Published on March 10, 2014
Energy Efficiency Quality Assurance: Past, Present, and Future Dave Bohac | Director of Research Jim Fitzgerald | Senior Analyst Carl Nelson | Manager of Residential Programs Isaac Smith | Program Assistant 3/6/2014
Pg. 4 Meeting Utility Resource Needs with Solar: The Merits of the Aurora Solar Project Wednesday, March 19th 11:00 – 12:00 CST Betsy Engelking | Geranimo Energy Vice President Nathan Franzen | Geranimo Director of Solar • Introduction to the Aurora Solar Project that has been selected in MN • The design and technical merits of the proposed project
Pg. 5 Presenters & Overview • Experience that have informed best practices • Innovations currently being used in the field • Future implementation opportunities Dave Bohac Director of Research Jim Fitzgerald Senior Research Analyst Carl Nelson Manager of Residential Programs Isaac Smith Program Assistant
Pg. 6 Operation Insulation • Beginning of Quality Assurance (QA) at CEE • ~1983
Pg. 7 Community Based Outreach • One-stop shop for home improvement
Pg. 8 Partnered with contractors • Agreed to standards
Pg. 9 Post Inspection • Every job was inspected • Borrowed IR camera from fire department and Hughes Aircraft • Cooled with argon gas
Pg. 10 Operation Insulation • Over 4,000 homes participated • Funded by Minnegasco
Pg. 11 Sound Insulation Program • Began in 1992 to reduce airport noise • CEE hired to administer the program • Funded by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) • Over 13,000 homes participated over next decade • Work completed: • Acoustic windows and doors • Air-Conditioning • Attic insulation and air-sealing • Wall insulation
Pg. 12 Health and Safety • 1996 Headline
Pg. 13 Health and Safety • Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) issues discovered in treated homes • 3,200 homes had completed the program by 1996 • Issues of concern: • Gas appliance combustion spillage • Gas appliance carbon monoxide • House tightness/ventilation
Pg. 14 Program Response • Temporarily suspend program • Assemble panel of international experts • Led by Dave Bohac • Design process to predict and resolve possible issues • CEE developed inspection and testing standards • “Worst-case” testing of natural and induced-draft appliances • Carbon monoxide testing for each appliance • Pass/Fail limits set • Compare vent system size to code • Establish house tightness criteria
Pg. 15 Ventilation standards • Sound ventilation requirement developed • Air leakage (cfm50) < Floor area (sf) • Add continuous exhaust ventilation • Predicting the future • 10% to 35% reduction expected
Pg. 16 Problem Solved • Detailed inspection helped reduce post- treatment issues • 3,200 treated homes were re-inspected • Pre-tests found many of the problems were pre-existing
Pg. 17 Contractor Quality Assurance • Homes were open for bid on monthly cycle • 35-75 homes per month • In order to bid: • Contactors agree to standards • Complete contractor entry and certification • On-going QA
Pg. 18 Why is it important to have an entry process for new contractors? • Initial process was incomplete • Two process issues • Contractor agreement to meet program work requirements • Contractor’s staff may not know requirements or how to meet them • Entry process informs contractors and installers • Pre bid demonstration on first jobs • Crew has chance to demonstrate compliance • Required tasks were the same as the QA test by CEE
Pg. 19 Contractor Entry • 5 test jobs before contractor on bid list • QA assessor verifies skills on-site • Required skills • Effective air sealing of bypasses • Dense-pack insulation, equipment test • Blower door test • Contractor training as necessary • Bid limit removed once skills verified • Basic certification of each installer recorded
Pg. 20 Quality Assurance • Every job inspected using blower door and IR camera • Contractor Requirements • Maintain 90% pass rate • Correct jobs within 14 days • Failure to comply => off bid list If necessary, another contractor completed all work before CEE final test • Over 13,000 homes inspected complete in full compliance
Pg. 21 Evolution of Standards • Not part of code at the time, only voluntary standards • “best practices” developed in funded pilot programs • Had to be adapted locally • Learned from other programs • Adapted this process for other Sound Insulation programs, including Milwaukee • This process contributed to the development of national standards • M200/advanced WX • BPI and NYSERDA
Pg. 22 5 Keys of QA program 1. Installation Standards 2. Contractor Participation Agreement 3. Verify contractor ability 4. Verify work completed to standards 5. Contractor Accountability
Pg. 23 Authorized Insulation Contractor Program 1. Installation Standards • Adapted from Sound Insulation Program 2. Contractor Participation Agreement • Own required equipment • Complete work to standards • QA visits and callback completion • Blower door and combustion safety testing • Customer service Note: Contractor needs incentive
Pg. 24 Authorized Insulation Contractor Program 3. Verify contractor ability • Building Performance Institute (BPI) Installer certification • Official name: Residential Building Envelope Whole House Air Leakage Control Installer Certification • Skills based certification developed by Jim Fitzgerald • Certified employee must be on-site
Pg. 25 Authorized Insulation Contractor Program 4. Verify work completed to standards • QA phone visits • Complete on initial jobs • QA on-site visits • Check a sample of jobs • QA site visit app • Data entered on-site using iPad • Database of info • Generates visit report including score • Provides contractor feedback
Pg. 26 Authorized Insulation Contractor Program 5. Contractor Accountability • Requirements • Maintain acceptable job score • Complete required callback work • Probation • Additional QA phone visits • On-line training portal • Also used during contractor entry • Suspension • Removed from program if requirements are not met
Pg. 27 Authorized Insulation Contractor Program • Further Details on program website • http://mncee.org/AIC/ • Questions? • firstname.lastname@example.org
Pg. 28 Future trends in residential QA • Increased need for QA -- utilities need insulation programs & rebates to meet savings goals, and potential for bad contractors not going away • But, delivered at low cost --- Long-term low natural gas prices drive increased need for efficiency in delivery of QA services • Technology can lower cost and enhance performance • Software • Web-based training • Increased need for coordination • Regional technical committees for coordination / continued refinement of standards
Dave Bohac | email@example.com Jim Fitzgerald | firstname.lastname@example.org Carl Nelson | email@example.com Isaac Smith | firstname.lastname@example.org
Question & Answer Webinar Link: http://www.mncee.org/Innovation-Exchange/Resource-Center/
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