WHPA Newsletter - Big Plans for 2016

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  APRIL 2016

WHPA Invited to Participate in IOU Business Plan Development

The Coordinating Committee is a CPUC-authorized stakeholder engagement process that provides input for California Program Administrators' energy efficiency business plans. The Committee is soliciting the WHPA’s HVAC expertise on a sector-by-sector basis as the Program Administrators develop their robust plans.

In a recent WHPA webinar, Lara Ettenson, Coordinating Committee Co-Chair, was enthusiastic about the WHPA’s involvement in the process. "I joined an Executive Committee meeting to learn how the WHPA has been so successful. I took some of those best practices when proposing this stakeholder process to the joint parties." Ettenson added, "It’s critical to us that we engage with the WHPA in this process."

There is an August 1st deadline to complete all four stages of the process. Stage 1 has been completed, which analyzed what’s going on in the market and where the data gaps are. It is now in the critical Stage 2 process of defining the problems and proposing solutions. This is the backbone of the business plan—where stakeholders can say, "The real issue is [X] not [Y]" or "You’re focusing on the right problem, but the solution should be [X] instead of [Y]."

The Stage 2 meetings are being scheduled now for April and May. For more information, such as meeting calendars, please visit the Coordinating Committee website. WHPA members are encouraged to participate in these important meetings.

WHPA Finalizes Goal Topics for 2016

The WHPA Committees and Working Groups are gearing up for a busy and productive year, following the March finalization of the 2016 goals topics.

Every fall, the WHPA Executive Committee, Council of Advisors, Investor-Owned Utilities, and Committee and Working Group Chairs meet in person to formulate the areas for WHPA focus during for the next year.

At last November’s WHPA in-person meeting, 66 attendees from every facet of the HVAC industry worked together to compose impactful and attainable SMART Goal topics for 2016. The Executive Committee members then embraced the task of prioritizing the 32 potential topics and assigning them to Committees.

This process started with the potential topics and then identified the best way to achieve them within the WHPA. The 2016 WHPA structure includes many of the 2015 Committees and Working Groups, however there are some changes.

Each SMART Goal topic includes providing input into the appropriate IOU 5-year business plans, tying this into the Coordinating Committee process (see article above). The next step is to develop SMART Goal topics into SMART goals and develop implementation plans for each goal.

View the SMART Goal topics and contact us if you would like to join a Committee or Working Group.

WHPA Maps Path to Make Online Permitting a Reality

The California Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan states that "less than 10% of HVAC systems obtain legally required pre-installation local building permits…"

From February through December 2015, the WHPA Compliance Committee developed a roadmap for an online permitting system to streamline the residential building permit process in California.

"The Committee meetings often had more than 30 attendees; smart people with broad and varied backgrounds in HVAC engineering, manufacturing, contracting and code compliance and government," said Bob Barks (CALBO), Compliance Committee Chair. "We spent almost a year putting together a planning guide that could ultimately lead to a much more user-friendly permitting system."

For an online permitting process to thrive, the Committee suggests that it:

  • Have a user-friendly app for phones and tablets.
  • Work universally with any jurisdiction’s permit system.
  • Provide the relevant information to process a permit.
  • Initiate and submit the CEC-required compliance documents.
  • Apply and transmit the appropriate permit fees.
  • Confirm permit approval and provide the permit number.

View the Roadmap to see the timelines and action items that could make online permitting a reality.

Meeting of the Minds on Changes to Residential A/C Standards

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) generally adopts new efficiency standards through a sequential process of analysis, public meetings and comments, and issuing a proposed rule. This did not allow give-and-and-take or comparison of analyses and assumptions.

For a few high-impact standards, including residential air-conditioners and heat pumps, DOE has turned to an alternative, negotiated rule-making. In this process, a diverse set of stakeholders, including manufacturers, distributors, contractors, utilities, state government, and environmental advocates, meets 15-20 days to negotiate future standards levels. DOE provides technical support, and commits to adopting the recommendations if a consensus emerges.

This negotiated rulemaking recently proposed new residential air conditioning and heat pump standards, effective 2023. The 11 recommendations to the DOE—each unanimously approved by the working group—can be viewed in this
Term Sheet. Recommendation 11 commits all stakeholders to work to make quality installation mainstream.

To launch this effort, Navigant, on behalf of the DOE, will host a forum on May 12th, 2016, at DOE offices in Washington, DC, to gather valuable stakeholder feedback on central air conditioners and heat pump installation challenges and technical and policy options for the industry. DOE notes that discussion will focus on non-regulatory approaches. The workshop will gather the best minds on residential HVAC installation to develop a roadmap for action.

Several WHPA members have already committed to attend, but there is space for a few more!  Contact Jim Young (jim.young@navigant.com) for more information and to participate.

New COA Members in 2015

The WHPA is proud to welcome three new Council of Advisors (COA) members in 2015. We value the unique and technical expertise that they bring to this diverse organization.

The Western HVAC Performance Alliance was established in 2009. About 230 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 info@performancealliance.org.


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