HVAC Industry Insights

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The Western HVAC Performance Alliance (WHPA) is a volunteer-based organization that provides expertise on topics related to HVAC energy efficiency. The member organizations of the WHPA participate in committees to provide guidance for utility programs, government policy, industry standards, and other purposes.

All work of the WHPA is available for use by others at no charge and we welcome you to browse the resources below. Attribution of our work is appreciated. If you find any of the materials below particularly useful, please let us know! It is very encouraging to our hundreds of volunteers to know where their work has been of value.

A sortable table of the industry research is below. For brief descriptions of each resource, scroll down below the table or click here.
TitleYearCommercialResidentialInstallationMaint.Education
& Training
Compliance
& Codes
PolicyM&VSales
Master List of Onboard/In-Field Fault Detection and Diagnostics (FDD) Technology Offerings - Summary / Master list worksheet2017YesNoNoYesNoYesYesYesYes
Recommendation to Qualify FDD Technologies for Inclusion in Utility Commercial HVAC Programs2017YesNoNoYesNoYesYesYesNo
Defining “Comparable Training” for Labor Demand Strategies2017YesYesYesYesYesNoYesNoNo
Implementation and Value of Commercial HVAC Quality Maintenance based on Standard 180
2017YesNoNoYesNoNoYesYesYes
Development of a Standard 180 User Guide for Commercial Maintenance2017YesNoNoYesYesNoYesYesYes
Comparing CA and International Residential HVAC Installation Codes to ACCA Standard 5 2017NoYesYesNoNoYesYesYesNo
Industry Guidance to Public Policymakers on Codes, Compliance, Standards, M&V and Other Topics in CEC EBEE Action Plan2016YesYesNoNoYesYesYesYesNo
Recruiting HVAC Technicians for the next Decade: A Special Report2016YesYesNoNoYesNoYesNoNo
Existing Conditions Baseline for Energy Efficiency Program Measurement - Webinar (audio and visual) / Slides only2016YesYesYesYesNoNoYesYesNo
Recommendations for Employer Support of Trainees2016YesNoNoNoYesNoYesNoYes
CA Regulatory Policy Updates2016YesYesNoNoNoNoYesNoNo
Recommendations for Standardized Field Data Specification for Commercial HVAC Installation2016YesNoYesNoNoNoNoNoNo
Definition of an Efficient Commercial HVAC Installation2016YesNoYesNoNoNoYesNoNo
Online Permitting System for Residential HVAC Installations2016NoYesNoNoNoYesYesNoNo
Benefit/Cost (B/C) Testing of Utility Energy Efficiency Programs - Webinar by Dr. Edward Vine2015YesYesNoNoNoNoYesYesNo
Gaps and Barriers in the CEC Energy Efficiency Action Plan2015YesYesNoNoYesYesYesYesNo
Process for WHPA input to CPUC and CEC2015YesYesNoNoNoNoYesNoNo
Census of Credentialed HVAC Technicians2015YesYesNoNoYesNoYesNoNo
Recommendations for a Standard 180 User Manual2015YesNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNo
Standard 180 Table 5-12 Economizer Maintenance Tasks2015YesNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNo
Standard 180 Table 5-22 Rooftop Units Refrigeration Cycle Performance2015YesNoNoYesNoNoNoYesNo
List of HVAC Savings Estimator Tools2014YesYesNoNoNoNoNoNoYes
List of HVAC Sales Training Providers2014YesYesNoNoNoNoYesYesYes
WE&T Barriers to and Solutions for the Adoption of Whole Building Design2014YesYesNoNoYesNoYesNoNo
Gaps in HVAC Workforce Certifications and Recommendations2014YesYesNoNoYesYesYesNoNo
Recommendations to Improve HVAC Permit Compliance2014YesYesNoNoNoYesYesNoNo
Standard 180 Section 4 Implementation2014YesNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNo
WE&T Issues in Developing an HVAC Sector Strategy2014YesNoNoNoYesNoYesNoNo
Selling Standard 180-based Commercial Maintenance2014YesNoNoYesYesNoNoNoYes
Input on Parameters Used to Claim Energy Savings – Residential Installations2014NoYesNoNoNoNoYesYesNo
Fault Detection and Diagnostics Roadmap2013YesYesNoYesNoYesNoYesNo
HVAC Sales Training Gaps and Recommendations 2013YesYesYesNoYesNoNoNoYes
Training and Education Gaps and Recommendations − HVAC Codes and Standards2013YesYesNoNoYesYesYesNoNo
Training and Education Gaps and Recommendations−Residential HVAC2013NoYesYesYesYesNoNoNoNo
Training and Education Gaps and Recommendations−Commercial HVAC2013YesNoYesYesYesNoNoNoNo
Barriers and Solutions for Residential Quality HVAC Installation2012NoYesYesNoYesYesYesNoNo
Initial Review of ASHRAE/ANSI/ACCA Standard 180 2010YesNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNo
Standard 180 Table 5-22 Rooftop Units Maintenance Tasks2014YesNoNoYesNoNoNoNoNo
 

Commercial and Residential

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Defining “Comparable Training” for Labor Demand Strategies (2017)

The WHPA was asked to define the term “comparable training” for jobsite HVAC technicians. The term is used in the Don Vial Report on labor demand strategies for energy savings. It is important to identify required skills and experience for certain energy efficiency programs.



Industry Guidance to Public Policymakers on Codes, Compliance, Standards, M&V and Other Topics (2016)

Input for those developing public policy, utility programs, and staffing organizations relative to energy and sustainability. Document focuses on issues of HVAC codes, standards, compliance, M&V, communication.


Recruiting HVAC Technicians for the Next Decade: A Special Report (2016)

This special issue of the WHPA quarterly newsletter provides data and many experienced voices providing their views on the topic of “Recruiting HVAC Technicians for the Next Decade”. We hope this stimulates you to join in the dialog, whether through WHPA Committees and Working Groups or in other ways. This is a challenge that we all must work to solve in order to meet energy efficiency goals.


Benefit/Cost (B/C) Testing of Utility Energy Efficiency Programs - Webinar by Dr. Edward Vine (2015)

41 of 50 states in the U.S. use benefit/cost (B/C) testing of utility energy efficiency programs. In this webinar, Dr. Edward Vine provides detailed review and critique of B/C tests.


Gaps and Barriers in the CEC Energy Efficiency Action Plan (2015)

WHPA input into the Existing Buildings Energy Efficiency Action Plan being developed by the California Energy Commission (CEC). The goal is to provide direct HVAC industry input prior to finalization.


Process for WHPA Input to CPUC and CEC (2015)

WHPA recommendations on process to provide input to California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) and California Energy Commission (CEC).


Census of Credentialed HVAC Technicians (2015)

Census of credentialed HVAC technicians in California, detailed by credentialing organization. Updated in 2015.


CA Regulatory Policy Updates

Useful summary of California regulatory, utility, and related government information relevant to HVAC energy efficiency. Information displayed on WHPA webpage and is updated by WHPA staff.


Existing Conditions Baseline for Energy Efficiency Program Measurement

A webinar that provides a summary of California Assembly Bill 802, which measures energy usage reduction relative to existing conditions baseline. Table of the adopted baseline for different alteration conditions. California Public Utility Commission guidance in setting goals for energy efficiency programs.


List of HVAC Savings Estimator Tools

A list of sales estimating tools for use by HVAC contractors and others to demonstrate benefits of commercial and residential energy efficiency products. Includes boilers, economizers, ERV/HRV, heat pumps, rooftop units, VFD, whole building, and whole house.


List of HVAC Sales Training Providers

A list of HVAC sales training providers for use by contractors and others to learn how to sell energy efficiency projects to homeowners and business owners.


WE&T Barriers to and Solutions for the Adoption of Whole Building Design (2014)

This document presents a long-term strategic roadmap to identify workable solutions in support of growth for HVAC and Whole Building businesses while supporting California’s energy efficiency, economic, and environmental goals.


Gaps in HVAC Workforce Certifications and Recommendations (2013)

Identification of five gaps in HVAC installer and technician certifications. Suggested actions by state and local government, utilities, educators, contractors, technicians, associations, and other stakeholders.


Recommendations to Improve HVAC Permit Compliance (2014)

Recommendations to improve compliance with permit requirements for HVAC and other equipment; developed in 2014 for California Title 24.


Fault Detection and Diagnostics Roadmap (2013)

The document provides a roadmap to using onboard and in-field fault detection and diagnostics, to improve energy efficiency. Included are identification of stakeholders and resources, and a roadmap with recommended action items.


HVAC Sales Training Gaps and Recommendations (2013)

This study identifies gaps between the sales-related training needs of the HVAC workforce and the industry's current education and training practices. It also identifies actionable recommendations to address those gaps.


Training and Education Gaps and Recommendations − HVAC Codes and Standards (2013)

This study identifies gaps between the codes and standards related training needs of the HVAC workforce and the industry's current education and training practices. The driving questions focused on "what or where the gaps are between where we are today and where we need to be by 2020" and on how the gaps can be filled.

Commercial Only

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Master List of Onboard/In-Field Fault Detection and Diagnostics (FDD) Technology Offerings (2017)

The FDD Committee developed a FDD Technology Master List of the different FDD offerings that assist in identification of performance, maintenance, or repair needs using measurements and software intelligence in an in-field or onboard fashion. They also also developed well-defined criteria for inclusion in the different categories to simplify the process and be able to better compare technologies.


Recommendation to Qualify FDD Technologies for Inclusion in Utility Commercial HVAC Programs (2017)

FDD technologies have much potential to improve HVAC Commercial Quality Maintenance (CQM). This deliverable captures key elements on how FDD can better fit in with the CA statewide CQM programs. It touches on different strategies for implementation and qualification criteria to consider. This document will be updated.


Implementation and Value of Commercial HVAC Quality Maintenance Based on Standard 180 (2017)

Implementation of ANSI/ASHRAE/ACCA Standard 180 requires a dialog between the responsible party (owner/representative) and the service provider/contractor in order to develop maintenance plan goals, metrics, processes and program revisions/improvements. This document suggests topics and a sequence of questions which these two parties need to explore and discuss together in order to establish a Standard 180 based maintenance program. The interview process is also intended to uncover the significant benefits of this approach to maintenance - the "value proposition." Future work is planned to provide clearer guidance on how this interview process might be implemented for each party.


Development of a Standard 180 User Guide for Commercial Maintenance (2017)

ANSI/ASHRAE/ACCA Standard 180 for commercial HVAC maintenance provides requirements written in "standards" enforcement language. The standard addresses "what" is required but not sufficient guidance on "how" those requirements might be met or implemented by responsible parties (owners), their service providers or utility program designers/implementers. This document provides input from HVAC industry subject matter experts to address several key topics which need to be understood in order to implement the standard. It also includes suggestions for revisions to the current 2012 standard for Standard 180 Committee consideration. The working group plans to continue work on identified topics to develop a user guide draft.


Recommendations for Standardized Field Data Specification for Commercial HVAC Installation (2016)

Provides specific recommendations for a standardized field data specification for system measurements to be collected for commercial HVAC installations.This specification is a first step toward the development of a standardized approach for establishing field performance measurement protocols to score the level of performance achieved by an installed HVAC system.


Definition of an Efficient Commercial HVAC Installation (2016)

Selecting highly-rated efficient equipment installed safely and to-code does not assure the efficient operation of a commercial system installation. This paper suggest use of a ratio representing the field measured system delivered Btu/h into the building compared to the equipment rated Btu/h capacity to rate the efficiency of the installed system.

Recommendations for Employer Support of Trainees (2016)

Recommendations for employers to hire, train and promote HVAC trainees to acquire necessary skills and other elements of best practices.


Recommendations for a Standard 180 User Manual (2015)

Commercial HVAC maintenance user manual. Recommendations for development of a user manual for ANSI/ASHRAE/ACCA Standard 180. Addresses table of contents, audience, and media.


Standard 180 Table 5-12 Economizer Maintenance Tasks (2015)

WHPA commercial economizer subject matter expert recommendations for maintaining economizers, modifying Table 5-12 of ASHRAE/ANSI/ACCA Standard 180.


Standard 180 Table 5-22 Rooftop Units Refrigeration Cycle Performance (2015)

Detailed study of refrigeration cycle performance for the purpose of informing the utility programs and users of the ANSI/ASHRAE/ACCA Standard 180, modifying Table 5-22.

Standard 180 Section 4 Implementation (2014)

Study and proposed revisions to Section 4 (Implementation of packaged HVAC equipment) of ANSI/ASHRAE/ACCA Standard 180. The purpose is to inform utility programs and users of the Standard. Delivered to ASHRAE Std. 180 Committee January 2015.


WE&T issues in Developing an HVAC Sector Strategy (2014)

Identification of five industry/employer WE&T issues to form the basis of a HVAC Sector Strategy by California investor-owned utilities.


Selling Standard 180-based Commercial Maintenance (2014)

Presentations from a webinar on selling ASHRAE/ANSI/ACCA Standard 180-based commercial HVAC maintenance. Includes PPTs by implementers of three CA utility-sponsored maintenance programs.


Standard 180 Table 5-22 Rooftop Units Maintenance Tasks (2014)

Detailed study and modification to Table 5-22 Rooftop Units maintenance tasks for the purpose of informing the utility programs and users of the ANSI/ASHRAE/ACCA Standard 180.


Training and Education Gaps and Recommendations−Commercial HVAC (2013)

This study identifies gaps between the Commercial Quality Installation (QI) and Quality Maintenance (QM) education and training needs of the HVAC workforce and the industry's current education and training practices. It also identifies actionable recommendations to address those gaps.


Initial Review of ASHRAE/ANSI/ACCA Standard 180 (2010)

This 2010 document is the first in a series on studies by Western HVAC Performance Alliance (WHPA) industry volunteers of ASHRAE/ANSI/ACCA Standard 180. More recent WHPA documents provide detailed review and contributions to the Standard.

Residential Only

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Comparing California and International Residential HVAC Installation Codes to ACCA Standard 5 (2017)

There are critical differences between CA mechanical and energy code and other guiding installation standards, including ACCA Standard 5. This document by HVAC subject matter experts is the first step in providing a clear, comprehensive overview comparison between various codes and standards.


Online Permitting for Residential HVAC Installations (2016)

This document serves as initial guidance to HVAC industry stakeholders interested in pursuing a framework for online permitting for residential HVAC installations.


Input on Parameters Used to Claim Energy Savings – Residential Installations (2014)

Industry input to Southern California Edison, which is updating its Quality Installation Program Claimed Savings Workpaper for residential split systems and packaged units. Seven parameters utilized for estimating energy and demand savings in measure are reviewed.


Training and Education Gaps and Recommendations−Residential HVAC (2013)

This study identifies gaps between the Residential Quality Installation (QI) and Quality Maintenance (QM) education and training needs of the HVAC workforce and the industry's current education and training practices. It also identifies actionable recommendations to address those gaps.


Barriers and Solutions for Residential Quality HVAC Installation (2012)

This document provides industry input on barriers which limit standardization of ACCA Standards 5 and 9-based quality residential HVAC installation and possible solutions to address these barriers.
Copyright 2017 by Western HVAC Performance Alliance