EUC Home Upgrade - Contractors FAQ
Rebates and Incentives
How much is the incentive?
- Home Upgrade incentives range from $1,000 - $3,000.
Advanced Home Upgrade incentive values are determined by the simulated energy savings achieved by the final upgrade measures using approved energy modeling software.
- 10% savings: $1,000
- 15% savings: $1,500
- 20% savings: $2,000
- 25% savings: $2,500
- 30% savings: $3,000
- 35% savings: $3,500
- 40% savings: $4,000
- 45% savings: $4,500
For Advanced Home Upgrade projects, how will the final incentive value be calculated?
Advanced Home Upgrade incentive values are determined by the calculated percent energy savings achieved by the home improvement measures. This percent savings is derived from the energy simulation model for completed work based on the actual home conditions after the energy efficiency work. The estimated energy savings that you model before work begins may not match the simulated energy savings modeled, based on actual energy efficiency measures. This can happen when the scope of work changes during the project or if test-out results are different from what you expected to achieve.
When will the homeowner’s incentive check be issued?
SDG&E issues the homeowner’s incentive check within 6-8 weeks of project approval.
Who will issue the homeowner’s incentive check?
SDG&E issues the homeowner’s incentive check. Once you submit the application, the information will be verified and forwarded to SDG&E for payment.
Does SDG&E allow for “instant” rebates, in which the check is signed over directly to the contractor in exchange for the project cost being reduced by the value of the incentive?
Yes. The incentive check can be remitted to the contractor. The homeowner must sign the Payment Release Authorization in order for you to receive payment.
Can the scope of work change after the confirmation of incentive has been received?
Yes. The purpose of the pre-improvement review is to confirm the project is qualified for Advanced Home Upgrade. Changing the scope of work after the confirmation of incentive is common and acceptable. You are encouraged to identify additional energy saving measures. The application must reflect the actual installed measures, rather than the proposed measures. The incentive is based on the installed measures, as reflected in results from the energy modeling software. For Home Upgrade projects, you would have to cancel your first project submission and re-submit a new application.
How soon after I receive approval for my project must I complete home improvements?
Please complete construction on the project within 90 calendar days of the approval.
In-Home Work Requirements
Is hot water pipe insulation required on all accessible hot and cold water pipes, or only those pipes adjacent to the water heater?
Although pipe insulation is not eligible for an incentive, it is a required Home Upgrade measure. Pipe insulation is required for the first 5' of hot and cold water pipes leaving the water heater.
What tests do I need to conduct in a Home Upgrade project?
For a Home Upgrade project, combustion safety testing must be conducted by a certified BPI Building Analyst before the start of any work. A blower door, duct test (optional), and combustion safety testing are required after work has been completed. Interim CAZ testing is required each day that significant air sealing is performed.
Do I have to re-test ducts and other home elements that the homeowner can demonstrate are already Title 24 compliant?
Yes, because home conditions may have changed since that Title 24 compliance was achieved.
At what point during the Home Upgrade does a combustion appliance zone (CAZ) test need to be performed?
CAZ testing is required for all Home Upgrade and Advanced Home Upgrade projects. Generally, testing is required at the beginning and the end of a project; however, interim CAZ testing is required each day that significant air sealing is done.
Can a consultant or subcontractor perform work on Home Upgrade projects?
Yes. A Participating Contractor may subcontract work to other consultants or subcontractors. However, it is the Participating Contractor's responsibility to ensure that all testing and work completed meets BPI and Home Upgrade standards. All combustion safety testing must be completed by a certified BPI Building Analyst. Please note that having a BPI Building Analyst on staff is required for participation in Advanced Home Upgrade.
Does a homeowner need to have an HVAC system to qualify for Home Upgrade incentives?
Homeowners do not have to have an HVAC system to qualify for Home Upgrade.
I’m performing work in a home that has already achieved Title 24 compliance. Does this preclude the need to meet BPI standards for work performed in this program?
No. BPI compliance and Title 24 compliance are not identical. All Home Upgrade requirements must be met regardless of Title 24.
Can a homeowner seek both Title 24 incentives and Energy Upgrade California Home Upgrade incentives for improvements?
No. Energy Upgrade California Home Upgrade does not provide any incentives for Title 24.
The BPI procedure for combustion safety testing is extensive. Can homeowners still get an incentive through Energy Upgrade California Home Upgrade if they decline combustion safety testing?
No. Combustion safety testing using BPI procedures is mandatory for both Home Upgrade and Advanced Home Upgrade projects. You should explain to homeowners that this test is a safety measure that ensures combustion appliances are not creating a hazardous environment in the home.
May I perform work in a home with knob and tube wiring without completely replacing the wiring?
Yes. BPI has approved the California code for insulation over knob and tube wiring. The code allows new insulation over old wiring based on a series of safety checks by a licensed C-10 electrician and submission of a letter establishing that the knob and tube is either not currently in use or safe to be buried in insulation.
Are renewable electricity sources (such as photovoltaics) part of the Energy Upgrade California program?
No. Renewables are not part of this program. If you are completing an Advanced Home Upgrade project, please do not enter renewables into your home performance assessment model. Please visit Go Solar California for information about solar rebates in your area.
Do I need to provide a copy of my general contractor’s license?
No. Only your general contractor’s license number is needed.
Please clarify the provision for the separation of insured liability. Is this to be included on our insurance form?
You must carry $1 million limits in general liability insurance, automobile liability insurance (if the automobile is owned by your business) and workers compensation liability. If you have no employees, you must provide a waiver for workers compensation liability. All the above must be provided in a separate Certificate of Liability Insurance for SDG&E.
Building Performance Institute (BPI) Certification
Can I find out the results of my BPI certification exam from the training provider?
No. BPI informs candidates directly of their exam results.
Are BPI certification training scholarships available?
Yes. The California Employment Training Panel has funding opportunities for those who qualify.
If my company is accredited with BPI, will each individual performing a home performance assessment also need to be a certified Building Analyst?
No. BPI accredited companies sign an accreditation agreement that states they agree to create quality management systems and policies and procedures to ensure proper BPI testing procedures and house-as-a-system contracting by all employees in the company. However, you must list on your Participating Contractor application all individuals who hold BPI certification and inform your account manager of any changes or additions to this certification condition.
What certification is needed to perform a combustion safety test in this program?
BPI Building Analyst certification is required to perform a combustion safety test in this program.
What BPI certification is needed to complete a home performance assessment?
A BPI Building Analyst certified individual (or a properly trained staff member of a BPI accredited company) must perform the combustion appliance safety testing for both Home Upgrade and Advanced Home Upgrade projects.
What BPI certification is required for participation in Home Upgrade?
For Home Upgrade projects, you must use a BPI Building Analyst certified individual to perform combustion safety testing. BPI Building Analyst certified Participating Contractors approved to perform Advanced Home Upgrade projects may perform combustion safety testing for Home Upgrade projects. For Advanced Home Upgrade projects, at least one of your employees must be BPI Building Analyst certified.
Energy Upgrade California Home Upgrade Eligibility
Are duplexes and multi-unit residential buildings eligible for this program?
Single-family detached homes and attached home with two to four units are eligible. (Some restrictions may apply; talk to an account manager about any attached home projects.)
Does a Home Upgrade project require a pre-upgrade walkthrough to determine if the home has inadequate attic insulation, leaky ducts or air leaks?
Yes. You must perform a visual inspection during a home walkthrough to determine that measures have not already been installed.
Can a homeowner first complete a Home Upgrade, followed by an Advanced Home Upgrade?
Yes. However, when calculating the energy savings achieved through the Advanced Home Upgrade, any upgrades completed earlier will be considered part of the existing home conditions.
If a customer recently purchased his or her house and can’t access the previous homeowner’s utility bill information, are they disqualified from participating? Can the EnergyPro model predict savings without energy use data for the previous 12 months?
The new homeowner will not be excluded from participating based on inability to acquire energy use data for the previous 12 months. EnergyPro will be able to model predicted energy savings without that data. In the Vision application, explain why the utility data has not been included.
How many months of past utility bills should we request from the utility?
You should obtain 12 months of past utility bill usage data.
Can a home qualify for incentives from SDG&E if it receives electricity and natural gas from a utility provider other than SDG&E?
No. The home must have service in good standing with SDG&E.
How do I edit or update my credentials (Home Upgrade or Advanced Upgrade and BPI certifications)?
Credentials are verified and updated by the account management team. Please contact one of the account managers for information on how to edit your credentials.
How do I edit or update my company description, email, website or phone number?
Please contact your account manager to update this information.