In the fourth and final quarter of the year the RTF stayed as busy as ever. We were able to approve some new measures, restructure some old ones, and plan for the coming year thanks to the hard work of our tireless members in the last quarter of their service term. This quarter we said goodbye to one member class, prepared to welcome a whole new slate of members starting in 2022, and set ourselves up to take on new exciting projects in the new year. You can stay up to date on all RTF decision and news as it happens through the RTF website which is updated throughout the quarter.
In the fourth quarter of 2021 the RTF approved a number of new measures of interest to the region. In November 2019, the three new measures outlined below were suggested by the region and approved for further scoping and eventual development. All three measures were developed primarily by outside contractors who were able to step in, with support from the usual contract analyst team, and get these measures built and available to the region. This allowed the CATs and RTF staff focused on some longer-term projects. We’re grateful to the contractors who helped produce these measures and present them to the RTF so they can be useable resources for the regional actors.
Residential Door Sweeps
Door Sweeps are a strip of flexible material at the bottom of an exterior door to reduce air infiltration that saves energy by reducing heating/cooling losses by air sealing the gap under the door. The measure was adopted as a planning measure to apply a door sweep where none currently exist with delivery channels including direct install, mail by request and leave behind. The measure is considered planning as more research is needed for the savings to be considered reliable, specifically there remains significant uncertainty around ‘average’ door gap size or the effective useful life of a door sweep.
Residential Air Purifiers
An Air Purifier or Air Cleaner is a portable, electric appliance that removes fine particles, such as dust and pollen, from indoor air. They clean air with either fibrous media air filers or electronic air cleaners. Energy savings come from a product that uses less energy to deliver an equivalent amount of clean air. The measure approved by the RTF is the purchase of a new ENERGY STAR certified portable room air purifier. This measure is also considered planning as more data is needed to better understand use patterns of the air purifier in order to improve the savings assumption.
Commercial Timers on Water Coolers
The Timers for Water Coolers measure is to install a timer on a water cooler in commercial applications to turn off the cooler during unoccupied hours. The timer must be grounded, have a 7-day programmable scheduling capability, and be able to support the necessary amperage. This saves energy by reducing standby losses from water cooler cycling to keep cold or hot water ready to dispense. This measure is also considered planning as there remains uncertainty around a few key details that dictate savings. Namely, more data is needed around timer ‘off’ hours which is detailed in the accompanying research strategy.
Manufactured Home Duct Sealing
Manufactured home duct sealing has a long history at the RTF and this quarter’s update saw significant changes to the measure. The primary update was the measure specification and delivery verification guidance were revised for a UES approach rather than the standard protocol format the measure had been in. Duct sealing is more complicated than a basic widget, and program design and administration have a significant affect on savings, which is why the RTF previously created a standard protocol for this measure. However, the savings potential is real and important to the region, so the RTF persisted and came up with this latest solution. This latest update moves the measure back to being a UES, while crossing a traditional UES boundary outlining delivery verification more thoroughly than a typical measure. The measure specifies that in order to get UES-able savings, programs need to achieve a high level of compliance with the specification, making job quality critical to reliable savings. The RTF approved an accompanying specification and delivery verification guidance document, found here for those interested, which provides a more thorough description of RTF direction.
In addition to the shift in structure and measure type, the savings for manufactured home duct sealing was also updated based on evaluations that best aligned with the new spec and a new research strategy was developed to continue to improve the measure and our understanding of these savings.
New Member Class
We’re very excited to welcome a whole new class of RTF members for the 2022-2024 service term. As always, this new group brings a high level of technical expertise and a wide breadth of experience in planning, implementation, evaluation of efficiency programs and demand response products, as well as proficiencies in economic, statistical and engineering analysis. We’re eager to get to work with this new group, starting at the new member orientation on January 25, 2022. For a full list of new voting and corresponding member see here.
We are of course very grateful for all the hard work of the exiting member class who were with us since 2019 and stuck with us through some truly difficult times. They are leaving the RTF a better place than when they joined us and will be missed.
The 2022 Work Plan was approved by the Council at their October meeting and set a course for the RTF to follow over the coming year. As with prior years, the work plan focuses on the RTF’s core competencies, developing energy efficiency savings estimates and methodologies to support the regions EE programs. However, the plan also identifies several important projects that will enhance our understanding of the energy savings, costs, and benefits of both energy efficiency and demand response, including following up on recommendations identified in the Council’s draft 2021 Power Plan. Briefly, in 2022 the RTF will take up projects exploring sub-regional baseline, updating RTF workbooks for the 2021 Power Plan findings, exploring climate files for RTF analysis, and studying the valuation of resiliency and flexibility.
Upcoming at the RTF
The RTF is hitting the ground running in 2022 as it always does. Looking forward, the RTF will tentatively be addressing the following subjects at upcoming meetings:
Residential Behavior Guidance
New Homes Standard Protocol
Transformer De-Energizing Standard Protocol
Irrigation Hardware Upgrades and Pressure Reduction
Commercial Unitary HPWHs
April & Beyond
Line Voltage Thermostats
Manufactured Home Replacement Analysis
Floating Pressure Controls for Multiplex Systems
Compressed Air Standard Protocol
Residential Behavior Subcommittee—The Residential Behavior Subcommittee was convened to solicit feedback on a proposed draft of RTF Guidance for Evaluating Residential Behavioral Measures.
Connected Thermostats Subcommittee—The Connected Thermostat Subcommittee met to review the findings from NEEA’s recent research on correlation between billing data and thermostat metrics and discuss how the findings should be incorporated into the RTF’s Residential Connected Thermostat UES and Research Strategy
Implementers Group—The Implementers Group meets once a quarter to discuss the outcome of the RTF meetings, upcoming RTF meeting topics, and other topics that affect program implementers in the region.
Operations Subcommittee—The Operations subcommittee meets before each RTF meeting to review and discuss the RTF meeting agendas, decisions, and contracts.
Small & Rural Utilities Subcommittee—The Small/Rural Subcommittee meets once a quarter to discuss how to support the specific needs of small and rural utilities. At this quarter’s meeting the group discussed the Draft 2021 Power Plan efficiency target and its impact on cost-effectiveness.
Approved Measure Updates
- Adopted the Retrofit Doors on Existing Display Cases UES for remote condensing systems as presented. Set the Category to Planning, the Status to Active, and the Sunset Date to October 2024.
- Deactivated both the Residential and Commercial Advanced Power Strips UES measures.
- Extended the sunset date for the Commercial Secondary Glazing System UES measure to February 2022.
- Extended the sunset date for SF Duct Sealing UES to July 2022 and directed staff to review BPA, NEEA, and any other research sources.
- Extended the sunset date for Residential Connected Thermostats UES to January 2022.