A quick demo that shows how easy a model can be built and using typical low cost upgrades that gets a home into the Advanced rebate package as well as the Green Point Rated Program.

Getting an Existing home over 15% w. EnergyPro5 

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The money that is out there from Energy Upgrade California is for the whole house approach.  An approach that actually will provide homeowners with energy efficient, comfortable, healthy, durable homes when done correctly.  Your video example will not be providing that homeowner with a comfortable, energy efficient home with decent indoor air quality but it will take money from the program, give them a worthless green label (because the recommendations for this home are not making this home 'green') and they will still be living in an uncomfortable, energy inefficient home with poor indoor air quality.  This video's approach is defaming both the GreenPoint Rated logo as well as the Whole House Approach.

Could only watch the first video because it made me so angry.  You're recommending to only seal a duct system to 15%, that's like a car gas tank leaking 15% of it's fuel into the atmosphere - love it.  Takes care of IAQ issues too?  Nope, I still get to breathe the fiberglass and rat feces from the attic delivered directly to each room of my house through the still leaky duct system.  You've got a 2125sq ft building with a 3.5 ton system in it based on the model you are showing in the video.  You're going to spend the homeowner's money on an 95% efficient air handler putting it on an existing duct system.  You are either paying no attention to the sizes of the ducts actually being right for the air delivery required from the air handler to each room or if you've done the load calcs you obviously don't care that the existing duct system will not be the correct size for the now smaller system you will be installing in this house. You'rer planning on air sealing to a 7.9 ACH50 - another poor recommendation.  A 2125 sq ft house with leakage starting at 3675cfm50 being air sealed to only 2240cfm50 - did you forget to do the top plates?  The recessed can lights?  The plumbing and electrical penetrations?  Did you just not bother with the leaky floor assembly over the disgusting crawl space? I suggest you study building science and the whole house approach before posting another video encouraging contractors to take advantage of the money that is out there to incentivize energy efficient home improvements.

I agree with Judy - this appears to be a mimimalist approach that does not address the building science or the intent of the EUC program.  It looks to me like this approach is attempting to just get the money and to just tighten up enough to avoid having to add whole building ventilation as per ASHRAE 62.2-2010.  2240 cfm50 is about 125 cfm natural annual average leakage.  If this size house has three bedrooms, 62.2 would require only 51 cfm of continuous mechanical ventilation.  So this house could be tightened up to about 1000 cfm50 before that 51 cfm would be required - a fair amount of heating and cooling energy that could have been saved by tightening up to 1000 cfm50.

 

We have just finished a guide to mechanical ventilation in upgraded California houses for the CEC that will be posted on the LBNL website shortly.  This is exactly the type of situation we are trying to clarify - when, why, how, and how much ventilation to provide.  The theme is make it tight and ventilate it right.   Look for more info on that site in a month or so.  And, yes, I am the Chair of the ASHRAE 62.2 committee and have been involved in that committee since it was formed in 1994.

Chris, 

      The approach is minimalist, because the example is based on a situation where a budget is small like $5-10K.  If i wanted to show how to get the money I would have showed how to get 40% savings.  Energy Pro does not capture ASHRAE 62.2 completely.  I myself use a hand calculation, based on recent standards, which I then reported in the CF-6R -- Mech-05 for Title 24 anytime I design to 0.35 ACHn,

      EUC is looking at BPI standards for BAS, and Combustion safety when performing quality assurance field inspections.  We are working to ensure homes are safe, healthy, and efficient (based on energy modeling).

 

Hello Judy, I think you are misunderstanding the purpose of this video.  As many of you out there know the PG&E Whole House Program -Energy Upgrade California and Green Point Rated does not have formal energy modeling training.  The intention of this video is for those, who are just getting into these programs, and want to know what works when modeling.

The money that is out there from Energy Upgrade California is for the whole house approach.

 

Yes, being in the home performance retrofit industry for since 2007, even though a homeowner is educated on the issues with their home, I can say very rarely do homeowners choose all whole house solutions recommended , most of them choose what they can afford. 

 An approach that actually will provide homeowners with energy efficient, comfortable, healthy, durable homes when done correctly. 

My videos are from an Energy Standpoint , Energy Modeling, and Energy efficiency measures.  Sorry but computer modeling/ simulations cannot predict comfort, and unless you are running a parametric modeling simulation you probably aren’t going to predict safety conditions (I’d default to the BPI analyst to enforce these standards)

Your video example will not be providing that homeowner with a comfortable, energy efficient home with decent indoor air quality but it will take money from the program, give them a worthless green label (because the recommendations for this home are not making this home 'green') and they will still be living in an uncomfortable, energy inefficient home with poor indoor air quality.  This video's approach is defaming both the GreenPoint Rated logo as well as the Whole House Approach.

I disagree with this comment only because Energy Modeling is one portion, of both Energy Upgrade California and Green Point Rated.  Again these videos are for planning purposes, if I wanted both and incentive and a Green Point Rated label, how could I demonstrate how to do this in under 10 min.   Participants in the Energy Upgrade California program and Green Point Rated know there is more process work involved in implementing and approving these work scopes.

 Could only watch the first video because it made me so angry. 

Sorry you felt that way, maybe if you looked my standpoint of a contractor who is trying to participate with no energy modeling training, you may feel less worked up about the presentations.

 You're recommending to only seal a duct system to 15%, that's like a car gas tank leaking 15% of it's fuel into the atmosphere - love it. 

 

Actually, I've engineered existing HVAC systems in thousands of existing homes in the Bay Area, and unless replacing the whole duct system, it becomes difficult, not impossible. to get down to 6%. Although we have energy codes and target 6%, it is not enforced by many jurisdictions to hit. People should strive to go beyond code, 15% is a good place (to start) if I tested in at 30%.  Again my video is minimum targets numbers.  Duct leakage is actually wasted conditioned air ( if in crawl or attic), if it’s in conditioned space the leakage diffuses into other rooms.  The Furnace and DHW Flue gases (if gas) are the main appliances that are sticking the CO in the air, hence the 95% AFUE upgrade. 

  Takes care of IAQ issues too?  Nope, I still get to breathe the fiberglass and rat feces from the attic delivered directly to each room of my house through the still leaky duct system.

 

Energy Pro does not quite capture ventilation standards.  BAS per BPI and ASHRAE 62.2 are both based on air changes, and needs to be calculated separately from Energy Pro Modeling.  If I have properly sealed accessible ducts, and provided a proper air filter on my FAU I shouldn’t be breathing any fiberglass, pet dander, or rat dropping.  If rats and rat droppings are a problem I’d call about having that problem fixed. 

 You've got a 2125sq ft building with a 3.5 ton system in it based on the model you are showing in the video.  You're going to spend the homeowner's money on an 95% efficient air handler putting it on an existing duct system. 

 

-Yes, in this scenario the homeowner only has only agreed to these options due to budget constraints.   

 

You are either paying no attention to the sizes of the ducts actually being right for the air delivery required from the air handler to each room or if you've done the load calcs you obviously don't care that the existing duct system will not be the correct size for the now smaller system you will be installing in this house.

 

-No, in this example we are just modeling Energy Savings.  I would of course do an ACCA Manual J, S, D, T designed system and because I go the extra I throw in Manual B (Air flow Balancing) .  Although you can use Energy Pro for loads I wouldn’t recommend using Energy Pro to design a Mechanical duct system, it’s not the easiest tool for doing this in my opinion.  Energy Pro does not capture savings from correctly sized duct systems or forced air systems (which is too bad). 

You're planning on air sealing to a 7.9 ACH50 - another poor recommendation.  A 2125 sq ft house with leakage starting at 3675cfm50 being air sealed to only 2240cfm50 - did you forget to do the top plates?  The recessed can lights?  The plumbing and electrical penetrations?  Did you just not bother with the leaky floor assembly over the disgusting crawl space?

 

I believe I stated a 20% Air leakage reduction,  that’s pretty typical, as air sealing is one of the most elusive measures I’ve seen.  Energy Pro only looks at total infiltration, it does not look at plumbing, electrical, or windows as points of infiltration reduction.  I hope whomever is implanting the Air sealing scope knows the things you and I both know about common leakage spots.

 

 I suggest you study building science and the whole house approach before posting another video encouraging contractors to take advantage of the money that is out there to incentivize energy efficient home improvements.

 

Thanks for the suggestion, I have read Residential Energy about 3 times, I am a CABEC Certified Energy Plans Examiner (working on CEA), CGBP, I’ve read ACCA Manual J/S/D/T/B, I took an online ASHRAE 62.2 Course, I've been to various PG&E classes, worked extensively with HERS Raters-BPI analysts. I also worked on a team that has built a Net Zero Home,  helped design and engineer what  many homeowners would consider an Efficient, Healthier, and more comfortable home. I didn't feel like I should brag about my qualifications in the video.  

I actually could care less about profit, which only comes being you provided the homeowner with top customer service.  I am encouraging morality in Energy Modeling many folks who are more builders than admins are discouraged and turned off when it comes to this type of analysis.  I am only providing a resource and encouragement which there is little of. 

Sean, the point is that you under-estimate the power of the suggestions in your videos. 

If the experts do not set the standard where they should be then the standards will never be met.  There are often times when we must tell homeowners that we are not willing to do below standard work. They can either find someone who is willing to take their money but not deliver energy efficiency or they should call us back when they have the budget to truly apply the whole house approach to their home.  Then we will happily work with them and deliver a performance home, but we won't take their money otherwise.

Judy,

      The videos are Pathos, not Logos or Ethos

I can only show people how to use EnergyPro right out of the box, without loosing money trying to figure how to model assemblies, plants, and systems. 

Also, I do not set standards, here in California that is the CEC/ CPUC when it comes to energy regulation. It's up to the individual to know these standards (as they are different in Climate zones in CA) so when they submit their documents to city officials, they know whats expected.  If you watched all the videos You'd see I touched on these concerns, but you judging all of them based on one video you dont agree with.  I've been told by folks they are wonderful resources (different strokes for different folks)

I don't know if I agree with what your saying about not taking money. If a homeowner asked me to get them 15% energy savings so they could participate in EUC or get a GPR certificate, I'll do the best job I can (work outputs differ from person to person, some do whats expected, some are over achievers, some do terrible work).

 I personally grew up in a low income neighborhood, and all we ate is fast food, we all knew about health, it comes down to whats available to us, those were the only food services in our area. So, a homeowner having a budget who wants to participate should, in my opinion, have a person who is willing to work on their home.  I think its condescending to say "oh well you have enough money for attic insulation, a new furnace and tighter ducts, I can't help you".  

I understand where you come from, If people were better at Energy Modeling I might have taken your route, but that's not the case.  Being a Drafter for the last 18yrs, I noticed how a lot of builders and architects hate modeling programs, so this is something to help ease frustrations.  Watch them all Im sure youll find something good about them, they are free, if not, well I cant please everyone all the time.  :)

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