Request for Comments on the HVAC3 NTG Evaluation of ’13-’14 CQM Programs

Comments on the HVAC3 Net-to-Gross Evaluation Study
September 2016

Request for Comments on the HVAC3 NTG Evaluation of ’13-’14 CQM Programs

Commission staff is seeking comments on the HVAC3 Net-to-gross Evaluation of 2013-14 Commercial Quality Maintenance Programs by Friday, September 23, 2016, COB.


HVAC 3 - Net-to-gross Evaluation of 2013-14 Commercial Quality Maintenance Programs

This report presents the methodology and findings from DNV GL’s net-to-gross (NTG) evaluation of the 2013-14 California IOU commercial HVAC programs that focus on quality maintenance (QM) and related tune-up programs. The error bounds for the program-level NTGRs were high due to large variation in contractor responses and a low number of responses in some programs. Due to this, we decided to produce NTG results where the program-level NTGRs were combined for all programs. The electric energy savings NTGR was 0.36±0.17, the electric demand savings NTGR was 0.53±0.38, and the gas savings NTGR was 0.25±0.31. There were a few encouraging results. As noted, the NTGRs for the RCA measure were much higher than those for other maintenance measures. These NTGRs were also higher across three different programs. These results suggest that the programs are influencing the adoption of this measure group.

The HVAC3 Quality Maintenance NTG Presentation is also available for review.


Why this matters to you

Per the report, “This evaluation seeks to understand answers to the question “to what extent did the programs cause an increase in maintenance actions deemed to save energy?” In short, net savings are about program attribution for taking maintenance actions and gross savings are about how much energy the actions saved, regardless of why they were taken.”

The Net-to-Gross ratio is the ratio of the net savings (savings attributable to the program) to the gross savings (savings actually achieved through that program). If the NTGR is high, more savings can be attributed to the energy efficiency program. The higher, the better.

According to the report, NTGRs were low across most programs and measure groups, therefore the number of savings those programs can claim are low. Programs with low NTGRs are often considered non-cost effective, which brings into question their benefit to the ratepayers.

Further, the evaluation finds, among many other things:

  • HVAC programs are having only modest impacts on the maintenance practices of HVAC contractors who participated in the evaluation.
  • The majority of the contractors reported that these maintenance services were offered before joining the program, and therefore the program did not teach these contractors to offer new services that weren't already being offered.
  • The NTGRs for the RCA measure were much higher than those for other maintenance measures, however this measure is unlikely to contribute significant savings due to low gross realization rates.

The CPUC is requesting public review and comment to ensure that all voices are heard. Your participation in this process, as HVAC market and industry stakeholders, is an important aspect to this open public process.

While we’ve tried to summarize the points that we believe are important to our members, we recommend that you review the HVAC3 documents in their entirety to fully understand the importance these documents may hold for you and your stakeholders.

How to file comments

The draft report can be downloaded from

Select the search tab and then search text “HVAC3” (no quotes). Click the search button and you will see the files for downloading, including past research plans and reports.

Comments should be uploaded to the website by clicking “comment” on the plan by 5pm on September 16, 2016.

In order to post comments, you will need to register on the site with an ID and password.

WHPA Resources

Visit the WHPA’s Regulatory Policy Activity and Resources page for more information on California regulations and policies, and the WHPA HVAC Research page to review research on important HVAC topics.

Shea Dibble
WHPA Director, Regulatory Affairs and Policy

The Western HVAC Performance Alliance was established in 2009. About 260 organizations in 26 stakeholder categories are working together to help transform from the residential and small commercial HVAC industry to ensure that technology, equipment, installation and maintenance are of the highest quality to promote energy efficiency and peak load reduction. In this role the WHPA provides input to California Investor-Owned Utilities. For more information, contact
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