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. 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.
Commercial and Residential
Fault Detection & Diagnostics Roadmap Update (2017)
Expanding and ensuring quality maintenance and installation of HVAC systems is central to the HVAC elements of the California Long Term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan (CLTEESP). Too many units are poorly installed and not commissioned, and a lack of maintenance compounds this issue. All residential and commercial HVAC systems naturally degrade in performance over time. Occupant complaints are the main method through which building owners know that there are problems in the building’s HVAC operation. However, most operating problems that degrade energy performance are not noticed by the owners or occupants and can result in wasted energy for years. Onboard and in-field fault detection and diagnostic (FDD) systems are a potential solution to this problem.
Resources to Inform Development of Public Policy on Energy Savings for Existing Buildings (2017)
This Work Product provides eight presentations that were made to the WHPA Existing Buildings Energy Efficiency Committee to provide insight into the development of California public policy to address the efficiency of existing buildings. Topics addressed include: Whole Building Efficiency; Achieving Energy Efficiency in Existing Multifamily Buildings; Financing Options, 1000 Home Challenge Lessons Learned; Responsible Contractor Policy.
Field-Level Analysis of CA Assembly Bill 802 “Energy Efficiency” (2017)
In 2015 the California Assembly passed Assembly Bill 802 (AB 802). Under AB 802, owners of commercial buildings and multifamily properties can access whole building utility information. An in-depth look at the needs of the consumer and contractor is essential before the hoped-for energy savings required by AB 802 will be realized. This document identifies, at the field level, obstacles and solutions for engaging HVAC consumers and their contractors with the requirements of AB 802.
Feasibility of Online Permitting for HVAC Alterations (2017)
This document summarizes five memos developed in 2017 on the subject of online permitting: Minimum Legal Requirements for a Building Permit, Legislative and Regulatory Policy Issues, Review of Best Practices in Online Permitting, 2017 WHPA Online Permitting Jurisdiction Survey Results, and 2017 WHPA Online Permitting Contractor Survey Results.
The memo also offers the conclusion that an Online Permitting System (OPS) is a viable approach to address the compliance gap for HVAC change-outs. However, while OPS is viable, there are many potential challenges that need to be considered, with additional detail in the aforementioned five memos (WHPA Work Products).
Market Education and Outreach Presentation Series Resource (2017)
The memo provides a high-level summary of specific activities that have been undertaken to address the efficiency of existing buildings. These activities are in direct support of Goal 1.9.1 through 1.9.6. This document is a fluid document that will need updating as necessary in response to new activities, but can ultimately be used by the CEC to help track progress of relevant activities that support the improved energy performance of existing buildings.
Review of Best Practices in Online Permitting (2017)
This document summarizes online permitting best practices based on literature review, a general survey of contractors and jurisdictions to get their perspective of online permitting, and interviews with several jurisdictions that currently use an online permitting system. While it is generally considered that online permitting will make the permitting process simpler for all involved, development of a user-friendly system that meets all stakeholder needs will be challenging. This document identifies many of these challenges.
Online Permitting Contractor Survey Results Memo (2017)
This survey obtains California contractor input about the feasibility of a statewide online permitting system (OPS) which would enable permit application and obtainment, as well as tracking of permits issued. The survey aimed to ascertain information about if an online application could improve the efficiency and accessibility for both contractors and building departments, and enhance code compliance and statistical accuracy of permit reporting.
Compliance Stakeholders in HVAC Installation (2017)
A matrix that identifies the role that 18 different market actors have in different building code processes associated with HVAC installation and compliance.
Legislative and Regulatory Policy Issues Affecting Online Permitting Memo (2017)
This memo summarizes several recent pieces of legislation that have some influence over permitting and compliance. The specific legislation reviewed includes AB 802, SB 350 and SB 1414. In general, permitting and compliance are typically treated as secondary issues in existing legislation with the possible exception of SB 1414, which treats several aspects of compliance more directly. However, in order to achieve the significant improvement to compliance rates envisioned by the California Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan, a more concerted legislative effort will likely be required.
Defining “Comparable Training” for Labor Demand Strategies (2016)
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.
User Guide for a Meaningful Interview on Contracting Commercial Maintenance Services (2017)
This document was developed to provide guidance and specific suggestions on how contractors and building responsible parties can hold meaningful and productive discussions at the beginning of a process to develop and contract for a maintenance program. The goal is to move beyond the common industry practice of focusing on getting bids for maintenance tasks, and instead to develop performance objectives.
Most of the user guide was developed from the perspective where an owner or facility manager is the “responsible party” and where maintenance services needed to be contracted.
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.