Cost Effectiveness Testing Webinar, Testing FDD Tools, and More

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  OCTOBER 2015

Webinar Demystifies Cost Effectiveness Testing

DEER (Database of Energy Efficient Resources) relies on benefit-cost testing to determine the effectiveness of energy efficiency programs. The purpose of Cost Effectiveness Testing is to ensure that ratepayer funds allocated to these programs are prudently spent.

In a July meeting of the WHPA's HVAC Energy Savings & DEER Committee, the group was surprised to learn that many of the committee members were not confident in their understanding of how Cost Effectiveness Testing works.

Opportunity for Education

The Committee reached out to Dr. Edward Vine of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, an expert on Cost Effectiveness Testing and non-energy benefits. Dr. Vine offered to present a webinar on the topic. Excited for clarification on a complicated subject, the Committee opened the webinar to everyone involved with the WHPA.

On August 21, 2015, Dr. Vine presented an informative webinar to more than 50 attendees. He covered the following topics:
  • Background and purposes of benefit-cost testing
  • Overview of the five traditional cost effectiveness tests
  • Survey results on current state application of benefit-cost (B/C) tests
  • Some concerns about B/C testing
  • Conclusions and recent developments

The HVAC Energy Savings & DEER Committee was pleased to host this webinar to educate the WHPA members on Cost Effectiveness Testing. The webinar can be viewed by clicking the link below.

ASHRAE Subcommittee Turns to WHPA for Industry Expertise

We are all bombarded by product claims every day. ("2x faster than the leading brand!") ASHRAE has the important role of providing test standards to ensure that various products actually meet their claims.

ASHRAE's SPC 207P Subcommittee is currently tasked with developing a lab evaluation test standard to verify that economizer Fault Detection Diagnostics (FDD) tools perform the way they should—because when they do, issues are detected and the proper maintenance can be performed to get HVAC systems running efficiently again.

Adrienne Thomle, an industry veteran and the SPC 207P Economizer section Subcommittee Chair, realized the subcommittee had excellent information on embedded tools, but needed more information on non-embedded tools.

Collaborating for the Greater Good

As an active member of the WHPA's CQM Standard 180 Maintenance Task Working Group (MTWG), Adrienne knew that the MTWG would be the perfect place to get collective industry input. "Where else can you get all of these industry experts in one place?" she said.

Dale Rossi, MTWG Chair, and the committee members eagerly took on the challenge. The Working Group snapped into action by scheduling three one-hour meetings with the ambitious goal of producing a laboratory standard for testing non-embedded economizer FDD tools and methods.

Parameters Developed to Test Standalone FDD Tools

As promised, after just three lively meetings the MTWG submitted lab test methods to Adrienne for consideration by the AHRAE SPC 207P Economizer section Subcommittee. The document supplied by the MTWG had detailed test parameters for determining if tools:
  1. correctly detect economizer faults, and
  2. do not detect economizer faults when they do not exist.

Adrienne was thrilled. "The input from the group was invaluable. The great thing about the WHPA is that you have a blend of everyone from the HVAC industry.” She added, “Their work was exceptional and is very much appreciated by the Economizer section subcommittee."

Energy Commission Adopts Existing Buildings Energy Efficiency Action Plan

On September 9, 2015, the California Energy Commission (CEC) adopted a roadmap to reach Governor Brown's goal to double building efficiency savings in California by 2030.

The roadmap, called the Existing Buildings Energy Efficiency Action Plan, is designed to achieve greenhouse gas reduction goals, and will help consumers save money and enjoy more comfortable homes through energy efficiency.

David Ismailyan, Analyst with the CEC, appreciated the WHPA’s role in providing input on the Action Plan.

"I want to thank the WHPA Existing Buildings Action Plan Committee for their invaluable input on the Existing Buildings Energy Efficiency Action Plan. Energy Commission staff appreciate the collaborative effort and believe that this type of partnership will ensure success. The recent adoption of the Action Plan provides opportunity to continue working together. I look forward to it."

- David Ismailyan, Analyst, CEC

Click here for video comments on the Action Plan by Commissioner Andrew McAllister, the Energy Commission's lead on energy efficiency.

FDD Committee Welcomes New Co-Chairs

The Onboard/In-Field Fault Detection and Diagnostics (FDD) Committee is pleased to welcome Sean Gouw (SCE) and Joe Schmutzler (Transformative Wave) as its new Co-Chairs.

The WHPA would like to thank Mark Cherniack and Kristin Heinemeier as past Chairs for having brought the Committee to where it is today.

  More HVAC Education Listings

The WHPA website has recently added more listings to its directory of community colleges, private sources, unions, and online trainers that teach HVAC.

A ZIP code search tool has been added to the Community Colleges page, allowing visitors to conveniently find nearby programs.
  Pricing Added to HVAC Estimator Tools Page

Estimator Tools provide quantifiable data on HVAC efficiency.

This directory of tools was recently updated to include pricing and the audience for each tool, helping contractors, designers, and others find the right tool for their requirements.

The Western HVAC Performance Alliance was established in 2009. About 238 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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