Partners: CLEAResult, Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance
The HVAC SAVE pilot trained contractors to perform Quality Installations for residential air conditioning units and ensure they are performing at optimal efficiency.
For this midstream-focused pilot, approved contractors who participated in the residential HVAC rebate program were trained and certified to perform a Verified Quality Installation (QI) for residential HVAC equipment, in accordance with the HVAC SAVE (Systems Adjustment and Verified Efficiency) program model developed by MEEA. Special software and bonus incentives were provided to service providers verifying each QI project. To adequately evaluate the impact of training and the QI process, this pilot aimed to complete 400 projects across the 2018 cooling season.
This pilot resulted in a new addition to the existing central air conditioners measure in TRM version 7. The measure addition proposed a de-rating value for the actual installed efficiency of baseline equipment and of non-QI replacements. The de-rating assumptions are based on research from many sources, including the U.S. Department of Energy. To verify additional savings as well as any impacts from the HVAC SAVE training alone, replacements completed in this pilot were evaluated through billing analysis, electric submetering and ride-along interviews with installing technicians. However, issues with recruitment of trade allies resulted in only 120 homes being recruited for QI, which was not a large enough sample size to conduct a statistically robust impact evaluation. The Emerging Technologies Team did not continue the pilot in 2019 but is exploring alternative ways to capture QI data, such as through sensors or data analytics.