of the product. At this point, the vast majority of batteries that people are installing at home or at their business come with a standard 10 year warranty. As SCEIP offers both 10 and 20 year terms on its financing, we need to ensure that no one is still paying for their improvement years beyond its useful lifespan.

When installing a Battery backup system without a new renewable energy system, most projects will only be eligible for a 10 year term. Again, this is dependent on the warranty backing the system, but a system with a 10 year warranty will be limited to a 10 year term.

There is one very important caveat to this rule: In the case that both a Battery Backup system and a solar electric system are financed, at the same time, through us, your customer may be able to use a 20 year term.  <u>In order to qualify for the single 20 year term, the</u> cost of the battery system improvement must be less than 30% of the overall requested financing.As Solar Electric systems and Battery Backup systems are considered two different types of improvements through SCEIP, pricing for both will need to be provided when your customer files a financing application.

Here are a couple of examples:

Customer A: $20,000 PV (50%) + $20,000 Battery Backup (50%) = $40,000

In this example, the customer would have a couple of options:

A: Finance PV in a 20 year term and finance Battery Backup in a separate assessment for a 10 year term.

B: Finance entire project in a single assessment under a 10 year term.

Customer B: $45,000 PV (75%) + $15,000 Battery Backup (25%) = $60,000

This customer also has a couple of options:

A: Finance entire project scope in a 20 year term.

B: Finance entire project scope in a 10 year term.

  We know that every project is different, so please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about our financing process.

SCEIP Tools and Tips to Get Your Jobs Funded Faster

Are you looking to introduce SCEIP as a possible financing option for your clients? We have an “Estimate your Project” tool on our financing website that estimates how much the monthly and annual payments will be for their project. This can help your clients decide if SCEIP financing is the right fit for them. Project costs can include materials and labor, as well as energy and water audit costs, real estate appraisals, engineering or other professional services. Simply enter the amount requested and select a term of 10 or 20 years, and click “Calculate”. You can this tools and other useful information on our website at https://sonomacountyenergy.force.com/financing/s/estimate-your-project

Using SCEIP Financing is an easy process.  Help your clients streamline their approval time by providing them with the complete information that we require for review.  Here’s a quick checklist:

  • A complete and detailed proposal
  • Quantity and/or units of the product (Sq ft, Ln ft, etc.)
  • Product or equipment specification sheets

Details regarding special circumstances related to installation, increased efficiency or size of equipment being installed.

Thanks to all the Participating Contractors that came out for SCEIP’s Birthday Celebration

It was great to see nearly 40 of our participating contractors come out to our drive-thru birthday celebrating 12 years of financing!   You are all an important part of our success and here’s to many more years of improving buildings in Sonoma County.

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.

Contractors receive free leads and co-branding at Sonoma Clean Power’s Advanced Energy Center!

Attention contractors serving Sonoma Clean Power customers! SCP’s Advanced Energy Center website, scpadvancedenergycenter.org, is live! Complete a Contractor Application and join the Contractor Network to receive free project leads for energy efficiency upgrades. Become a participating contractor to show your customers how you lead locally!

Through the Advanced Energy Center website, you can submit project bids, claim SCP negotiated discounts, 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 at the Advanced Energy Center.

The Advanced Energy Center storefront is opening this month in downtown Santa Rosa, contractors can meet with customers, test equipment, and select products in the showroom. Do not wait for the official opening – contractors are receiving project leads now at the Advanced Energy Center website!

Ready to grow your business?

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

Free Contractor Trainings April - June 2021

BayREN Live Online Trainings

https://www.bayrencodes.org/

Title 24 Energy Code

Residential Alterations Webinar

Date:  Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Time:  9:00 am – 10:00 am

Description:  This course will explain how the building department processes residential alterations projects, which are mostly over-the counter permits such as HVAC change-outs, window replacements and water heater replacements.

Target Audience:  Building Department Staff, Building Industry Professionals

CEUs Available: ICC: 0.1

Register to Attend Online

PG&E Live Online and On-Demand Trainings

https://pge.docebosaas.com/learn

Intro to Residential HVAC Design in 3D Webinar

Date: Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Time: 2:00 pm-5:00 pm

Description: This class will be an introduction to ACCA Manuals J, S and D (load calculations, equipment sizing and duct design) using a new 3D HVAC design software. Rather than drawing the house in a CAD software, this software “builds” the house out of scalable 3D boxes. The benefit of 3D design is that it helps make sure that the system being designed will actually fit in the house and gives a better indication of duct length, surface area, bends and fittings. Attendees should have a good working knowledge of HVAC terminology and concepts.

*This class is recommended before taking 3D Residential HVAC Design (No CAD Required) - Parts 1 & 2.

Register to Attend Online

3D Residential HVAC Design (No CAD Required) Webinar - Part 1

Date: Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Time: 2:00 pm-5:00 pm

Description: This class will cover load calculations and equipment sizing according to ACCA Manuals J and S (duct design according to Manual D will be covered in Part 2). The training will be based on a new 3D HVAC design software. Rather than drawing the house in a CAD software, this software “builds” the house out of scalable 3D boxes. The benefit of 3D design is that it helps make sure that the system being designed will actually fit in the house and gives a better indication of duct length, surface area, bends and fittings. Attendees should have some basic experience using an HVAC design software and/or knowledge of ACCA Manuals J/S/D, and a good working knowledge of HVAC terminology and concepts.

Register to Attend Online

3D Residential HVAC Design (No CAD Required) Webinar - Part 2

Date: Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Time: 2:00 pm-5:00 pm

Description: This class will cover HVAC duct design according to Manual D. The training will be based on a new 3D HVAC design software. Rather than drawing the house in a CAD software, this software “builds” the house out of scalable 3D boxes. The benefit of 3D design is that it helps make sure that the system being designed will actually fit in the house and gives a better indication of duct length, surface area, bends and fittings. Attendees should have some basic experience using an HVAC design software and/or knowledge of ACCA Manuals J/S/D, and a good working knowledge of HVAC terminology and concepts.

Register to Attend Online

Building Envelope

Air Sealing and Insulating Existing Homes: Developing a Work Scope for Attic Efficiency

Location: Webinar

Date: Wednesday, April 28, 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 upgrades 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. This two-hour class 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. 

Register to Attend Online

Air Sealing Strategies for Zero Net Energy Homes

Location: Webinar

Date: Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Time: 9:00 am-11:00 am

Description: One of the key components to achieving a zero net energy home is the tightness of its envelope to air infiltration. Instructor Terry Nordbye will present ways your project team can begin incorporating effective air sealing methods into the building's design and construction. Highlighting case studies of real world zero net energy projects, Terry will demonstrate a comparison between the different air sealants and air sealing techniques based on the locations of air leaks in the building’s envelope. This two-hour session is geared to provide designers and installers of new and retrofit projects with a deeper understanding of how to air seal your next project.

Register to Attend Online

Water Heating

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

Central Heat Pump Water Heating Systems for Multifamily Buildings

Location: Webinar

Date: Thursday, April 29, 2021

Time: 9:00 am-11:00 am

Description: Central heat pump water heating plug-and-play system for multifamily buildings are relatively new in the US marketplace. Designers, contractors, and facility managers have had little exposure to these systems, but many state and local policies, including several all-electric new construction reach codes, are pushing for the implementation of clean water heating technology, responding to concerns for the climate and the health of building occupants.  This session introduces the range of available products and presents the fundamental concepts related to how they work and interact with other systems in the building.  It also explains the key design and maintenance challenges associated with incorporation of this technology in a variety of multifamily building types (low, medium, and high-rise). Learners will see several case studies and hear about accompanying lessons learned that optimize system functionality.  Participants will also learn about utility and other incentives available to implement this clean technology. 

Register to Attend Online

Lighting

Residential Energy Efficient Lighting

Location: Webinar

Date: Tuesday, June 11, 2021

Time: 9:00 am-11:30 am

Description: This class introduces designers, specifiers, building contractors, and homeowners to considerations involved in the lighting design and selection of products in residences.  Award-winning lighting designer David W. Patton shows how to assess a space's needs and potential. He will walk participants through the steps to create an energy-efficient, code-compliant solution.  Basic lighting fundamentals terminology and typical product features will be reviewed so students feel confident about making selections and creating layouts. This class concentrates on residential lighting.

Register to Attend Online

Residential Lighting Controls

Location: Webinar

Date: Tuesday, June 18, 2021

Time: 9:00 am-11:30 am

Description: This class introduces designers, specifiers, building contractors, and homeowners to residential lighting controls functionality, requirements and products.  Award-winning lighting designer David W Patton will discuss options to design lighting controls to meet mandatory controls requirements as well as personal preferences and explain how to think about these early so the lighting products and controls work together smoothly.  He will discuss some considerations for going beyond code to achieve further savings and automated functionality using lighting controls. You will learn about controls and lighting fixture compatibility and their wiring requirements so you avoid common mistakes with fixtures and controls that don't work well together.  This class concentrates on residential lighting controls. 

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.