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SMUD HPP January Newsletter

FYI: New Program requirements for Heat Pump Water Heaters coming soon
New, upcoming program guidelines will include an incentive for changing from a gas water heater to electric heat pump water heater.
The requirements are as follows:
Replace existing electric or gas water heater with an ENERGY STAR rated electric heat pump water heater. The installed equipment must have a UEF of 2.87 (COP) or greater and a minimum storage capacity of 50 gallons. Pipe insulation is required on the first 5 feet of both the hot and cold-water pipes from the storage tank (T-24 code).

While it is not required, SMUD is encouraging the use of a thermostatic mixing valve, installed per manufacturer's guidelines.

Rebate amounts will remain $1,000 for replacing an existing electric water heater and will be increased to $1,500 if you are replacing a gas water heater with an electric heat pump water heater.  
We will notify you when the changes have taken effect. Look for a new JRT and updated measures list coming soon

Safety First! Stay current on your required CAS test-out knowledge
Making sure homes are safe and free of combustion related issues after your SMUD HPP project is complete is a priority.  It is imperative that you stay current on the latest combustion safety protocols such as allowable PPMs of CO and draft pressure levels. If you need help with combustion safety testing PG&E offers free Energy Education classes for contractors. We encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity.  In addition, many of PG&E's courses are BPI certified this means you can earn BPI CEUs credits by attending.
Here is a link for a Combustion Safety class coming up on March 20 in Stockton: BPI Combustion Safety and Depressurization, 3 BPI CEUs available for attending. For a listing of PG&E classes, schedules, locations and BPI CEU information visit

Get your best results from air sealing – Here’s a solution for an elusive air leakage culprit in the attic
It has come to our attention that some contractors struggle with air sealing around recessed lighting covers in the attic or don’t do it all. This results in a marginal air sealing job in the attic that allows attic air to infiltrate the home. If you are using pre-manufactured, flame retardant covers over non-ICAT recessed can lights please follow the installation guidelines and seal the boxes to the ceiling. Sealing the can light cover boxes to the drywall with gun foam will dramatically improve your air sealing results.

Reporting Job Costs on the JRT
When reporting your job cost on the JRT, please remember that the total job cost provided should be for incentive measures only. If non-incentive items are included in the total job cost it skews our overall program numbers (not good). Our desktop review process monitors job costs and flags jobs with total costs that are significantly higher than the installed measures. In order to avoid projects being placed on hold during the review process, and delaying the payment of incentives, please only factor-in the cost of measures that qualify for incentives.
Again, please do not include non-incentive measures in your total costs. Some common examples are: roofs, solar panels, and gas tankless water heaters. Our goal is to process your rebates with as little delay as possible.
Upsizing A/C
Home performance upgrades, such as insulation and air sealing, reduce heating and cooling loads. This means in most cases you can install smaller HVAC systems after the upgrades been installed. Installing properly sized equipment saves energy and improves comfort. One goal of any home performance program is to downsize mechanical systems whenever possible.
Lately we are seeing a trend with contractors upsizing A/C equipment. This means contractors are installing larger systems in conjunction with home performance upgrades. SMUD has the right to require load calculations when systems are upsized. If the load calculations indicate the unit is oversized without a specific reason, the job could be deemed ineligible and the rebate not paid. Please discourage upsizing in your HVAC systems unless there is a real reason to do so. If your project requires the capacity to be increased please include a description in the notes field on the JRT

JRT tips:
  • The SMUD JRT provides space for notes at the bottom of the form. Please take advantage of the space to provide information to the desktop review team. If your project has special considerations, please provide as much information in the notes field as you can. Use them freely, as this helps improve communication during the job approval process and will help avoid delays in processing. 
  • A friendly reminder about permits: Currently the SMUD HPP program requires that a permit number be present on the JRT to indicate that you have applied for it. We do not require final sign-off before projects are submitted.
Thank you for your participation in the SMUD Home Performance Program! We are proud of our program and our participating contractors. If you have comments or suggestions please let us know how we can help. We look forward to a great year working with you and Happy New Year! 

SMUD HPP Support:
Stacy Drake 
510-788-0463 or 510-403-1956
Efficiency First California logo
1250 Addison Street, Suite 211-B
Berkeley, CA 94702

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EFCA · 1250 Addison Street, Suite 211-B · Berkeley, CA 94702 · USA

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